Post-Doctoral Associate (Water Resources Science)

University of Minnesota

Duluth, MN, US

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Required Qualifications:

• Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Water Resources Science or similar field by the time of employment.
• Experience conducting laboratory experiments and performing quantitative water quality analyses.
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and Power Point.
• Effective oral and written communication skills in English.
• Ability to work independently with minimal guidance from supervisor/principal investigator.
• Physical ability to lift 50 pounds, manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination required to carry out routine laboratory activities.
• Valid U.S. driver’s license and clean driving record.

Preferred Qualifications:

• Experience running flow-through column experiments to assess transport of contaminants in porous media, as demonstrated by a record of publication(s) in peer-reviewed journals.
• Demonstrated experience in analytical methods to measure aqueous contaminant concentrations, including bacteria (e.g.,  E. Coli and fecal indicator bacteria), nutrients (including total phosphorus and total nitrogen), trace organics (e.g., pesticides, pharmaceuticals), and trace metals.
• Demonstrated experience performing and/or interpreting results from materials characterization techniques, including BET surface area analysis, Solid State Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, and  techniques to determine cation exchange capacity.
• Demonstrated experience in mentoring and/or managing students and/or interns in a laboratory setting.

About the Job

The Postdoctoral Researcher will work in the Water Research Group at the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at the University of Minnesota Duluth in collaboration with the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering (BBE) at the University of Minnesota College of Agricultural and Food Sciences (CFANS) on a project funded by Minnesota’s Discovery, Research, and Innovation Economy (MNDrive) program. The project will focus on development and application of biochar-augmented biofiltration geomedia for removal of chemical and biological contaminants from stormwater. The Postdoctoral Researcher will be responsible for carrying out laboratory work to assess the effectiveness of biochar for contaminant removal in column experiments, and for managing hourly staff providing support for sample analysis. They will also work in collaboration with staff from Watershed Management Organizations to evaluate the field application of technologies incorporating biochar-augmented geomedia at field sites in the Twin Cities area. Occasional multi-day travel will be required.

Terms of employment:

This appointment is a 100% time, 12 month position. It is anticipated this position will be in place for two years. An initial appointment period runs 1 year, with renewal for the second year dependent upon successful performance and availability of funds. This is a professional training position. Professional training positions are normally limited to 2-4 years.

Job Duties/Responsibilities:

• Laboratory research – 50%
Set up and maintain column experiments assessing water treatment performance. Collect, prepare, and analyze samples for nutrients and bacteria. Analysis, interpretation, and reporting of experimental data.

• Field work – 20%
Deployment and installation of field equipment, collection of samples from treatment systems in the field, troubleshooting of field equipment.

• Treatment system design – 10%
Coordinate with collaborating practitioners to design the configuration and placement of stormwater treatment systems based on findings from laboratory tests.

• Other Responsibilities – 20%
Disseminate results of laboratory and field experiments through presentations at conferences and peer-reviewed publications. Assist with general laboratory management, mentorship of laboratory personnel with less experience, and preparation of grant proposals.

About the Department

The Natural Resources Research Institute is a research facility with the mission to deliver research solutions to balance economy, resources, and environment for resilient communities. Research studies include applied research, technology development and environmental studies in the areas of minerals, metallurgy and mining; business biomass renewable energy; forestry and land resource management; wood utilization, materials and bio-economy; water resource management and entrepreneurial support.

How To Apply

Applications must be submitted online. To apply for this position, go to and search for job opening 335309. A complete application will consist of a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, and the contact information of three references. Applications will be accepted and considered immediately. This posting will remain open until filled.

Please send any inquiries to Jane Dzuck, [email protected]