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CIRES/ ESIIL Post-Doctoral Research Scholar (Environmental Data Science)

University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, Colorado
Closing date
Jul 19, 2024

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Position Type
Research Scientist / Analyst
Full Time
Environmental Anthropology
Organization Type
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Job Summary

The Environmental Data Science Innovation and Inclusion Lab (ESIIL) within CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder welcomes applications for four Post-Doctoral Research Scholars who are working in the field of environmental data science (EDS) to address pressing environmental challenges. ESIIL holds inclusion as a core principle and method for diversifying EDS at a time when society needs all perspectives, and science needs to serve all. ESIIL's vision is grounded in the conviction that innovation and breakthroughs in EDS will be precipitated by a diverse, collaborative, curious, and inclusive research community empowered by open data and infrastructure, cross-sector and community partnerships, team science, and engaged learning. ESIIL Post-Doctoral Research Scholars are expected to produce innovative and/or applied environmental biology research while also representing and encouraging a diverse community to thrive in the rapidly evolving field of EDS.

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

At CIRES, more than 950 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people's relationship with the planet. CIRES has partnered with NOAA since 1967, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at Earth's poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, solid Earth sciences, and more. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

The Environmental Data Science Innovation & Inclusion Lab (ESIIL) is an NSF-funded data synthesis center led by the University of Colorado Boulder in collaboration with NSF's CyVerse at the University of Arizona and the University of Oslo. ESIIL's mission is to empower an inclusive and diverse community to accelerate open Environmental Data Science. ESIIL is part of CIRES and enables a global community of environmental data scientists to demonstrate the wealth of environmental data and emerging analytics to develop science-based solutions to solve pressing challenges in environmental sciences. ESIIL's research community generates discoveries and novel approaches through 1) brand-new team science, 2) innovative tools and collaborative cyberinfrastructures, 3) data-science education and training, and 4) building inclusive participation and diverse groups. These activities advance the frontier of environmental data science, a rapidly evolving field bridging the computational, biological, environmental, and social sciences.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be
  • Develop and implement an environmental data science project that applies open data, tools, and cyberinfrastructure to address frontier research questions in environmental biology. Examples of data-driven projects may include: cross-scale or cross-site data harmonization and analysis to explore ecosystem patterns, artificial intelligence and machine learning applications in ecology, open science ethics and data sovereignty for environmental data, data-intensive exploration of evolutionary processes, big data and environmental justice, or other topical area in environmental biology that crosses the data, natural, and social sciences.
  • Use open or available spatial and temporal data in creative ways to develop a data-driven research project. Examples of environmental data sources include remote sensing, observatories, biorepositories, citizen science, field-based collections, modeled and synthetic data, genetic data, social data, or other. Sovereign and protected data shall be treated with special considerations that follow the CARE data principles.
  • Leverage cloud, or other high-performance computing, resources to harmonize and analyze big, complex environmental data.
  • Work collaboratively with the ESIIL team and network, such as with working group(s), hackathon teams, or summit participants, to advance environmental data science projects.
  • Contribute to the open, reproducible science and education objectives of ESIIL, which include creating and publishing well-documented datasets and codes, FAIR-compliant code workflows, or other outputs that will serve the larger EDS community and other audiences.
  • Effectively share research results with colleagues and the broader science community through peer-reviewed publications, presentations, and other science products.
  • Actively participate in the ESIIL community and help to promote greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in open environmental data science.

What You Should Know
  • This is a two-year position and the anticipated start date is as soon as August 1st, 2024, but is negotiable.
  • Location: The Post-Doc will work in person at ESIIL's main office on the CU Boulder campus in Boulder, CO. A hybrid work modality may be a possibility, but will follow current CIRES and university guidelines and policies. This is not a fully remote position. The in-person cohort experience and engagement with the ESIIL community is a key aspect of this position.
  • In the application, candidates are welcome to suggest a mentor who is affiliated with a research institution in the United States. ESIIL has funds available to support travel to Boulder for potential mentors within the U.S.

What We Can Offer
  • CIRES offers a generous compensation and benefits package.
  • The annual hiring salary for this position ranges from $64,000 to $69,000. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • Some relocation funds are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado's relocation processes and procedures.
  • CIRES and the University of Colorado Boulder offer a robust training curriculum, opportunities for professional development and a Mentorship Program.
  • Boulder is a vibrant community with access to mountain parks, dog parks, miles of trails, rivers, lakes, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, theaters, museums, and sports venues. Boulder was recently ranked as one of the top places to live in the U.S. by U.S. News.
  • As an employee at CU Boulder, you will have free access to the regional public transit system, an outstanding network of buses, and light rail systems that service Boulder and connect to Denver, the Denver airport, and surrounding communities.


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 groundbreaking. Be proactive. Be Boulder.

What We Require

Ph.D. in environmental, biological, social, computer science, or data science field (including but not limited to Biology, Ecology, Ecosystem Science, Forestry, Geography, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Economics, Geoscience, Space Engineering, Computer Engineering, Math, Indigenous Studies, Environmental Studies, Remote Sensing Science, etc.).

What You Will Need
  • Knowledge of open-source programming languages (e.g., R, Python).
  • Commitment to Open Science (i.e., available and findable data, reproducible and transferable codes to run on public cyberinfrastructure and open publications) and Open Education.
  • Effective project management skills (e.g., self-directed, independent).
  • Knowledge of ethical and reciprocal research practices.
  • Collaborative spirit and comfort working in scientifically and culturally diverse and inclusive teams.
  • Willingness to collaborate and contribute within ESIIL working groups, hackathons, and/or summits.
  • Willingness to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the ESIIL community.

What We Would Like You to Have

We invite applicants to apply even if they do not have the preferred skills and experience outlined in this section. If you meet the minimum qualifications and have passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We encourage on-the-job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.
  • Experience with multi-source, big data gathering and curation
  • Experience and/or knowledge of innovative data and analytics
  • Experience and/or knowledge of notebooks and cyberinfrastructure
  • Experience with collaborative and inclusive science
  • Experience with writing and publishing robust science
  • Experience and/or knowledge of open-source tool development and publication
  • Experience and/or knowledge of dataset curation and publication
  • Experience developing or participating in workshops with community partners

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  • Resume or CV.
  • A Cover Letter describing your relevant experience, knowledge, skills, and any experience with innovation in open science. Please provide information in your cover letter regarding the prospective mentor's affiliation, research background, and potential contributions to the planned research project, if suggested by the candidate. Please note that an identified mentor is not necessary as part of the application.
  • A 2-page Research Statement that outlines your planned research project for ESIIL and how it aligns with your past research experience and ESIIL's mission and goals.
  • A 1-page Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion that outlines your experiences and/or future plans for improving diversity, equity, inclusion and/or accessibility in or beyond your academic communities. Initiatives along these lines at CU can be read about here: CU Boulder DEI (university-level), Pursuing Justice, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at CIRES (CIRES level). Additional statement guidance is available here.
  • No more than a 1-page Data Description that provides information on the data intended to be used for the project, including a basic description of the data, a link to any accessible data source(s), anticipated data harmonization or analysis challenges, and any limitations on the use of protected or proprietary data. Please note that ESIIL does not support the collection of new data.
  • List of contact information for three professional references (name, title, professional relationship, email). You do not need to include letters of recommendation with your initial application. If you are selected as a finalist for this role, the search committee will request letters of recommendation at a later time.
  • Please be prepared to be interviewed if you are selected as one of the finalists.

Please apply by May 15th, 2024, for full consideration. This posting will remain open until finalists have been identified.

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

In compliance with the Colorado Job Application Fairness Act, in any materials you submit, you may redact or remove age-identifying information such as age, date of birth, or dates of school attendance or graduation. You will not be penalized for redacting or removing this information.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Cibele Amaral

Posting Contact Email:

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