Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Trends in sea-level rise, tidal dynamics, and flood risk in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta)

Cal Poly Corporation

San Luis Obispo, CA, USA 🇺🇸

Full Job Description

The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will join a collaborative, multi-university effort that is investigating trends in sea-level rise, tidal dynamics, and flood risk in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, an ecologically important region that is crucial to California’s water supply. In the project, the post-doctoral scholar will help recover and analyze more than 1300 station years of ‘lost-and-forgotten’ archival water level records collected from 1857 to 1982. Using the data, the post-doctoral scholar will evaluate trends and spatial patterns of water level changes over the past century, including tides, storm surge, coastal sea-level rise, and river flow. The scholar will also investigate the hydrodynamic effects of channel dredging, water management, and land-use changes to assess the spatially variable risk of sea-level rise and climate change to Delta communities. In addition, the effect of water level changes on shallow water habitat will be assessed. By determining ‘hotspots’ of habitat and flood risk sensitivity, the results may be used to better focus future scientific and management priorities, to protect the environment, manage flood risk, and enhance community resilience to climate change.

Specific skills include experience with analyzing and managing large datasets, knowledge of the physical oceanography of estuaries and tidal rivers, experience using statistical and oceanographic tools (e.g., wavelets, harmonic analysis, regression models), and/or idealized analytical or numerical models. Spatial patterns of changes to sea-level, tides, river flow, and storm surge will be assessed, and will be compared with theoretical expectations, models, and previous research. The researcher will be expected to lead in the development of peer-reviewed publications, will be in charge of a stakeholder survey, and will have the opportunity to present results at conferences. In addition, the post-doctoral fellow will help mentor undergraduate and graduate students and will have the opportunity to teach classes by separate assignment.


  • A Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography, Coastal Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, or closely related field, or nearing completion of such degree
  • Excellent technical writing skills
  • Strong oral presentation skills
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Ability to work independently and self-motivated
  • Computer skills, including experience with hydrodynamic models and programming languages such as Matlab.
  • Desire to learn new skills and work effectively in teams including students, researchers, and faculty from multiple universities
  • Desire to understand the long-term impact environmental change, and improve adaptability of communities to sea-level rise
  • Strong analytical and data management skills
  • Research experience related to project scope (e.g., physical oceanography, coastal engineering, water resources)
  • Strong technical writing skills
  • A background check is required for all regular benefited positions
  • The person holding this position is considered a ‘mandated reporter’ under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment

Subject to continued grant/center funding. Cal Poly Corporation provides excellent benefits including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, retirement, paid sick leave/vacation and holidays. This position is benefit eligible.

This position may be eligible for partial teleworking after an initial training period is completed. Employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a criminal background check, educational and employment verification, and reference check, as required.

The California State University system (CSU) requires that students, faculty, and any employees of organizations who access campus, or any CSU facilities, to be either fully vaccinated or qualify for a medical or religious exemption. Please note if you are chosen for a position with the Cal Poly Corporation you will be asked to fill out a Vaccine Attestation once you are hired. This attestation will ask if you are vaccinated or asking for a medical or religious exemption. If not vaccinated and asking for an exemption you will be required to be tested for COVID-19 one (1) time per week at a testing site on campus.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $66,138.00 – $75,000.00 per year


  • Dental insurance
  • Flexible spending account
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement plan
  • Vision insurance


  • 8 hour shift
  • Day shift
  • Monday to Friday

Ability to commute/relocate:

  • San Luis Obispo, CA 93405: Reliably commute or planning to relocate before starting work (Preferred)

Work Location: One location