Research Associate (Hydrology and Climate Change) via AcademicJobsOnline

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY, US

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

Position Summary:

The Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University seeks a research associate to investigate (1) long-term water supply and flooding risks under climate change in complex water systems across the United States and globally and (2) innovative computational approaches for advanced forecasts of hydrology and water system response at subseasonal-to-seasonal scales.  For both projects, this individual will perform independent research on advanced machine learning / artificial intelligence (ML/AI) approaches and process-based modeling for climate and hydrologic simulation, forecasts, and projections. This individual will also support and assist graduate student and postdoctoral work toward the production and evaluation of water system vulnerability to climate variability and change, and will work collaboratively with other research groups on campus and nationally. The ultimate goal of both projects is to develop improved methods for water system adaptation under deep uncertainty that can be adopted by real-world practitioners, in order to help navigate growing societal conflicts for water.  

Ideal candidates would have some experience with two or more of the following: machine learning models for water quantity and/or water quality modeling, process-based models for water quantity and/or quality modeling, uncertainty analysis in hydrologic modeling, non-stationary frequency analysis of extreme events, stochastic weather generation, downscaling of regional and global climate model output, high-performance computing, and work in hydrologic settings around the nation and globally.  

The position includes a 12-month initial appointment, available starting July 1, 2021, with the possibility for renewal pending satisfactory performance, funding and available work. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Design and perform computational experiments to test hypotheses on described projects. Collect and organize relevant data. Organize research results into clear presentations with figures and tables as appropriate.  Share research results with PI and research group in regular meetings.  (60%)
  • Actively publish research in relevant peer-reviewed literature and present results at scientific conferences. This includes writing the first drafts and preparing figures for research publications. Preparing clear and professional visual materials for oral or poster presentations as needed.   (20%)
  • Assist the PI to develop proposals to secure external funding for research projects. This will include written summaries of literature reviews, collaborative development of scientific hypotheses and experimental design to test hypotheses. (10%)
  • Provide guidance to graduate students and postdocs in specific computational techniques, data analysis, and manuscript development, as needed.  (10%)

Required Qualifications:

The successful candidate will have:

  • PhD degree in Hydrology or Civil and Environmental Engineering with a concentration in Water Resources Engineering is required, with at least three years postdoctoral training.  
  • Demonstrated experience and strong publication record in the field of climate change impacts on hydrology and water resources planning and management.
  • Prior experience with high performance computing is required.  
  • Willingness and ability to assume a leadership role and conduct research as part of a team. 
  • Ability to manage multiple research projects at the same time with multiple collaborators. An ability to develop strong working relationships with collaborators.
  • Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.


Commensurate with experience.

SUPERVISION: Supervised by Dr. Scott Steinschneider, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering

SUPERVISION EXERCISED: The research associate will supervise graduate students, undergraduate students, and visiting scientists involved in research on various projects.

How to Apply-  

All components of the application must be submitted through Academic Jobs Online: Interested applicants should submit: (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) a letter of interest, including a brief description of how this position relates to their career plans, (3) statement of contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and (4) the names and contact information of three references. 

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.

Employment Assistance: If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell University’s Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity at voice (607) 255-3976, fax (607) 255-7481, or email at [email protected] For general questions about the position or the application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting. Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor. You may also visit the office of Workforce Recruitment and Retention Monday – Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. to use a dedicated workstation to complete an online application. Notice to Applicants: Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement by clicking here. This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant. EEO Statement: Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university’s mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

Application Materials Required:

  • Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Diversity, equity, and inclusion Statement
    • Statement of Interest-including a brief description of how this position relates to your career plans
    • Contact information for three references
  • And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:





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