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Job ID: 225271

Postdoctoral Scholar - Mountainous Ecohydrology Modeling - Energy & Resources Group
University of California Berkeley

Date Posted Nov. 8, 2023
Title Postdoctoral Scholar - Mountainous Ecohydrology Modeling - Energy & Resources Group
University University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, CA, United States
Application Deadline 02/29/2024
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Post-Doc
  • Environmental Science & Ecology

Postdoctoral Scholar - Mountainous Ecohydrology Modeling - Energy & Resources Group

Position overview Position title: Postdoc Employee
Salary range: The UC postdoc salary scales set the minimum pay determined by experience level at appointment. See the following table(s) for the current salary scale(s) for this position: . A reasonable estimate for this position is $76,800-$84,100.

Percent time: 100

Anticipated start: Fall 2023

Position duration: Initial appointment is for 2 years with possibility of renewal based on performance and availability of funding.

Application Window
Open date: July 25, 2023

Next review date: Friday, Dec 22, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Thursday, Feb 29, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The University of California, Berkeley invites applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar position.

Complex mountainous terrain comprises more than 25% of the terrestrial surface, and water discharge from mountain zones accounts for at least half of the world's freshwater resources. Accurately representing interactions among vegetation, terrain, and the hydrological cycle in mountain zones remains one of the critical unsolved challenges in integrated Earth system modeling. The complex topography and subsurface heterogeneity constrain water flow paths to produce hydrological heterogeneity that is currently not well represented in land-surface or hydrological models. Importantly, in forested watersheds, trees mediate ecohydrological processes via physiological controls on water use and drought tolerance, but also via tree size, density and species composition, which alter precipitation interception and water retention. Therefore, plants respond and contribute to hydrological heterogeneity in ways that are only very recently integrated into some land surface models.

The postdoctoral scholar will work on a project funded by the US Department of Energy that aims to improve understanding and spatially explicit 3D prediction of tree-mediated water and energy fluxes and subsurface flow that together regulate ecohydrologic watershed function. The postdoc will play a central role in the project, testing and applying a cutting-edge integrated hydrologic model (ParFlow) coupled to a demographic, dynamic vegetation model (ELM-FATES-Hydro) as part of a high-resolution watershed modeling platform. ParFlow is a numerical model that simulates the hydrologic cycle using three-dimensional groundwater flow with overland flow using physically-based equations to simulate fluxes of water and energy in complex real-world systems. ParFlow was recently coupled to the Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator (FATES), which is embedded within the ELM land surface model and includes a hydrodynamic formulation of water transport through trees modulated by tree hydraulic traits. High-resolution atmospheric forcing will be used and vegetation and hydrology output will be evaluated with field and remotely sensed observations.

The postdoc will work in collaboration with Dr. Lara Kueppers of the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley and Dr. Erica Siirila-Woodburn at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as well as project collaborators at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of the South (Sewanee), University of Illinois Chicago, and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. The postdoc will be located at UC Berkeley but will work closely with scientists within the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.


Primary responsibilities will be to perform and analyze watershed-scale simulations of a highly instrumented watershed in the Upper Colorado River basin using field measurements of tree hydraulic traits, transpiration, canopy water content, tree ring width variation, and soil moisture, airborne observations of transpiration and canopy water content, as well as other geophysical properties. The postdoctoral scholar is also expected to present results at project and international meetings, lead and contribute to related peer-reviewed publications and project reports, and mentor student researchers.

Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

  • PhD (or equivalent international degree) or enrolled in a PhD (or equivalent international degree) program.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

  • PhD (or equivalent international degree) required by the appointment start date.
  • The candidate should have no more than three years of post-degree research experience by start date.

Preferred qualifications

  • Demonstrated background in ecohydrology theory, systems-based modeling approaches, and/or mountain hydrology
  • Demonstrated coding experience, e.g., in Fortran, C, R, Python, and/or Matlab, and analytical skills such experience with GIS and data visualization software
  • Demonstrated experience in quantitative modeling and analysis of large datasets, such as remotely sensed data products, eddy covariance time-series, or hydrology or forest inventory time-series
  • Expertise in 3D hydrologic modeling, land surface modeling, soil-plant water transport modeling, plant hydraulics, or related areas
  • Ability to produce high quality scientific results
  • Demonstrated ability to publish papers in international peer-reviewed journals
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a diverse and inclusive team

    Application Requirements

    Document requirements
    • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
    • Cover Letter - One-Page
    • Statement of Research - One-page.

    Reference requirements
    • 3 required (contact information only)
    Apply link:

    Help contact:

    About UC Berkeley

    UC Berkeley is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. The excellence of the institution requires an environment in which the diverse community of faculty, students, and staff are welcome and included. Successful candidates will demonstrate knowledge and skill related to ensuring equity and inclusion in the activities of their academic position (e.g., teaching, research, and service, as applicable).

    The University of California, Berkeley is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

    In searches when letters of reference are required all letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality prior to submitting their letter.

    As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

    Job location
    Berkeley, CA

    To apply, visit

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