Postdoctoral Fellow in USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
05 Jun 2018
End of advertisement period
03 Jul 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Description of Work Unit

The Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at CSU is recognized both nationally and internationally for its education, research, and service and outreach programs, and is ranked in the top 40 of such programs in the USA. The CEE Department consists of 36 tenured and tenure-track faculty, 16 research scientists/scholars, 27 research associates, and 11 administrative professionals. Additional information about the CEE Department can be found at

Position Summary

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University (CSU) is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow in hydrology and ecosystems modeling, with a focus on the assessment of agricultural conservation practices in irrigated watersheds. Specifically, the project seeks to: i) improve integrative assessment of water quality effects and ecosystem services from agricultural practices at the watershed scale; and ii) develop methods for exploring effective point source and nonpoint source nutrient trading strategies.

The selected individual will work with Dr. Arabi at CSU and Dr. Green at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Water Management and Systems Research Unit. The incumbent will be housed at ARS working across teams to test and apply the distributed watershed models such as the Agricultural Ecosystems Services (AgES) model and other watershed modeling tools developed by the project team at CSU and ARS Water Management and Systems Research Unit, within the Center for Agricultural Resources Research.

The incumbent will communicate and work with team members to:

  1. Develop new science modules for assessment of agricultural conservation practices in irrigated agroecosystems.
  2. Integrate new modules into a distributed routing framework within AgES, or by sharing components.
  3. Develop and demonstrate methods for point source – nonpoint source nutrient trading, including specific methods for quantification of trading ratios under hydrologic uncertainty.
  4. Develop and demonstrate system-level criteria for assessment of water quality effects and ecosystem services from agricultural practices.
  5. Develop and demonstrate techniques for prioritization of locations and types of agricultural conservations practices (individually or in combination) using multi criteria decision analysis and optimization techniques.
  6. Work closely with team scientists to prepare findings for publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at meetings and/or stakeholder groups.

The current position can leverage modeling tools, web services, data, stakeholder relationships, and institutional knowledge created through this complementary work.

Required Job Qualifications

  • PhD in hydrology or related field completed by start date
  • Experience with process-based watershed modeling
  • Experience developing and applying complex computer code in an open environment
  • Demonstrated ability to produce peer-reviewed journal publications
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills

Preferred Job Qualifications

  • Experience with agricultural systems modeling or other resource systems
  • Experience with multi criteria decision analysis and dynamic optimization methods
  • Experience with model sensitivity and uncertainty analyses, and parameter estimation for complex spatial process models
  • Experience interacting with collaborators and stakeholders

Diversity Statement

  • Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Research at USDA ARS Duty/Responsibility

The research at CSU will involve the development and application of science modules for integrative assessment of water quality effects and ecosystem services from agricultural conservation practices at field to watershed scales. It will also involve the use of public data and collaborators’ large data sets to calibrate and simulate spatially explicit conservation practices under changing land use and climate projections.

Percentage Of Time 75

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Research at CSU Duty/Responsibility

Work with research scientists at CSU to deploy the agricultural conservation practice evaluation and nutrient trading modules in the Cloud Services Innovation Platform (CSIP) and environmental Recourses Assessment and Management System (eRAMS).

Percentage Of Time 20

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Project Related Travel Duty/Responsibility

Attend research team meetings, or meetings with stakeholders to discuss appropriate methods and disseminate results

Percentage Of Time 5

Application Details

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please submit a cover letter which addresses the minimum and preferred qualifications, a resume or CV, unofficial transcripts, two journal papers and three letters of recommendation. Please upload the journal papers into the ‘writing samples’ required document. References will be immediately contacted after application submission with an e-mail request to upload a letter of recommendation into the system. The e-mail request will provide the link for where the letter should be uploaded. Reference letters cannot be accepted via e-mail. For full consideration, all reference letters must be submitted by June 24th, 2018.

Conditions of Employment Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires)

Search Contact Stephanie Rosso,

EEO Statement

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Title IX Coordinator is the Executive Director of the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523 -2026, (970) 491-7407.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Capital, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

Background Check Policy Statement

Colorado State University (CSU) strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal (felony and misdemeanor) history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the university, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.