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Postdoctoral Associate in Ecological Forecasting

Natural Resources, Research / Scientific


Postdoctoral Associate in Ecological Forecasting

  • 522987
  • Blacksburg, Virginia, United States
  • For Resources & Environ Consrv
  • Natural Resources
  • Research / Scientific
  • Research Faculty
  • Virginia Tech University

Job Description

A new position for a postdoctoral associate is available that will work with Quinn Thomas at Virginia Tech (https://www.EcoForecastProjectVT.org) and Carl Boettiger at the University of California - Berkeley (https://www.carlboettiger.info). This position will be at the center of many ongoing forecasting projects in the Ecological Forecasting Initiative, particularly the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Ecological Forecasting Challenge (https://www.neon4cast.org). The postdoctoral associate will leverage these efforts to creatively advance the field of ecological forecasting while helping to develop scalable cyberinfrastructure to support open science in the field. The exact forecasting application area will depend on the postdoctoral research associate’s interests. The position is part of a newly funded National Science Foundation grant to standardize how scientific data and forecasts are described, allowing for search engines for scientific data and forecasts that not only support discoverability but also facilitate the usage of the data. The Democratized Cyberinfrastructure for Open Discovery to Enable Research (DeCODER) project will expand and extend the successful EarthCube GeoCODES framework and community (https://www.ncsa.illinois.edu/research/project-highlights/earthcube) to unify data and tool description and reuse across multiple scientific domains. Research activities will include: generating forecasts with NEON data; developing cyberinfrastructure and software to support forecasting; leading communicating forecasts and research findings via peer-reviewed publications; and training the ecological forecasting community in open science best practices. The position is based at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA, USA) but a remote position is an option. The position start date will be flexible, aiming for Spring 2023. Funding is available for up to three years, contingent upon successful annual reviews.

Required Qualifications

- Ph.D. in ecology, environmental science, or a related field. PhD must be awarded no more than four years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of one year eligibility remaining.
- Significant quantitative research experience in ecological forecasting, ecosystem science, and/or data analysis.
- Experience working in the R programming language.

Preferred Qualifications

- Experience working with ecological models
- Experience developing ecological forecasts
- Experience in statistical analysis and/or probability
- Substantial experience in R or equivalent programming languages (e.g., Python)
- Experience with collaborative coding projects and using versioning control tools (e.g., Git)
- Experience in analyzing long-term and high-frequency sensor environmental data
- Experience in publishing peer-reviewed journal articles
- Experience with open-science workflows (e.g., Docker Containers, R package development, Linux command-line environments)
- Demonstrated ability to work in interdisciplinary, collaborative teams

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with experience

Review Date

February 15, 2023

Additional Information

This position is telework eligible

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Stacey Kuhar at skuhar@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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