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Postdoctoral Research Position in Planetary Atmospheric Evolution

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

LASP / CU Boulder encourages all candidates to apply for a NASA-funded postdoctoral position in planetary atmospheric evolution, with a focus on upper atmospheric modeling and observations.  Work would begin June-July 2021, with an application received by May 1, 2021 receiving full consideration.

The position focuses on understanding the water loss history of Mars and Venus, using modeling and observations to constrain the escape of hydrogen and deuterium from the upper atmosphere to space. The selected candidate would focus on nonthermal loss mechanisms using a combination of observations and modeling, taking ownership of and extending an existing Monte Carlo modeling code that tracks hot atom production and escape. The candidate would bridge the gap between Mars and Venus observations and models, using data from the Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO), Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft and the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) as inputs to the model and validation of its predictions. The post would involve travel for collaboration with colleagues in Paris and presenting at research conferences, as well as publication in scientific journals.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) began in 1948, a decade before NASA. We are the world’s only academic research institute to have sent instruments to all eight planets and Pluto. 

What You Should Know

Work would begin June-July 2021.

What We Can Offer

Salary Range $70,000 - $80,000 annual.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be Balanced. Be Dynamic. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • PhD in Physics, Astronomy, or related field (by appointment start date).
  • One to three (1-3) years of research experience in planetary atmospheres, with at least one (1) first-authored, peer-reviewed article in credited scientific journals.

What You Will Need

  • Demonstrated capability in scientific programming/model development in C++ or Fortran.
  • Proficiency in spacecraft data analysis.
  • Documented history of independent and collaborative research.
  • Strong scientific communication skills, in writing and in-person.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Reference Letter (Not Confidential)
The deadline for applications is May 1, 2021, and applications received after this deadline may be considered only if the position is not filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Michael Chaffin

Posting Contact Email: