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Postdoctoral Research Associate I

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Position Details

Position Information

Title Postdoctoral Research Associate I
Department Biosphere 2 (1306)
Location Outside of Tucson
Position Summary

Biosphere 2 is looking for a creative post-doctoral scientist with a strong background in instrumentation and isotope and/or trace gas biogeochemistry to join an interdisciplinary “ecosystem genomics” team seeking to link biotic and abiotic processes from pores to the ecosystem scale. This is a one-year position with the possibility of renewal.

The postdoc will take a leadership role in evaluating a suite of carbon cycle tracers including carbonyl sulfide (COS), oxygen isotopes of CO2 (18O-CO2), and solar induced fluorescence (SIF). Photosynthesis cannot be directly measured at the ecosystem or global scale; thus independent tracers for photosynthesis are needed to reduce uncertainty in the responses of photosynthesis and respiration to global change to better project biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks. Carbon cycle tracers will be evaluated at Biosphere 2’s flagship research infrastructure, the Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO,, which is the world’s largest laboratory experiment in the interdisciplinary Earth sciences and boasts an unrivaled capability to close water, carbon, and energy balance at the landscape scale. The cycling of these tracers in LEO and the B2 biomes (rainforest, desert, savanna, mangrove, ocean) will be compared to relevant genomic traits in leaves and soils.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, vision, and life insurance; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

Accepting a new position is a big life step. We want potential candidates and their families to be able to make informed decisions. Candidates who are considering relocation to the Tucson or Phoenix area, and have been offered an on-site interview, are encouraged to use the free services offered by Above & Beyond Relocation Services (ABRS).Ask your department contact to be introduced to ABRS prior to your visit.

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At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. We translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range perspectives and experiences, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including people of color, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff, and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

Duties & Responsibilities

The candidate will manage cutting edge trace gas and stable isotope instrumentation, deployed at Biosphere 2, lead interpretation of data collected from the hundreds of sampling locations in LEO, and work as part of a multidisciplinary team studying the co-evolution of biotic and abiotic features of landscapes. The candidate will add new measurement capabilities to the LEO system, which will involve the construction of new systems for gas flow, calibration, and data collection and their automation. The position is based at University Arizona, but will involve significant time commitments at Biosphere 2. These requirements will provide exceptional opportunities to learn new techniques and to make major scientific contributions to problems of both scientific and societal interest using cutting-edge technology.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

The position requires a background in instrumentation and isotope and/or trace gas biogeochemistry, and familiarity with techniques in micrometeorology, hydrology, microbiology, and/or plant physiology are highly desirable. Skills in scientific programming and systems control automation are sought. Facility with using a mathematical modeling framework, especially involving isotopes, to interpret field observations is desirable, as are original ideas for complementary investigations of trace gas and isotope cycling. The position requires excellent communication skills and also an ability to take a leadership role for specific project components and collaborate with members of a broad interdisciplinary team. Working at the iconic Biosphere 2 provides ample opportunities for mentoring, outreach, and broader impacts.

Minimum Qualifications

Ph.D. in Engineering, Atmospheric Sciences, Hydrology, or Related Field.

Preferred Qualifications

This is an interdisciplinary research program, and the candidate need not to be familiar with all of the relevant methods, but a strong science background relevant to trace gas and isotope biogeochemistry, including field instrumentation and interpretation of data within a mathematical modeling framework, is desired.

FLSA Exempt
Full Time/Part Time Full Time
Number of Hours Worked per Week 40
Job Category Postdoctoral Research
Benefits Eligible Yes - Full Benefits
Posted Rate of Pay $47,659 Annually
Type of criminal background check required: Name-based criminal background check (non-security sensitive)

Posting Detail Information

Posting Number P20304
Number of Vacancies One
Desired Start Date
Position End Date (if temporary)
Limited to Current UA Employees No
Contact Information for Candidates

Please send inquiries to Dr. Laura Meredith ( and Dr. Peter Troch (

Open Date 12/12/2016
Close Date
Open Until Filled Yes
Review Begins On 12/22/2016
Special Instructions to Applicant
Diversity Statement
Quick Link for Internal Postings

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Can you perform the essential functions (job duties) of this position with or without accommodation?
    • Yes
    • No
  2. * Where did you first learn about this position?
    • Arizona Daily Star
    • Arizona Republic
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Department of Economic Security (DES)
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
    • Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
    • Jobing.Com
    • LinkedIn
    • Local Job Banks
    • Pima County One-Stop
    • Professional Conference
    • Professional journal/publication
    • Referred by UA Employee
    • Invited by Dept to Apply
    • UA Website
    • Other
  3. * Do you have a Ph.D. in Engineering, Atmospheric Sciences, Hydrology, or Related Field?
    • Yes
    • No

Documents Needed to Apply

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae
Optional Documents