Postdoctoral Fellow, PhenoCam Project Data Scientist

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
02 Nov 2016
End of advertisement period
30 Nov 2016
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Full Time

Position Description

The Richardson Lab, in Harvard University’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, seeks a postdoctoral research associate to join the PhenoCam (http://phenocam.sr.unh.edu/) project team as a data scientist. The ideal applicant will be interested in ecological applications of big data, and will also have prior training in computer science and programming.
PhenoCam uses networked digital cameras mounted at research sites across North America, and around the world, to track seasonal variation in canopy structure and physiological activity. The project team is led by PI Andrew Richardson, with Co-Is Mark Friedl (Boston University) and Steve Frolking (University of New Hampshire). Recent PhenoCam publications have appeared in journals such as Nature Climate Change, Biogeosciences, Remote Sensing of Environment, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, and Ecological Applications.

As part of the Richardson Lab, the postdoctoral research associate will take a lead role in PhenoCam data curation, including performing QA/QC on archived image data and derived data products, monitoring data continuity, developing new tools and methods to improve the usefulness and quality of derived data products, and communicating with project collaborators. This is primarily a data analysis and data management position, but it is expected that the postdoctoral research associate will also conduct original research drawing on the vast PhenoCam image archive that has been already acquired (400 sites, 10 million images, 6 Tb of data).

Basic Qualifications

A Ph.D., preferably in a field related to ecology or plant physiology, is required, and training in computer science is expected.
Applicants must possess very strong quantitative and analytical skills. Applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency with *nix file management and scripting, and programming (preferably at least two of: C++, python, R, javascript, CSS + HTML5). Experience working with (and manipulating) large data sets is highly desirable, as is experience with system administration. Applicants who have developed publicly-available code (e.g. R package development, contributions to code repositories such as GitHub) should highlight these in their application. Experience with computer vision and image processing will be an asset.
Applicants should be creative and highly motivated and enthusiastic about bringing cutting-edge data science approaches and methods to ecological questions. Applicants must be willing to work collaboratively on team projects.

Special Instructions

Applicants should upload a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references.

The position is supported by external funding, and thus specific tasks and duties must be completed, on schedule, by the postdoctoral research associate. A 12-month commitment is expected. Pending successful performance, the position may be renewed annually. The position is available immediately. A start date of January 1, 2017 is expected.
Information about Harvard’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology can be found at: http://oeb.harvard.edu/. Information about the Richardson lab can be found at: http://richardsonlab.fas.harvard.edu/

Review of applications will begin on November 30, 2016 and will continue until a suitable candidate is identified.

Contact Information

Please email Professor Andrew D. Richardson, with any questions.

Contact Email arichardson@oeb.harvard.edu

Equal Opportunity Employer

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.