Postdoctoral Fellow I

Utah State University

Logan, UT, US

Position Summary

The Utah State University (USU) Center for Colorado River Studies seeks a post-doctoral researcher to develop and test innovative alternatives to manage the Colorado River to achieve the dual goals of providing reliable water supplies and sustaining and enhancing the River’s ecosystem.  This two-year position is part of a collaborative initiative to explore a wide range of future Colorado River Basin reservoir and water-supply management strategies while considering ecosystem impacts. This position offers a unique opportunity for a post-doctoral researcher to conduct cutting edge, high-impact science that informs management of a major river system.

  1. Develop a range of possible management strategies concerning how water is stored in Lakes Mead and Powell and use the existing Colorado River Simulation System (CRSS) model to evaluate the water supply reliability of each strategy;
  2. Develop alternative management strategies to store water in Flaming Gorge reservoir and other Colorado River Storage Project units. Identify how water storage in those reservoirs can be linked with storage in Lakes Mead and Powell during extended droughts;
  3. Extend modeling capabilities within CRSS to include predicted sediment mass balances and river temperatures downstream from reservoirs under different operating rules and different scenarios of climate change;
  4. Develop and test reservoir management strategies for their impacts on downstream water temperature and sediment mass balance;
  5. Identify reservoir, diversion, water conservation, and other operations that can improve water system reliability and enhance river ecosystems and endangered species recovery; and,
  6. Work with the project PIs, an advisory committee, and collaborators to make work open, transparent, and available to stakeholders in the region.
Dept/College Highlights

This position offers up to two years of full salary support and benefits. There will also be opportunities to pursue further funding sources.

Please direct further questions about the position to Dr. David E. Rosenberg ([email protected]) and Dr. John (Jack) C. Schmidt ([email protected]) with the subject line “Colorado River Postdoc position”. 

Along with the online application please include a Curriculum Vitae, a pdf copy of your most relevant publication, and a cover letter that highlights how your past experience will benefit the project. 

Yes, come to Logan, Utah! Utah State University hosts a large, interdisciplinary, world renowned faculty spread across multiple departments and colleges.  Numerous projects focus on major western U.S. Rivers. We are located 85 miles north of Salt Lake City in a stunning valley for work and play. The nearby Wasatch/Cache National Forest offers ski resorts, lakes, rivers, and mountains. We have low housing and living costs and are short trips from Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone National Parks.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Hold a PhD degree in engineering, natural resource management, hydrology, climatology, ecology, or a related water resources field,
  • Able to run, program, and develop CRSS, Riverware, or similar water resources systems simulation and optimization models,
  • Experience conducting original research and publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals.