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Research Associate

Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Arizona, US
Closing date
Nov 25, 2022

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Academic / Research
Informatics / GIS
Climate Change
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
*Postdoctoral Scholar*
*Location:* SICCS
*Regular/Temporary:* Regular
*Job ID:* 606602
*Full/Part Time:* Full-Time
Workplace Culture
NAU is a community devoted to student success and sustained by an unshakable commitment to our shared mission, vision, and values. We faculty, staff, and administrators thrive by combining our efforts and working side by side to further NAU's culture of excellence.
Job Description
The Shenkin Lab at the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems (SICCS) at Northern Arizona University's Flagstaff campus seeks a Postdoctoral Scholar to support a project funded by The Nature Conservancy's Natural Climate Solutions center. The successful applicant will conduct research to understand how forest management across the Amazon Basin will affect the forest carbon cycle and forest dynamics in future climate change scenarios and will generate recommendations that will serve to conserve those forests. She or he will have the opportunity to develop collaborations with The Nature Conservancy's and Conservation International's Natural Climate Solutions teams in addition to the NAU community.
The scholar will serve as scientific lead on this project, with primary responsibility for guiding the intellectual development of the methodology for scaling forest management and carbon models from stand to continental scales. Key activities will include: (a) working with PI Shenkin to develop a sound methodology for upscaling carbon models, (b) parameterizing and training remote sensing-based models, (c) developing logging and climate scenarios to across the Amazon Basin, (e) creating Amazon-wide predictive maps of forest carbon trajectories.
The bulk of the outputs of the described research will be completed by November 2023. The scholar will work with PI Shenkin and The Nature Conservancy to scope out extensions to this research thereafter.
Research and Publications - 85%
* Work collaboratively with research team to develop sound methodology for upscaling forest management model results to the Amazon Basin.
* Lead effort to develop and apply remote sensing based models utilizing Machine Learning techniques that form the core of the basis of understanding Amazon-wide forest carbon trajectories.
* Synthesize climate and land-use scenario research into useful, spatially explicit data layers.
* Author manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Grant and Management - 5%
* Write brief, regular reports for and participate in meetings with The Nature Conservancy.
Policy Outreach - 5%
* Generate data layers that are the results of the models developed above
* Coordinate and assist with the integration of those data layers into existing policy outreach tools
Other - 5%
* Other duties as assigned.
Minimum Qualifications

* Ph.D. in Remote Sensing, Ecological Modeling, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Geography, or a related discipline.
Preferred Qualifications

* Experience using earth observation imagery and climate scenarios
* Demonstrated ability to conduct spatial analysis using Machine Learning techniques and manage large databases.
* Experience using a variety of software/geospatial tools.
* Demonstrated advanced remote sensing and GIS experience.
* Familiarity with the principles of ecosystem processes and dynamics.
* Familiarity with lidar data processing and analysis.
* Interest in working with NGOs to use research to inform policymakers.
* Ability to communicate effectively in English, and ability to communicate effectively in Portuguese and/or Spanish.
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
* Knowledge of programming / script writing (Python, R, GDAL, C/C#, SQL, Perl, Java, and/or IDL).
* Excellent organizational and project management skills.
* Promotes a diverse, inclusive environment.
* Ability to take initiative and complete tasks without direct supervision.
* Ability to synthesize complex information and develop structured analyses in written and visual form.
* Ability to perform complex geoprocessing and manipulate large datasets using personally developed and other scripts.
* Fluency in performing geospatial tasks in a multi-operating system environment.
* Ability to work independently and as part of an interdisciplinary and culturally diverse research team.
COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement
As of 12/10/21, the Safer Federal Workforce employee vaccination requirement is currently suspended pending the outcome of a federal court-issued injunction. This injunction has suspended the recent executive order issued by President Biden requiring all employees of federal contractors to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. For current status of the vaccine requirement and/or questions, please visit [FAQs for Employee Vaccination Requirement](
Background Information
Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following: a criminal background investigation, an employment history verification and a degree verification (in some cases) prior to employment. You may also be required to complete a fingerprint background check. Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees' right to work in the United States. Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an [Annual Security Report]( The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the [Fire Safety Report]( is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus as this campus has on-campus student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities. If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) ###-#### or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.
Anticipated salary range is $54,779 - $68,474. Annual salary commensurate with candidate's qualifications and related experience.
FLSA Status
This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.
Post-Doctoral Scholars are hired on a contract basis, renewable each fiscal year for a maximum of 4 renewals (5 years) according to terms of the Arizona Board of Regents' [Conditions of Post-Doctoral Service]( Manual/6-310-Conditions of Postdoctoral Scholar Service.pdf). NAU offers an excellent benefit package to Post-Doctoral Scholars including generous health, dental and vision insurance; 10 days of vacation and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified family members. New employees are eligible for benefits on the first day of the pay period following their enrollment, after their employment date. Employees will have 31 days from their start date to enroll in benefits. Participation in NAU retirement plans is not available to Post-Doctoral Scholars. More information on benefits at NAU is available at the NAU [HR benefits page](
Learning and Development
Your career at Northern Arizona University includes the opportunity for professional development. [New employee on-boarding training]( includes courses to be completed within the first 30 days.
Application Deadline
November 30, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.
How to Apply
To apply for this position, please click on the "Apply" button on this page. You must submit your application by clicking on the "Submit" button by midnight of the application deadline. If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the [Human Resources website ]( in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus - on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.
If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process please contact the Office of Equity and Access at: 928-###-####/TDD - 928-###-#### or PO Box 4083, Flagstaff AZ 86011.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.
[EEO is the Law Poster and Supplements](
NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.
*To apply, visit [
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Associated topics: atmospheric, earth, earth science, earthquake, geodynamic, geology, geophysics, gis, oil, planet

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