Vacancy: Post Doc Fellow 1 - GIS and Remote Sensing at UCAR/NCAR

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Vacancy: Post Doc Fellow 1 - GIS and Remote Sensing at UCAR/NCAR

Curtis Walker
Application Deadline: This position will be posted until September 25th, 2020.
Term: This is a 1-year term position.
Location: Remote, however this position will be based out of Boulder, CO.
Relocation: Relocation assistance is not available for this position.
Work Authorization: UCAR/NCAR will not sponsor a work visa to fill this position.

Where You Will Work:

Located in Boulder, Colorado, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is one of the world’s premier scientific institutions, with an internationally recognized staff and research program dedicated to advancing knowledge, providing community-based resources, and building human capacity in the atmospheric and related sciences.  NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

The structure of NCAR and UCAR—unique among the nation’s science disciplines—paves the way for innovation to bring impact to everyday life. NCAR’s research is unusually wide-ranging, from the flow of magnetism within the Sun to the flow of heat in the ocean. Much of NCAR’s work is carried out with collaborators at universities and labs across the nation and beyond, which further expands the breadth of the science.

The Research Applications Laboratory is one of seven laboratories within NCAR.  Its mission is to conduct directed research that contributes to fundamental understanding of the atmosphere and related physical, biological, and social systems; to support, enhance, and extend the capabilities of the scientific community; and to develop and transfer knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth.

What You Will Do:

The new hire will join a team of NCAR scientists and engineers to develop novel data visualization approaches for large, spatio-temporal datasets. This research will be conducted in collaboration with the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) EROS Center and will focus on the EROS fire, land cover, and land cover change datasets. This work will include research in geospatial analytics, data visualization, usability of scientific information, and will have a strong stakeholder engagement focus. The specific aims of the project include: 1) Conducting a comprehensive review of the data, tools and technical capabilities that exist at the USGS EROS Center for visualizing and disseminating land cover and land surface change products. 2) Gathering data products requirements from National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD), Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (LCMAP) and LandFire for storage, access, and analysis. 3) Investigating state-of-the-art geospatial data analytics and visualization approaches, especially with regard to the land surface change data and science products. 4) Gathering feedback on the data use and usability from the EROS Center staff and their external user groups through virtual meetings and an online survey. 5) Developing a conceptual prototype of a web application for data visualization and science communication. The post-doctoral fellow will work with a research team at NCAR dedicated to improving visualization approaches for big data, and will interact with scientists and staff at the USGS EROS Center and with the broader EROS Center user community.

The position is within the Geographic Information System (GIS) program of the NCAR Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) at NCAR in Boulder, CO, USA. 


  • Conduct research in the geospatial analytics, data visualization, and usability of scientific information as it relates to remotely sensed land surface observations and data products.
  • Conduct a comprehensive review of the data, tools and technical capabilities that exist at the EROS Center for visualizing and disseminating land cover and land surface change products. Work collaboratively with the EROS Center staff to identify the institutional requirements for data structure, storage, and dissemination methods.
  • Assist in the organization and planning of the NCAR-USGS workshop on “Developing 21st Century Approaches for Land Cover Change Data Visualization and Dissemination”. Assist with development, implementation of an online survey of the data user community.
  • Work with NCAR scientists and software engineers to develop a conceptual prototype of a data visualization platform.
  • Communicate research results to the sponsor through the project progress reports, lead and/or contribute to journal articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and give presentations at the project meetings and scientific workshops/conferences.

What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience

  • Ph.D. degree in Geography, Remote Sensing, Environmental Sciences or related fields

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Skill in spatial sciences and data visualization.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques.
  • Proficiency in spatial analysis and image processing software (e.g., R, Python, Google Earth Engine, SAGA, Esri ArcGIS, QGIS).
  • Knowledge working with remote sensing data, especially Landsat data.
  • Familiarity with geoscience programming languages, machine learning, or data science techniques.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in an interdisciplinary research setting with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to publish research results in peer-reviewed journals.

Applicant Notes:

  • An Inclusion Statement will be required for all applicants advancing to an in-person interview. If requested, this statement should address past efforts, as well as future vision and plans to advocate for and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization and/or field of work.
  • A pre-employment screening is conducted in conjunction with an offer for employment. This screening may involve verifying or reviewing any of the following relevant information: restricted parties screening, employment verification, performance records of internal candidates, education verification, reference checks, verification of professional licenses, certifications, and Motor Vehicle Records.  UCAR complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). 

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer that strives to develop and maintain a diverse workforce. UCAR is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy. 

Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization.

Dr. Curtis L. Walker, A.M.ASCE
Project Scientist
Research Applications Laboratory
National Center for Atmospheric Research

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