Job Opportunities: Two Postdoctoral Scholars, NAU

Two Postdoctoral Scholars focused on the “fate of permafrost carbon in a warming world” at Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss), Northern Arizona University (NAU), Flagstaff, AZ, USA

Job Description:

Northern Arizona University is seeking applications for two Postdoctoral Scholar positions focused on the fate of permafrost carbon in a warming world. The research spans both field work and data synthesis, including a primary field location near Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The experimental research foci are (1) net ecosystem carbon exchange (eddy covariance) from a gradient of sites undergoing permafrost thaw, and (2) coupled radiocarbon measurements to detect loss of old carbon. Data from this site will be actively integrated by the candidate with a larger network of carbon flux measurements to develop an updateable time series of ecosystem exchange measurements across the permafrost region. The job duties require spending the field season in Alaska, with winters spent in Flagstaff, AZ focused on data synthesis and networking. The two positions will allocate field/synthesis time based on individual and project needs.

Research & Publications – 45%

  • Work collaboratively with research team in research activities including data collection, evaluation, and designing analyses to address primary research questions.
  • Lead data analysis, modeling, coding, and interpretation.
  • Design and implement research protocols and adapt standard procedures and methods, in particular focusing on preparing and analyzing samples for radiocarbon analysis.
  • Participate in radiocarbon analysis in conjunction with staff scientists.
  • Read scientific literature, participate in scientific discussions with other members of the research team and lab, and attend mandatory lab and project meetings.
  • Co-author or author research papers and manuscripts for publication and present them at conferences and workshops.

Data Metrics – 30%

  • Collect, curate, synthesize, and analyze research data.
  • Develop code, perform data analysis, and develop efficient data analysis pipelines and/or tools as appropriate to project goals.
  • Display data for presentation in research conferences and for manuscript preparation; use graphics and statistical software to analyze and present data.
  • Document and archive code using GitHub, or other version control software.

Grant & Management – 10%

  • Work within the grant-specific project requirements.
  • Assist project PIs with managing grant funds according to sponsor specifications.

Academic/Lab/Community Liaison – 10%

  • Perform assigned lab duties to assist in the maintenance of equipment, supplies, reagents or the general operation of the radiocarbon lab, and various other duties or projects as assigned – as appropriate to project goals.
  • Work with community science efforts including workshops, writing reports and public outreach documents in conjunction with other project personnel.
  • Supervise team members taking measurements and synthesizing data.
  • Promote an inclusive and welcoming work environment for all.

Other – 5%

  • Other duties as assigned.

Special Information:

  • This position will include fieldwork collecting samples, including working and living in rugged environments in Alaska during the summer.
  • Winters will be in Flagstaff, Arizona, focused on network development and data synthesis.
  • This position is an on-site position which requires the incumbent to complete their work primarily at an NAU site, campus, or facility with or without accommodation. Opportunities for remote work are rare.
  • This position is subject to the availability of funding. The incumbent is not eligible for Service Professional non-renewal notice, or Classified Staff layoff or recall status.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • PhD in Climate Science, Biogeochemistry, Ecosystem Ecology, Plant/Soil Science and/or a related discipline.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Record of publishing peer-reviewed research in scientific journals.
  • Ability to work with public datasets and develop databases and web tools.
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a research team and with individuals from a variety of diverse backgrounds.
  • Experience organizing and running workshops.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:


  • Familiarity with the principles of gas exchange, eddy covariance equipment, Campbell data loggers.
  • Expertise with quantitative statistical analyses and metadata processing in R or other programming languages.


  • Innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent quantitative and analytical skills.
  • Strong communication skills, as demonstrated by publications and presentations at professional meetings.
  • Organizational and project management skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.


  • Ability to take initiative and complete tasks without direct supervision.
  • Promotes a diverse, inclusive environment.


Salary range begins at $61,626. Annual salary commensurate with candidate’s qualifications and related experience.

Application Deadline:

31 January 2024 at 11:59 p.m.