Job Opportunity: Two Postdoctoral Scholars, Northern Arizona University

Two Postdoctoral Scholar positions focused on the fate of permafrost carbon in a warming world at Northern Arizona University (NAU), Flagstaff, AZ, USA

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, AZ, 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.

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, AK. 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.

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.

Background Information:

NAU requires satisfactory results for the following: a criminal background investigation, an employment history verification and a degree verification (in some cases) prior to employment. You may also be required to complete a fingerprint background check. Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees’ right to work in the United States. Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an Annual Security Report. The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the Fire Safety Report is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus as this campus has on-campus student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities. If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.


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

FLSA Status:

This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.


Post-Doctoral Scholars are hired on a contract basis, renewable each fiscal year for a maximum of 4 renewals (5 years) according to terms of the Arizona Board of Regents’ Conditions of Post-Doctoral Service. NAU offers an excellent benefit package to Post-Doctoral Scholars including generous health, dental and vision insurance; 10 days of vacation and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified family members. New employees are eligible for benefits on the first day of the pay period following their enrollment, after their employment date. Employees will have 31 days from their start date to enroll in benefits. Participation in NAU retirement plans is not available to Post-Doctoral Scholars. More information on benefits at NAU is available at the NAU HR benefits page.

Learning and Development:

Your career at Northern Arizona University includes the opportunity for professional development. New employee on-boarding training includes courses to be completed within the first 30 days.

Application Deadline:

25 October 2023 at 11:59 pm.

How to Apply:

To apply for this position, please click on the “Apply” button. You must submit your application by clicking on the “Submit” button by midnight of the application deadline. If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the Human Resources website or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus – on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.

If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process, please contact the Disability Resources Office at 928-523-8773,, or PO Box 5633, Flagstaff AZ 86011.

Equal Employment Opportunity:

NAU is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

Know Your Rights Poster

NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.