We invite applications for a postdoctoral research associate position at the Department of Geography, University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), with a flexible starting date of 1/7/2021 and possibility for remote work, although the ability to work on the CU Boulder campus in the long term is desirable. The initial offer is for 12 months, with potential for renewal contingent upon favorable progress. 
The postdoctoral scholar will primarily work on a recently funded NSF EarthCube project (Data Capabilities: Enabling Analysis of Heterogeneous, Multi-source Cryospheric Data, Award# 2026962) under the supervision of principal investigator, Dr. Morteza Karimzadeh. The project is focused on creating software systems and cyber-infrastructure for harmonizing heterogeneous big data products (including satellite imagery and in situ observations) in a cloud environment for various downstream tasks. The technologies developed are expected to be extendable to a variety of applications, but for this project, the focus will be on classification and mapping of sea ice. 
Sea ice is an important component of the climate system and a key indicator of climate change. Sea ice is spatiotemporally dynamic, exhibiting a variety of evolving ice types that need classification for scientific analysis or operational planning. The mapping of sea ice at high spatial and temporal resolutions remains a scientific challenge. With the increasing availability of high-resolution remote sensing products such as SAR and lidar, there is a renewed desire for tackling this challenge. However, bridging data science and geoscience is key in successfully harnessing these large heterogeneous data for sea ice mapping. 
The postdoctoral position will be homed in the Geography Department at CU Boulder and will actively collaborate with the co-PIs, scientists and students in the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and CU Denver’s Department of Computer Science. 
The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.Who We Are

Who We Are

We’re experts at bridging the physical and human sciences. We bring a holistic perspective to the physical and human processes that shape the world around us, and we strive to understand how people interact with, are shaped by, and in turn help shape, our world. Our teaching and research span an exceptional array of disciplines. We train our students – in a friendly, well-supported environment – to be top scientists as well as citizens of the broader world to which we’re all connected.
The Department of Geography in Boulder attracts some 3,500 undergraduates to its courses every year, and has approximately 190 undergraduate majors in Geography. The graduate program of the Department of Geography offers both MA and PhD degrees.  There are currently about 90 graduate students enrolled in the program, with a slight majority of these in the PhD program.  The MA program was founded in 1930, and the PhD program began in 1965; the first PhD was awarded in 1968. The Department is ranked as one of the top programs among the nation’s doctoral-granting departments of geography.  CU Geography has one of the nation’s highest rates of PhD placement in academic geography programs as well as one of the highest rates of external funding for graduate student research.What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Design and implement software and computational modules in collaboration with the team’s sea ice scientists, remote sensing experts, and spatial data scientists.
  • Draft and lead scholarly publications and reports.
  • Assist the PI with leading research activities within the group and project management.
  • Assist the PI with user evaluations and stakeholder engagement at NSIDC, NOAA, NCAR, the U.S. National Ice Center (NIC) and the Canadian Ice Service (CIS). 
  • Assist in supervising graduate and undergraduate students in the team. 
  • Assist in drafting successful research grant proposals.
  • Interface with other research groups at and beyond the NSF EarthCube community and the University of Colorado. 
  • Work with research assistants to prepare training and outreach material, including easy-to-use Jupyter notebooks for product adoption.

What You Should Know

What You Should Know

This is a unique postdoctoral research associate opportunity providing the necessary expertise from multiple fields at the disposal of the postdoc for excelling in cutting-edge research.What We Can Offer

What We Can Offer

Salary will be commensurate with experience. We offer excellent benefits and the applicant will be eligible for CU Boulder’s graduate and family housing apartment rentals with excellent rates close to downtown Boulder. Benefits


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.Be Statements

Be Statements

Be Driven. Be Impactful. Be Boulder.What We Require

What We Require

A Ph.D. in geography, geoscience, computer science, information science, statistics, or a cognate field is mandatory.What You Will Need

What You Will Need

Given the transdisciplinary nature of this postdoctoral position, we expect that the candidate has foundation in either one or both spatial data science and/or geosciences, with the position strengthening the postdoc’s expertise in both disciplines. 
The qualified candidate will possess a majority of the following, with interest in developing the rest:

  • Research background and expertise in applied machine learning and particularly, deep learning.
  • Background and experience working with, spatial data, geographic information systems and earth observations.
  • Familiarity with passive and active microwave imagery, airborne and spaceborne lidar altimetry is desirable (examples include SAR imagery from Sentinel-1, lidar altimetry data from Operation IceBridge, ICESat and ICESat-2, and radar altimetry data from CryoSat-2).
  • Programming skills in Python, Scikit-learn and deep learning libraries (TensorFlow, or Keras or PyTorch). Working ability with R and its spatial packages is a plus. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

What We Would Like You To Have

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Experience working with cloud storage and compute instances.
  • Interest or background in visual analytics for interactive machine learning.
  • Front-end development and visualization skills using D3.js, leaflet.js and the React framework is desirable. 
  • Experience in working with the output of climate models.

Special Instructions

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter: Please include your research statement as part of your cover letter. 

During the application process, please enter contact information for two references, and we will request letters of recommendation and additional materials if needed, as the search progresses. 
Both beginning and senior postdoctoral candidates are encouraged to apply 
Please direct your questions to Dr. Morteza Karimzadeh (karimzadeh@colorado.edu).
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting December 7, 2020 until the position is filled.
Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

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