Post Doctoral Research Associate

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Amherst, MA, US

About University of Massachusetts Amherst:

UMass Amherst, located in Amherst, Massachusetts, sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, 90 miles from Boston and 175 miles from New York City. The campus provides a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers.

Job Description:

The primary goal of the DOE sponsored project is to incorporate the agent-based modeling approach into the flexible and integrated modeling framework developed by national labs that captures the dynamic multi-scale interactions among climate, energy, water, land, socioeconomics, critical infrastructure, and other sectors. The agent-based model will be coupled with a river-reservoir-routing model: RiverWare to simulated climate change adaption actions and human behaviors at watershed scale. A regional ABM will be developed based the ABM-RiverWare framework and this regional ABM will be applied to upscale the watershed scale decisions to regional scale. The overall integrated modeling framework will be used to study the vulnerability and resilience of coupled human and natural systems from local to continental scales under scenarios that include short-term shocks, long-term stresses, and feedbacks associated with human decision making.

This is a one-year post-doctoral research associate position with the possibility of extension for another two years dependent on work performance and available funding. The starting date is flexible but should be ideally no later than January 1, 2017.

Major duties will include:

  • Developing an agent-based model in Matlab that coupled with RiverWare (Watershed-ABM) to simulate influences of human decisions on watershed level energy-water nexus (Year 1);
  • Developing the upscale routine based on ABM-RiverWare watershed model and coupled the resulted Regional-ABM with land surface model and/or energy production cost model via agent aggregation (Year 2);
  • Using Watershed and Regional scale ABM to evaluate system-wide vulnerability and resilience as well as climate change adaption (Year 1-3);
  • Participate in other works in Dr. Y. C. Ethan Yang’ research group, located at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst (Year 1-3)

Please direct questions to Dr. Ethan Yang at [email protected].


  • PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering or Natural Resources Management or similar fields;
  • Experience in developing and applying optimization models/hydrologic model in water resources, including knowledge of optimization and system analysis;
  • STRONG Coding background in Matlab, R, Python or C++;
  • Extensive understanding of hydrology and water resources management;
  • Experience conducting original research and publishing in peer reviewed scientific journals;
  • Experience synthesizing and integrating research findings and lessons learned, and communicating next steps and strategy to a management team

Application Instructions:

Review of applications will begin on December 19, 2016, and continue until a suitable candidate is identified.  Please apply online at and submit a cover letter, Curriculum Vitae, the names and email addresses of three professional references.

The university is committed to active recruitment of a diverse faculty, staff and student body. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members. Because broad diversity is essential to an inclusive climate and critical to the University’s goals of achieving excellence in all areas, we will holistically assess the many qualifications of each applicant and favorably consider an individual’s record working with students and colleagues with broadly diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds in educational, research or other work activities. We will also favorably consider experience overcoming or helping others overcome barriers to an academic degree and career.