Postdoctoral Scientist – USGS -NASA-UW Focused on carbon biogeochemistry in the Boreal Arctic zone
Location: University of Washington, Seattle
Primary Supervisor: Dr. David Butman, School of Environmental & Forest
Sciences and Civil & Environmental Engineering.
Position Duration: up to 2 years
Start date: Summer 2019
Carbon emissions from high latitude lakes remain highly uncertain but estimates suggest they release 340 Tg-C-CO2 yr-1and release upwards of 16.5 Tg-C-CH4 yr-1.
This represents one of the largest natural sources of atmospheric methane from
the Arctic-boreal region. Field studies show that the input of carbon to lakes
requires hydrologic connectivity, whether across the surface or within the
subsurface. Significant uncertainty exists regarding the exchange of water in
low slope/low precipitation environments. These characteristics make defining where
uplands and wetlands end and lakes begin difficult, and highlight an often
overlooked component of ecosystem carbon flows, the terrestrial-aquatic
interface. Currently the magnitude and extent of Temperate and Arctic-Boreal
seasonally inundated land remains unknown. This project will test the
hypothesis that the region of inundated soils are hotspots for the cycling of
carbon and represent a component of the landscape highly vulnerable to both
land use and climate change. Through this research position, the postdoctoral
scientist will conduct extensive field
studies as part of ongoing collaborative research efforts through the USGS and
the NASA Arctic and Boreal Vulnerability Experiments (ABoVE) project, to trace
carbon from terrestrial through wetland to open water environments across
This project involves extensive
field campaigns as part of collaborative research efforts through both USGS and
the NASA Arctic and Boreal Vulnerability Experiments (ABoVE). The postdoctoral
scientist will collect and handle data inclusive of stable and radio-isotopes
of carbon and methane, static flux chamber measurements, dissolved carbon and a
suite of environmental variables. The postdoctoral scientist will play a
leading role in the success of this project.
Working with collaborating PI’s, the postdoctoral scientist will have
significant influence on the sampling program and field campaign designs. The main focus of field work will be
collecting fluxes of CO2, CH4, across a terrestrial to
aquatic gradient, as well as open water and pore water sampling of organic and
inorganic carbon. Field locations include the Yukon Flats National Wildlife
Refuge in central Alaska, the Peace Athabasca Delta in Alberta Canada, and Daring Lake
in Northwest Territories, Canada. With
oversight from PI Butman and co-PI Kim Wickland of the USGS and collaborating
scientists, the postdoctoral scientist will be responsible for data collection
and analysis, manuscript preparation and presentation of results at both
national and international meetings.
Furthermore, the postdoctoral scientist will actively engage with all
members of the ABoVE Science team, attend annual Science Team Meetings, and
receive professional development aligned with their goals. The post doctoral scientist will have the
opportunity to bring their own knowledge and science questions to this project.
Experience with designing and
completing field work in difficult conditions is required.
PhD in Biogeochemistry, Biology,
Ecosystem Science, Ecology, Geomorphology, hydrology, or related fields.
(candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines, but with extensive knowledge
and skills relevant to the Research Opportunity may be considered).
Significant experience investigating
carbon cycling in terrestrial and/or aquatic ecosystems is preferred.
● Knowledge of static chamber gas flux techniques.
● Knowledge of the use of stable and/or radio-isotopes in ecosystem science.
The postdoctoral scientist should be
proficient in data analysis, have experience using statistical software and
languages (examples: R, Python, Matlab, IDL) and have a working knowledge of
geospatial data analysis (eg ArcGIS, QGis, Remote Sensing).
● The applicant should be able to show a track-record of peer-reviewed publication in their field of study.
Experience mentoring undergraduate
The University of Washington (UW) is located in
the greater Seattle metropolitan area, with a dynamic, multicultural community
of 3.7 million people and a range of ecosystems from mountains to ocean.
The UW serves a diverse population of 80,000 students, faculty, and staff including
25% first-generation college students, over 25% Pell Grant student and faculty
from over 70 countries. The UW is a recipient of a National Science
Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award to increase the
advancement of women in science, engineering, and math (see https://ift.tt/27CvZct).
If interested please send an up to date C.V. and and other questions you might have to Dr. David E. Butman at the University of
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 206-685-0953
School of Environmental & Forest Sciences
Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of Washington College of the Environment