Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

CIRES/Earth Lab Post-Doctoral Research Associate

CIRES/Earth Lab Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Social and Economic Impacts of Extremes

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder and the Earth Lab initiative, part of the University of Colorado Boulder’s “Grand Challenge: Our Space, Our Future,” seeks post-doctoral researchers to join a dynamic team pushing the frontiers of coupled earth and social system science ( Earth Lab’s mission is to harness the wave of Earth data generated by aerospace platforms and other sources to better understand the pace and pattern of environmental change.

Earth Lab will:

  • Capitalize on the data deluge from space to accelerate science;
  • Reduce environmental risk and surprise by using this wealth of data to understand and predict both slow and abrupt Earth System change to help society manage and adapt;
  • Train a new generation of data scientists in Earth Analytics.

These target research areas represent Earth Lab’s efforts to explore society’s vulnerability and resilience to global environmental change. Post-Doctoral Research Scholars are responsible for carrying out Earth Lab’s research program. Successful candidates must have content knowledge and data analytics skills relevant to each theme, as well as an eagerness to bridge among the themes and interact with specialists in data analytics, visualization, and informatics in a high performance computing or cloud computing environment. Interest in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students is a plus, as Earth Lab is committed to advancing education and developing the Earth Systems data analytics workforce. Interest in interacting with the private sector, especially with companies providing environmental sensing data and analysis, from space, aerial, and in situ platforms, is also desirable.

These positions will be filled as Research Associates at the University of Colorado-Boulder, with salary appropriate to qualifications and experience, and with eligible employee benefits. Initial appointment will be for one year with high likelihood of renewal for an additional year.

For general information on applying, please contact Chelsea Nagy Rachel.Nagy@Colorado.EDU).

Theme 2. Social and Economic Impacts of Extremes

Earth Lab seeks a Post-Doctoral Research Scholar on Extremes in Coupled Social and Natural Systems, with a focus on social and economic processes. The successful candidate must have content knowledge and data analytics skills relevant to extremes, with emphasis on economic impacts and responses. The extremes focus seeks to build on the suite of Earth Lab efforts, plus research findings in coupled human and environment systems, to pursue knowledge frontiers in dynamic and emergent system behaviors (e.g., understanding of extremes, threshold behaviors, and abrupt changes). This Post-Doctoral Research Scholar will work in the Risk and Decision Making project as well as bridge among other ongoing science themes at the Earth Lab (Wildfire, Drought, Erosion, Arctic Processes, Human Health, and Settlements). This position will focus on the impacts of extreme events on social and environmental systems, valuation of those impacts and of societal responses, including analyzing the value of information in reducing impacts and vulnerability. Moreover, we are interested in how coupled extreme events may further disrupt both ecological and social processes and infrastructure with special attention to the existence of threshold behaviors when the resilience capacity of a social and/or environmental system is exceeded.


Specific Qualifications for Social and Economic Impacts of Extremes:

•        Doctoral degree in social sciences or interdisciplinary field (economics, public policy, geography or other quantitative social science)

•        Demonstrated interest and the skills necessary to explore the social and economic impacts of extreme environmental events.

•        Strong quantitative background.

•        Experience or willingness to learn how to integrate and analyze large and/or heterogeneous datasets, including socio-economic data and Earth observations from remote-sensing platforms.


Skills that enable exploratory approaches to system dynamics, extreme events, tipping points, and emergent behaviors, across a wide range of systems from natural to social.

Contact for this theme:  William Travis, Deputy Director of Earth Lab, and Department of Geography,

Application Materials

Special Instructions to Applicants: The University of Colorado Boulder conducts background checks on all final applicants being considered for employment, prior to the issuance of an offer letter. The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to providing a safe and productive learning, living and working community. To achieve this goal, we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and an EPLS (Excluded Parties List System) check. The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that verification of employment eligibility be documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work. The University of Colorado is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, the University of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, political affiliation or political philosophy in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. Inquiries may be directed to the Boulder Campus Title IX Coordinator by calling 303-492-2127. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, alternative formats of this ad can be provided upon request for individuals with disabilities by contacting Human Resources at   

Application Materials Required: Cover Letter, Resume/CV, Reference Letters (Not Confidential), Unofficial transcript(s) 

Application Materials Instructions: Applicants must complete the Faculty/University Staff and EEO Data (application) form, and upload the following required documents: 1 – Cover Letter; 2 – Resume; 3 – The document uploaded for Proof of Degree can be a Transcript which shows the date the degree was conferred; Copy of Diploma; or official letter from the Registrar or the Dean of the School or College conferring the degree; 4 –One letter of recommendation This position is eligible for medical, dental and life insurance, retirement benefits programs, and is eligible for monthly vacation and sick leave accruals.

Job Number


Date Posted

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Research Associate