Assistant Research Professor, Environmental Data Science

Desert Research Institute (DRI)

Reno, NV, USA 🇺🇸

Las Vegas, NV, USA 🇺🇸

Thank you for your interest in employment with the Desert Research Institute.  We want your  application process to go smoothly and quickly.  We ask that you keep in mind the following when completing your application:

  • Once you start the application process you cannot save your work. Please ensure you have all required attachment(s) available to complete your application before you begin the process.
  • Required attachments are listed below on the posting. Your application will not be considered without the required attachments.
  • Please see the application instructions under each posting for information on submittal deadlines.

If you need assistance or have questions regarding the application process, contact Human Resources Hotline at (775) 673-7431 or [email protected].

Job Description

The Desert Research Institute is accepting applications for an Assistant Research Professor in Environmental Data Science. The successful candidate will have experience as an Ecosystem Scientist with a strong background in big data analysis (e.g., publicly available earth and health data, remote sensing and image processing, database development and management), as applied to current environmental problems such as wildfire ecology and hydrology, landscape adaptation to climate change, geohealth, or soil, climate and water resources record analysis. Although the area of specialization is open, the incumbent should complement existing skills in the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences (i.e., geomorphology, biology, environmental health, archeology, GIS/Remote sensing, life in extreme environments). A combination of technical and interpersonal communication skills is required. Experience in big data visualization is preferred. Additionally, an ability and interest in collaborating with colleagues in the Division of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) and the Division of Hydrological Sciences (DHS) is strongly desired. Exceptionally qualified candidates may be appointed at the Associate Research Professor rank.  The position can be located in Reno or Las Vegas, NV.

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in appropriate field (e.g., environmental engineering, biology, geography) – All But Dissertation (ABD) applicants will be considered as long as the Ph.D. degree is completed by the time employment starts.
  • Strong knowledge and experience conducting data analysis or model development on large datasets to address current environmental issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to publish in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Strong potential to secure external research funding.
  • Demonstrated ability to work individually or part of a team.
  • Due to the current health and safety emergency declaration, anyone hired must receive a complete (and verified) COVID-19 vaccination series or an approved medical or religious waiver request as a term and condition of employment prior to any start date at any Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) institution.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Direct experience conducting big data analysis projects to address current environmental issues.
  • Strong record of obtaining competitive federal funding (e.g., NSF, NASA, NOAA, NIH, etc.).
  • Strong record of publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Conditions of Employment

Ability to travel for fieldwork, meetings, conferences, and workshops.

Due to the current health and safety emergency declaration, anyone hired must receive a complete (and verified) COVID-19 vaccination series or an approved medical or religious waiver request as a term and condition of employment prior to any start date at any Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) institution.

Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally, and all other sedentary criteria are met.


Starting salary is commensurate with experience and education. Early career Scientific Staff receive compensation support and start up packages as they develop their independent research portfolios.

DRI offers a benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, and life insurance; including 15.50% retirement match, 24 annual leave days, beginning balance of 30 sick leave days, 11 paid holidays, educational benefits, and the choice of three health insurance plans that can be supplemented with flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts. Additionally, there is no state income tax and no social security deduction. This position is eligible for relocation assistance.

Organizational Summary

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied environmental research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students who work alongside them, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe.

Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced scientific knowledge on topics ranging from humans’ impact on the environment to the environment’s impact on humans. DRI’s impactful science and inspiring solutions support Nevada’s diverse economy, provide science-based educational opportunities, and inform policymakers, business leaders, and community members.

With campuses in Las Vegas and Reno, DRI serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education.


Full-Time Equivalent 100.0%

Required Attachment(s)

Please upload the following documents in the specified section:

  • A cover letter detailing how your experience and professional qualifications prepare you to succeed in this role at DRI
  • A current curriculum vita
  • Contact information for three professional references who will be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant permission

Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply immediately and provide all required attachments by January 31, 2022 to receive full consideration. Recruitment will close once a hiring decision has been made.

For more detailed information about DRI and DRI faculty, research projects, and publications, please visit us at For questions regarding this position or assistance with your application, please call the recruiting office at 775-673-7319.

Posting Close Date

Note to Applicant

Applicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience with specific reference to each of the minimum and preferred qualifications. The search committee will use this information during the initial review of application materials.  

References will be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant notification and permission.

Newly hired faculty and postdoctoral fellows must assure that their official transcript is submitted to the Human Resources Office within 30 calendar days from the effective date of employment.  Academic degrees must have been awarded by regionally accredited institutions.

This position may require a criminal background check to be conducted on the candidate(s) selected for hire.

As part of the hiring process, applicants for positions in the Nevada System of Higher Education may be required to demonstrate the ability to perform job-related tasks.

DRI employs only U.S. citizens and aliens authorized to work in the U.S. DRI only sponsors aliens applying for research faculty or postdoctoral fellow positions (J-1 or H-1B Visas).

All applicants hired by the Desert Research Institute are subject to E-Verify.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development