Postdoctoral Scholar Opening: Remote Sensing, Ecosystem Services, Amazon

The University of Richmond Department of Geography and the Environment seeks a postdoctoral scholar to contribute to efforts to understand regional changes in the hydrologic cycle due to forest disturbances in the southwestern Amazon. They will be supervised by Dr. Stephanie Spera and Dr. David Salisbury, and a team-member of an interdisciplinary, multinational, highly-collaborative NASA-USAID funded project. The term would initially be for one year, but is renewable for at least one additional year, contingent on funding and satisfactory progress.

The general research involves working closely with Amazonian (Peru/Brazil/Colombia) stakeholders and collaborators and using remotely-sensed data and spatial statistics to disentangle the relationship between forest cover and hydrologic provisioning and regulating ecosystem services; to map forest vulnerability; and provide local and regional managers with the information and tools necessary to make informed decisions for sustainable development practices. This research will contribute to the work of the newly-formed SERVIR-Amazonia Hub, a joint NASA-USAID initiative. More info on SERVIR program can be found here.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. by the start date, and relevant experience in earth science, physical geography, environmental studies, or a related field. Ideal candidates will demonstrate excellent communication skills, particularly in the form of published peer-reviewed papers and demonstrated international collaborative field research. Desirable skills include knowledge of terrestrial remote sensing and statistical analysis (including spatial and multivariate analysis); experience with Python, IDL and/or javascript (Google Earth Engine); and a strong command of Spanish and/or Portuguese.

Candidates should demonstrate interest in terrestrial remote sensing, spatial analysis, applied research, joining an exciting network of international collaborators across NASA, USAID, and South America, and doing fieldwork and leading trainings in the Peru/Brazil Amazon borderlands with established collaborators. Travel to Colombia, Peru, and Brazil will be required. Anticipated start date is flexible, but ideally during/before summer 2020.

Applicants should submit (1) a statement of research interests and goals, no longer than two pages and (2) a complete CV, including contact information for three references. These materials-and any questions-should be addressed to Dr. Stephanie Spera, Review of applications will begin Feb 29, 2020. Please mention where you saw the posting.

This postdoctoral position is unique in that it is a research-intensive position at a predominantly undergraduate institution. Not only will this postdoc be introduced to a network of collaborators across NASA, USAID and various South American institutions (government, NGOS, etc), but, should they desire, they will also have the opportunity to mentor talented undergraduates, guest lecture in classes, and develop innovative pedagogy at a leading liberal arts institution. The University of Richmond is committed to developing a diverse workforce and student body and to being an inclusive community. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who will contribute to these goals. For more information on the department and its resources, see