The Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society at Boston College (BC) welcomes applications for multiple positions (research scientists, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students) for conducting interdisciplinary research at the intersections of climate, water, ecosystems and society. The Schiller Institute is a university-wide institute devoted to research, pedagogy and public impact in areas related to environment, energy, and health. With a growing endowment currently valued at $25M, an affiliated cohort of faculty drawn from all eight of BC’s schools, and headquarters in the heart of campus, the Schiller Institute is a vibrant center for collaborative research and pedagogy at Boston College.
The ongoing activities fall into two broad connected focus areas: Climate Science and Society led by Prof. Yi Ming and Global Sustainability led by Prof. Hanqin Tian. The two core Institute Professors collaborate closely to address issues of societal importance at the water-food-energy-health nexus, and participate actively in BC-wide initiatives to foster interdisciplinary research across different schools and departments on issues such as natural climate solutions, wind power, green technology transition and environmental justice.
Prof. Ming’s work elucidates the physical mechanisms governing Earth’s climate system, and applies the fundamental understanding to practical issues of societal and policy importance. His group uses mathematical models of various complexities and observations for theoretical development. Much of the ongoing work is motivated by the question how climate change may affect precipitation patterns (e.g. droughts and floods) and extreme events (e.g. hurricanes, wildfires and winter storms), a topic with profound impacts on local populations and ecosystems. The research projects are structured around an evolving set of “use cases” inspired by societal needs (e.g. Mesoscale Convective Systems over the Continental United States, bias correction of climate model simulations for impact studies, and application of ML/AI to satellite retrievals).
Prof. Tian and his team aim to advance understanding and prediction of the biosphere’s roles in stabilizing Earth’s atmosphere and climate, and in achieving global sustainability by providing people with essential goods and services. His team’s work focuses on addressing three challenging questions: 1) how do multi-factor global changes (including changes in climate, land use, atmospheric chemistry, etc.) affect the functioning of the terrestrial biosphere, including its ability to provide people with food, energy, and water? 2) how does the terrestrial biosphere interact with/feedback to the atmosphere and oceans through global biogeochemical and hydrological cycling? 3) how do humans and society respond and adapt to changes in the Earth’s water cycle and climate to promote increasing climate resilience? By using a data-driven systems approach that integrates terrestrial biosphere modeling, satellite observation, ground observations and data science, his team investigates the natural and anthropogenic disturbances of global biogeochemical cycles (C, N, P), greenhouse gas emissions and removal (CO2, CH4 and N2O), and try to provide science-based solutions to climate change and sustainability challenges.
For more information about possible research projects and the application process, please contact Yi Ming (Yi.Ming@bc.edu) and/or Hanqin Tian (Hanqin.Tian@bc.edu). Applicants should send complete applications to Drs. Ming and/or Tian, including a CV, a statement of research interests, and contact information of 3 references.
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values of the Schiller Institute. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for these positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity and inclusion in their research, teaching, and service work.
Boston College is a Jesuit, Catholic university that strives to integrate research excellence with a foundational commitment to formative liberal arts education. The university is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. In concert with our Jesuit, Catholic mission, Boston College is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty and staff committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and covered veterans.