Two Postdoctoral Researcher Positions in Urban Stream Biogeochemistry

Idaho State University
Pocatello, ID, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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Priority Application Deadline: December 7, 2020
Position Description
We seek **two** postdoctoral researchers to work on a three-year, NSF-funded collaborative project on spatial and temporal patterns of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in urban streams. This project combines synoptic spatial sampling of DOC concentration and characterization with high-frequency sensors at different spatial scales (headwaters to large rivers). We will assess how differences in urban development patterns and climate among U.S. cities affect spatial and temporal scales of variability and controls on DOC characteristics, processing, and export from urban network watersheds. Study watersheds are located in Boston (MA), Atlanta (GA), Miami (FL), Salt Lake City (UT), and Portland (OR).
We envision rotating positions, such that each postdoc will split their three years between universities within or near the focal cities of their choosing (1.5 years in each), working with PI Rebecca Hale (Idaho State University) and two other PIs. PI and university affiliations      include: Miami (PI: John Kominoski at Florida International University), Atlanta (PI: Krista Capps at University of Georgia), Boston (PI: Allison Roy at University of Massachusetts) and Portland (PI: Jennifer Morse at Portland State University). Rotating between sites will give the postdocs a wide range of experiences and facilitate close collaborations with all PIs.
In addition to leading individual site research and developing associated manuscripts, one postdoc will lead cross-city synthesis papers focused on synoptic sampling efforts and spatial patterns of DOC, including DOC concentrations, PARAFAC modeling for DOC characterization, bioavailability, and extracellular enzyme activity. We envision the second postdoc leading cross-site synthesis papers focused on high-frequency DOC sensor datasets, which will address variation in temporal patterns and drivers of DOC. We are excited to work       with candidates to identify the best combination of research foci and locations for each person. With two U.S. Geological Survey PIs —Dr. Krissy Hopkins (Research Physical Scientist from the South Atlantic Water Science Center) and Allison Roy (Unit Leader with the Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit), postdocs will have the opportunity to extend their professional network within the federal government in addition to working with partners from academia, state agencies, and non-profit organizations.
Each postdoc will have the opportunity to mentor graduate and undergraduate students and collaborate on student-led  data analysis and writing. The postdocs will work closely together with the PIs, especially at the beginning of the project, to aid in methods development, site selection, and database management for all sites. Postdocs will also receive training in proposal writing and administration through collaboration with project PIs. In addition to new data collection, postdocs will immediately have the opportunity to analyze and publish existing datasets compiled during the proposal writing process; these assembled datasets may also facilitate research productivity pending any unforeseen delays in field research activity.
Key Responsibilities

  • Coordinate field data collection and lab analysis (position will require field work and  frequent local or regional travel to field sites)
  • Lead data analysis and manuscript preparation for individual study cities
  • Collaborate with the other postdoc, PIs, and graduate students to lead cross-site analysis and manuscripts
  • Lead an annual seminar for project graduate students (with guidance from the PIs)

Required Qualifications

  • PhD in a relevant discipline (e.g., ecology, biology, environmental science, earth systems science, environmental engineering, organic chemistry) by June 2021

Preferred Qualifications***

  • Experience and interest in aquatic biogeochemistry and/or ecosystem ecology
  • Experience and interest in working with large data sets (data management and analysis)
  • Experience and interest in science communication, within interdisciplinary teams and with stakeholders
  • Experience and interest mentoring students

***If you feel you fulfill some but not all qualifications, please contact any of the PIs. We are willing to discuss qualifications and fit with the project.
Salary and benefits
Salary is $50,000 per year with an annual cost of living increase and benefits. Moving expenses are covered up to $5,000 per move.
Application Process
Please submit the following materials through ISU (web link):

  • CV
  • Cover letter, addressed to Dr. Rebecca Hale (lead PI), detailing your experience and interests, career goals, and interest in the position (also include any preferences for location and/or research focus)
  • Diversity and inclusion statement (< 500 words) – how have/would you include and support diversity in your mentoring and leadership?
  • Mentoring experience statement (< 500 words) – what experiences do you have mentoring students and how do they highlight key aspects of your mentoring philosophy?
  • Names and contact information for 3 references. References will be contacted for a subset of applicants.

We especially encourage applications from groups that have been historically excluded from STEM fields. Our team is deeply committed to the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusiveness and seeks to create a pluralistic community. Black Indigenous People of Color, women, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
If you are interested in the project, but have additional questions about the proposed work, we are happy to answer any questions. Please feel free to contact any members of our team:
Rebecca Hale, Idaho State University, ,
Krista Capps, University of Georgia, ,
John Kominoski, Florida International University, ,
Jen Morse, Portland State University, ,
Allison Roy, U.S. Geological Survey, University of Massachusetts Amherst, ,,
Kristina Hopkins, U.S. Geological Survey, ,