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Remote Sensing Postdoc

Teki Sankey
This post is at NAU's mountain campus in beautiful Flagstaff of northern Arizona.
Closing date
Dec 27, 2023

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Biogeosciences, Earth and Space Science Informatics, Global Environmental Change, Hydrology
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Job Details

The Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics Lab in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems (SICCS) at Northern Arizona University’s Flagstaff campus seeks a Postdoctoral Scholar to support a project funded by NASA. The postdoctoral scholar will conduct research to quantify the impacts of forest restoration treatments (e.g, mechanical thinning and prescribed burning) across Arizona on ecohydrological responses especially during drought periods. The postdoctoral scholar will work with extensive remote sensing data including ECOSTRESS and Landsat satellite images to map, monitor, and model forest responses to drought and will collaborate with an interdisciplinary team of ecologists, ecophysiologists, and remote sensing scientists. The position will be based in beautiful Flagstaff, AZ and the expected start date is March-May 2024.

The scholar will serve as scientific lead on this project, with primary responsibility for guiding the intellectual development of the methodology for scaling field-based and UAV-based measurements at the stand level to regional scales. Key activities will include: (a) working with PI Sankey to analyze dense time-series images and developing statistical models for upscaling stand-level observations of canopy temperature, moisture content, and evapotranspiration to regional-scale satellite-based estimates, (b) developing remote sensing-based models of ecohydrological responses to forest management, (c) developing peer-reviewed manuscripts and presentations.

Specific duties include:

Research and Publications - 85%

Work collaboratively in research activities including data collection, evaluation, and designing analyses to address primary research questions.

Lead data analysis, modeling, coding, and synthesis efforts

Design and implement research protocols and adapt new procedures, methods, coding, or instrumentation as appropriate to the project goals

Read scientific literature, participate in scientific discussions with other members of the research team

Author and co-author research papers and manuscripts for publication and present them at conferences and workshops

Data Metrics - 15%

Collect, curate, synthesize, and analyze research data

Develop code, perform data analysis, and develop efficient data analysis pipelines and/or tools as appropriate to project goals

Display data for presentation in research conferences and for manuscript preparation; use graphics and statistical software to analyze and present data

Document and archive code using GitHub or other version control software.

Perform assigned lab duties to assist in the maintenance of equipment and supplies and various other duties or projects as assigned – as appropriate to project goals

Promote an inclusive and welcoming work environment for all

Generate data layers that are the results of the models developed above

Minimum Qualifications

PhD in Remote Sensing, Environmental Science, Geography, Ecology and/or a related discipline.

Preferred Qualifications

Demonstrated ability to conduct large-scale remote sensing image analysis and machine learning techniques

Demonstrated ability to work in cloud-based computing platforms including Google Earth Engine

Record of successful peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals

Familiarity with the principles of ecosystem processes and dynamics

Expertise with quantitative statistical analyses in R or other programming languages

Ability to work collaboratively as part of a research team and with individuals from a variety of diverse backgrounds.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

Knowledge of programming / script writing (Python, R, and/or IDL).

Excellent organizational and project management skills

Ability to take initiative and complete tasks without direct supervision

Ability to synthesize complex information and develop structured analyses in written and visual form

Ability to perform complex geoprocessing and manipulate large datasets using personally developed and other scripts

Background Information

Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following:  a criminal background investigation, an employment history verification and a degree verification (in some cases) prior to employment.  You may also be required to complete a fingerprint background check.  Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees' right to work in the United States.  Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an Annual Security Report. The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the Fire Safety Report is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus as this campus has on-campus student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities.  If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.


Anticipated salary range is $54,779 - $60,000. Annual salary commensurate with candidate's qualifications and related experience.

FLSA Status

This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.


Post-Doctoral Scholars are hired on a contract basis, renewable each fiscal year for a maximum of 4 renewals (5 years) according to terms of the Arizona Board of Regents' Conditions of Post-Doctoral Service.  NAU offers an excellent benefit package to Post-Doctoral Scholars including generous health, dental and vision insurance; 10 days of vacation and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified family members. New employees are eligible for benefits on the first day of the pay period following their enrollment, after their employment date.  Employees will have 31 days from their start date to enroll in benefits.  Participation in NAU retirement plans is not available to Post-Doctoral Scholars.  More information on benefits at NAU is available at the NAU HR benefits page.

Learning and Development

Your career at Northern Arizona University includes the opportunity for professional development.  New employee on-boarding training includes courses to be completed within the first 30 days.

Application Deadline

January 31, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please visit NAU HR webpage. Click on the "Apply" button on this page.  You must submit your application by clicking on the "Submit" button by midnight of the application deadline.  If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the Human Resources website or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus - on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.

If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process please contact the Office of Equity and Access at: 928-523-3312/TDD - 928-523-1006 or PO Box 4083, Flagstaff AZ  86011.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution.  Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

EEO is the Law Poster and Supplements

NAU is an Employer of National Service.  AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.



Assistant Research Professor School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability Northern Arizona University
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