Postdoctoral Scholar in Watershed science, climate science, data science, artificial intelligence and/or hydro-economics (Multiple Hires)

University of California-Merced

Merced, CA, USA 🇺🇸


Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar

Salary range: See Table 23 for the salary range for this position. A reasonable estimate for this position is $55,632 – $ $66,600.

Percent time: 100%

Anticipated start: Starting dates are negotiable

Position duration: This is a full-time, one-year appointment with the possibility of renewal based on availability of funding, ongoing operational needs and satisfactory performance.


Open date: April 5, 2022

Next review date: Saturday, Apr 1, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Sunday, Apr 2, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


We are looking for multiple full-time postdoctoral scholar positions in the fields of watershed science, climate science, data science, artificial intelligence and/or hydro-economics. The broad focus of the positions will be in the analysis of water resources management, agriculture, technology, and climate change in the western US. With a specific effort on California, but also collaborative studies with researchers at Washington State University, Oregon State University, Utah State University, and New Mexico State University. These positions are part of multiple funded research projects, including recently commissioned California Drought Impacts study, the USDA NIFA SAS Securing a Climate Resilient Water Future for Agriculture and Ecosystems through Innovation in Measurement, Management, and Markets (, and the USDA NIFA AI Institute for Transforming Workforce and Decision Support ( As such, the successful candidates will work with a diverse team of leading scientists at UC Merced, and their collaborators in California (UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Agriculture & Natural Resources, Public Policy Institute of California, and Environmental Defense Fund), Utah State University, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, and Washington State University, as well as the regional USDA Southwest Climate Hub. Together, the team of postdoctoral scholars from this recruitment will advance the use of artificial intelligence to support actionable decisions to inform and support a climate resilient water future for agriculture and ecosystems through prediction, optimization and data-enabled decision support. The postdoctoral scholars will be expected to lead development of analytical methods and decision support platform development in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of researchers. The postdoctoral scholars are expected to participate in collaborative science with project partners, to play an important role in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, and to undertake professional development activities in consultation with the PIs to further their own training and career advancement. Limited supervisory activities are required, as the scholars will coordinate Student Assistants and junior staff as needed. Limited travel will be required to visit collaborating organizations and to team meetings. Best practices in data and code management, as well as in team science, are expected. Familiarity and expertise in open-source approaches, application programming interfaces, code repositories, and reproducible documentation is also expected.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy: All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for applicable deadlines. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.


Basic qualifications

Successful candidates must possess a Ph.D. (at the time of appointment) in engineering, hydrology, climatology, computer science or a related field with a focus on geospatial data analytics, remote sensing, machine learning/artificial intelligence (AI), agent-based modeling, systems analysis, and/or hydro-economic modeling. Successful candidates will have demonstrated strong collaborative skills and a proven publication record, preferably with at least 1-2 first-authored, refereed research papers in top journals. Technical skills include advanced proficiency in programming for applied statistics, modeling, and data science (e.g., Python, Matlab, GAMS, R), as well as familiarity with Git-type version control, APIs, and UI/UX design. Ability to create publication ready data visualizations is necessary, as is the ability to write proficiently for scholarly outlets. Ideal candidates will have demonstrated experience leading the development of analytical approaches for machine learning or optimization in modeling, and experience working with large and diverse datasets, especially water and climate spatial, and time series data stacks. Experience with remote sensing in agricultural production and/or water use analysis is a significant advantage, as is technical experience with Google Earth Engine.

Additional qualifications

Understanding of water policy and management and/or familiarity with concepts pertaining to risk, resilience, and/or environmental justice is a plus.


Document requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter

Reference requirements

  • 3 required (contact information only)

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The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and invites applications from all qualified applicants, including women, minorities, veterans, and individual with disabilities, who will enrich the teaching, research and public service missions of the university. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy (

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students (, UC Merced provides outstanding educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the heart of California, the nation, and abroad. The campus has special connections to nearby Yosemite National Park; is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design; and supports the economic development of Central California. The Merced 2020 Project doubled the physical capacity of the campus, and enhanced academic distinction, student success, and research excellence (

UC Merced is a smoke & tobacco free campus (






IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development