Postdoctoral Researcher in Socioeconomics of Water Resources Management

University of California-Merced
Merced, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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The Water Systems Management Lab at the University of California, Merced seeks applications fora full time postdoctoral researcher position in socioeconomics of water resources management. The candidate will be responsible for research with Professor Josué Medellín-Azuara on a variety of water resources management research projects with emphasis in food-water-energy systems in California.

The interdependence of water resources, agricultural production, and electric power generation is well established, yet managing resource conflicts and cascading vulnerabilities across these sectors poses fundamental challenges. Designing future food-energy-water systems that are both robust and resilient will require significantly greater coordination across these sectors, adaptive management, and an inclusive understanding of the resource tradeoffs confronting major decision maker groups. Focus areas of interdisciplinary research on California food-energy-water systems include: 1) quantifying and modeling adaptive management under climate change, water scarcity and commodity values; and 2) synergistic interactions with respect to multi-sector vulnerabilities in the California’s San Joaquin Valley. The project will also look into how human interactions can better inform modeling tasks and how results from modeling are communicated to stakeholders.

Under the supervision of Dr. Medellín-Azuara, the successful candidate will be responsible for the identification of water allocation and agricultural decision-making using hydro-economic and statistical modeling and consultation with stakeholders in agricultural water allocation including growers and groundwater dependent rural communities. The Post-doctoral researcher will also conduct modeling using various hydroeconomic models. Research will be used to understand decision-making by power utilities, irrigation districts, and farmers, with a focus on periods of water scarcity. As a member of a dynamic research team, the post-doctoral researcher will also participate in campus events, in situ research visits, lab meetings, and management of lab group including mentoring graduate students.

Qualifications: The successful candidate must hold a PhD in hydrology, environmental systems, environmental science, economics, or a closely related discipline. The candidate must also have experience in water resources modeling, a multidisciplinary vision of water systems, outreach, agriculture, and the ability to write and understand codes in modeling platforms (e.g. Python, MODSIM, R, GAMS, MATLAB other). The successful candidate must be able to work independently with guidance from the principal investigator and collaborators, have excellent written and oral communication skills in English (Spanish proficiency is required to conduct interviews), practice good organizational and interpersonal skills, and have a publication record. The selected candidate must be capable to work in a team environment and interact with a broad range of colleagues.

Salary is negotiated based on the University of California post-doctoral salary scale. Competitive salary and benefits package available. Funding available for 2 years with potential of extension.

Start Date: The start date is negotiable and may be in either AY 19-20 or AY 20-21.
Closing Date: Review of applications will begin immediately. The position is opened until filled with a final closing date of June 30, 2020.

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.

To Apply: Interested candidates are required to submit 1) a cover letter, 2) a curriculum vitae, 3) a statement of research and 4) a list of three references with contact information including mailing address, phone number and e-mail address; this will be submitted through AP Recruit system.

For more information, contact Dr. Josué Medellín-Azuara –

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With 8,500 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 (