Research Associate

University of Colorado-Boulder

Boulder, CO, United States 🇺🇸


A Postdoctoral Research Associate is sought to conduct research spanning the Critical Zone Observatory network ( This network of nine heavily instrumented landscapes is generating large datasets and deep insights into the nature of the water and energy fluxes through Earth’s living terrestrial surface. The successful applicant will be supervised by Noah Molotch (CU Boulder)   and Ciaran Harman (Johns Hopkins University) to work with a team of scientists from across the network. They will synthesize these data, and answer two fundamental questions about the relationship between critical zone architecture and hydrologic function: 1) How does critical zone structure influence hydrologic processes and functions? 2) Do hydrologic processes and critical zone structures co-evolve? They will address these questions through an inter-comparison of 1) perceptual models (in the sense of a model based on words, description, diagrams, etc.) of each CZO, capturing what is understood about their internal structure and hydrologic processes, and 2) quantitative hydrologic signatures that capture essential differences in the CZOs’ hydrologic functions.  The initial position is for one year, with the possibility of extension.


The successful applicant will have completed a PhD in the past five years (or will soon complete such a degree) in an environmental science field (geology, environmental science, environmental engineering, etc.). The ideal candidate for this project will have skills and experience in

  • Developing models (both conceptual and numerical) of watershed function

  • Analysis of hydrogeologic data, including data management, water balance assessment, statistical analysis.

  • Working collaboratively with a variety of earth and environmental scientists.

Desirable skills and experience include:

  • Knowledge and experience of hydrologic field data collection methods

  • Geophysical data collection and interpretation

  • Collection and interpretation of aqueous geochemistry data in a catchment hydrology context

  • Spatial data analysis in GIS

A willingness to travel, spending a minimum of two weeks at each CZO, and time at both UC Boulder and Johns Hopkins, is essential.

Special Instructions to Applicants: The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to providing a safe and productive learning, living and working community. To achieve this goal, we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and an EPLS (Excluded Parties List System) check. The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that verification of employment eligibility be documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work. The University of Colorado is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff in compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, the University of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, political affiliation or political philosophy in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. Inquiries may be directed to Boulder campus Title IX Coordinator by calling 303-492-2127    Application Materials Required: Cover Letter, Resume/CV, List of References, Unofficial transcript(s), Additional Attachments – Refer to Application Materials Instructions Below Application Materials Instructions: Applicants must complete the Faculty/University Staff and EEO Data (application) form, and upload the following documents: 1 – Cover Letter; 2 – Curriculum Vitae including contact information of three references; 3 – Unofficial transcript; 4 – Document uploaded for proof of degree can be a transcript which shows the date the degree was confirmed, copy of diploma, or official letter from the Registrar or the Dean of the School or College confirming the degree. This position is eligible for medical, dental and life insurance, retirement benefits programs, and is eligible for monthly vacation and sick leave accrual.   

Job Category

: Faculty 

Primary Location

: Boulder 

Department: B0001 — Boulder Campus  10099 – INSTAAR-Inst,Arctic&Alpin Rsch 


: Full-time 

Posting Date

: Jul 29, 2016 

Closing Date

: Ongoing 

Posting Contact Name: Lauren Tomkinson 

Posting Contact Email: [email protected] 

Position Number: 0060424