Postdoctoral Scholar (Groundwater Flow and Transport)

Reno, NV, United States 🇺🇸

Thank you for your interest in employment with the Desert Research Institute.  We want your  application process to go smoothly and quickly.  We ask that you keep in mind the following when completing your application:

  • Once you start the application process you cannot save your work. Please ensure you have all required attachment(s) available to complete your application before you begin the process.
  • Required attachments are listed below on the posting. Your application will not be considered without the required attachments.
  • Please see the application instructions under each posting for information on submittal deadlines.

If you need assistance or have questions regarding the application process, contact Human Resources Hotline at (775) 673-7431 or [email protected].

Job Description

The Desert Research Institute (DRI; is accepting applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the area of hydrologic sciences supported by the Sulo and Aileen Maki Trust. Maki Postdoctoral Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis to applicants with outstanding research and leadership potential in a broad range of topical areas related to water issues relevant to southern Nevada. The position will be located at DRI’s Las Vegas campus.

The Postdoctoral position will be an integral part of DRI’s groundwater modeling team focused on groundwater contamination within underground nuclear test areas at the Nevada National Security Site. Within this team, the position has the opportunity to collaborate with hydrogeologists, hydrogeochemists, and numerical modelers developing flow and transport models as part of hydrogeologic investigations in complex natural systems often coupled with unique contamination issues.


  • Ph.D. in hydrology/hydrogeology, engineering, or other related discipline from an accredited institution
  • Background in groundwater flow and/or contaminant transport modeling
  • Experience with numerical flow and transport codes
  • Strong programming skills (Fortran/C++/Python preferred)
  • Evidence of the ability to participate in and coordinate collaborative research
  • Ability to work independently to fulfill project goals and meet project deadlines
  • Ability to generate resourceful and innovative solutions to flow and transport problems
  • Ability to effectively analyze and report research findings to sponsors, at conferences, and in the scientific literature (clear written and spoken English)
  • Research focus that is complementary with existing DRI programs
  • U.S. Citizenship

Preferred Requirements:

  • Experience in designing, conducting, and analyzing results from field data collection programs
  • Experience with the MODFLOW family of codes
  • Background in utilizing field data including geophysical logs, groundwater chemistry results, geologic information, and hydraulic data to construct conceptual hydrogeologic models.
  • Ability to conceptualize and develop research proposals

Candidates are encouraged to review DRI’s research in hydrologic sciences ( and, as well as information about groundwater characterization programs at the Nevada National Security Site ( to identify links with existing research activities. Candidates are directed to provide information on how his or her research will complement DRI’s hydrologic research portfolio. The successful candidate will be expected to participate in program development. Given satisfactory performance, and proven ability to generate research funding, this position has the potential to evolve into a regular research faculty position.

Conditions of Employment:

  • U.S. Citizenship is required
  • The position requires occasional fieldwork for short periods of time, in settings varying from urban to remote locations
  • Must have the ability and willingness to work in inclement weather including high temperatures for extended periods and lift heavy equipment and samples (50 lbs.).
  • The individual who is offered and accepts this position must provide, within 30 working days of his/her start date, a copy of the transcript(s) of the highest degree he/she has acquired, as awarded by an accredited institute as recognized by the United States Department of Education and/or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Organizational Summary:

Since 1959, DRI has stood at the forefront of understanding Earth’s complex environmental systems, promoting preservation of diverse ecosystems, advancing responsible natural resource management, and improving human health and welfare throughout Nevada and around the world. More than 500 highly-skilled scientists, engineers, technicians and students are collaboratively focused on understanding and answering critical questions about global climate change, water quality and availability, air quality, sustainability of desert lands, life in extreme environments, and more.


Salaries are competitive and commensurate with qualifications, with continued appointment (assessed annually for up to a maximum of three years) being dependent upon performance and availability of funding. This position is eligible for DRI’s benefits package and relocation assistance.  



Full-Time Equivalent 


Required Attachment(s)

To ensure full consideration, your application package should be received by December 15 and must include:

  • A cover letter detailing your research experience, career goals, project interests, and potential ties to DRI faculty and research programs;
  • A current curriculum vitae;
  • Contact information for three professional/work-related references, to be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant permission

Posting Close Date

Note to Applicant

Applicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience with specific reference to each of the minimum and preferred qualifications. The search committee will use this information during the initial review of application materials. 

References will be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant notification and permission.

Newly hired faculty and postdoctoral fellows must assure that their official transcript is submitted to the Human Resources Office within 30 calendar days from the effective date of employment.  Academic degrees must have been awarded by regionally accredited institutions.

This position may require a criminal background check to be conducted on the candidate(s) selected for hire.

As part of the hiring process, applicants for positions in the Nevada System of Higher Education may be required to demonstrate the ability to perform job-related tasks.

DRI employs only U.S. citizens and aliens authorized to work in the U.S. DRI only sponsors aliens applying for research faculty or postdoctoral fellow positions (J-1 or H-1B Visas).

All applicants hired by the Desert Research Institute are subject to E-Verify.