Postdoctoral Research Associate (Geosciences)

University of Montana

Missoula, MT, US

The Department of Geosciences at the University of Montana seeks applicants for a 12-month Postdoctoral Research Associate position renewable for multiple years. The postdoc will work directly with Assistant Professors of Geosciences, Payton Gardner and Hilary Martens on an NSF funded research project titled Geodetic Lysimetry:  Using Elastic Deformation of the Earth to Measure Dynamic, Heterogeneous Hydrologic Storage.” This research uses high precision GNSS measurement of the earth’s surface to measure terrestrial hydrologic storage across the Selway-Lochsa watershed.  We seek to develop GNSS measured deformation as a tool for hydrologic resource assessment, understanding its resolution, limitations, and developing operational data interpretation methods.  As part of this research, we are installing and maintaining the first high-precision GNSS network designed solely for water resource evaluation.  This network is being installed across the wilderness-dominated Selway-Lochsa watershed of north-central Idaho.  The successful candidate will install and maintain our network of high precision GNSS stations and collocated weather stations, carry out winter snowpack surveys and hydrologic surveys, and process, interpret and model GNSS data to determine hydrologic loading and unloading across the watershed.

The postdoctoral associate will develop a learning module to engage K-12 students in the region and educate them about earth science and the research project.  The successful applicant will have the opportunity to engage in an integrated educational environment in the Department of Geosciences and in mentoring graduate students in the Hydrogeology Lab.

Position Details

  • The salary for this postdoctoral research associate is $40,000/year.
  • Position is full-time, 1.0 FTE, Letter of Appointment, and includes a comprehensive and competitive comprehensive benefits package (i.e., MUS health insurance benefits, mandatory retirement plan, partial tuition waiver, and wellness program).

Required Education and Skills

  • Ph.D. in Geoscience, Geophysics, Hydrology, or similarly aligned fields.
    • Applicants with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply
  • Applicants must be able to clearly communicate complex ideas in writing and be willing to learn in a fast-paced, self-directed environment.
  • Evidence of publishing in academic journals.
  • Strong theoretical foundations in quantitative earth system science including but not limited to geophysics, hydrology, geology, and/or atmospheric sciences.
  • Familiarity with electronics and instrumentation.
  • Familiarity with backcountry and wilderness travel in mountainous environments.
  • Ability to travel safely in avalanche country.
  • Proficiency in quantitative computational techniques and languages.
  • Proficiency in scripting languages such as R, Python, MatLab, etc.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Familiarity with GNSS data processing and analysis.
  • Familiarity with modeling elastic deformation of the earth due to surface loading.
  • Familiarity with hydrologic modeling.
  • Familiarity and proficiency with engines and mechanical devices.
  • Familiarity with Linux computing platforms

About the Department of Geosciences, Missoula, and UM

The mission of the Department of Geosciences is to develop new knowledge of Earth’s history, environment, and resources; engage our students in the process, and share that knowledge broadly. We emphasize research goals and questions that simultaneously address issues of global importance and serve the people of Montana, hence our interest in water, climate, geologic resources, and natural hazards.

The University of Montana is a unit of the Montana University System with approximately 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 500+ full-time faculty members. It is located in Missoula, a culturally vibrant community of about 70,000, surrounded by mountain grandeur which was recently ranked in the “top 20 best college towns with a population of less than 250,000” by the American Institute for Economic Research and ranked 9th in Outside Magazine’s “The 16 Greatest Places to Live in America” in 2014. Many national publications recognize Missoula for its high quality of life. Abundant recreational opportunities in surrounding state and national forests and nearby Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park complement a thriving intellectual atmosphere.

UM is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and has a strong institutional commitment to the principle of diversity in all areas. In that spirit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of qualified people who would assist the University in demonstrating its five priorities for action: Place student success at the center of all we do; drive excellence and innovation in teaching, learning, and research; embody the principle of “mission first, people always”; partner with place; and proudly tell the UM story.

To learn more about the University of Montana, Missoula, and the State of Montana, please visit the links below.

Criminal Background Investigation is required prior to the Offer of Employment In accordance with University regulations, finalists for this position will be subject to criminal background investigations. ADA/EOE/AA/Veteran’s Preference Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. For example, this material is available in alternative format upon request. As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, we encourage applications from minorities, veterans, and women. Qualified candidates may request veterans’ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law. References: References not listed on the application materials may be contacted; notice may be provided to the applicant. Testing: Individual hiring departments at UM may elect to administer pre-employment tests, which are relevant to essential job functions. Employment Eligibility: All New Employees must be eligible and show employment eligibility verification by the first date of employment at UM, as legally required (e.g., Form I-9).

How to Apply

Application Deadline: May 25, 2020 by 11:59 PM (Mountain Time)

Application review will begin after the date above and continue until the position is filled. 

Please submit the following application materials via “New Resume/CV” button below. 

*Please note: only five (5) attachments are allowed per application. Please combine documents accordingly.

  • Letter of Interest addressing the stated required skills for the position
  • Detailed resume listing education and describing work experience
  • Names and contact information for three (3) professional references

Need additional help? Check out our UM Jobs FAQ website.





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