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Postdoctoral Fellow in Watershed Hydrology

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Panama City, Panama
Closing date
Mar 22, 2024

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Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Desired Certifications
Professional Hydrologist
Job Type
Relocation Cost
Sector Type
Non-Government Organization/Non-Profit

                                        Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute                                                                        

                                                         February 21, 2024

                                                     NOTICE OF OPENING

Applications for a Post-doctoral Research Scientist will be accepted effective immediately. 

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI and the Stroud Water Research Center ( seek a post-doctoral scientist in watershed hydrology to join the  Agua Salud Project research team in Panama. Agua Salud maintains eight experimental watersheds established to better understand hydrology related ecosystem services provided by tropical forests in a seasonal climate and how they change with land use and climate change. Experimental watersheds include 13 instrumented weirs where stream flow measurements have been collected every 5 minutes for up to 15 years. Watershed land use treatments include 1) mature tropical forest (2 independent watersheds), 2) cattle pasture, 3) naturally regenerating secondary forest, 4) native species plantation, 5) teak plantation, 6) silvopasture, 7) invasive grass (Saccharum spontaneum), 8) land use mosaic. Additional weirs help track stream flow post clearing without cattle. The site also includes a metrological station and rain gauge network.

The Agua Salud experimental watersheds serve as a critically important tropical research facility, have contributed to past advances in fundamental hydrological theory, and are increasingly relevant to understanding watershed hydrologic response to land use and climate change. We seek a post-doctoral scholar eager to collaborate with us and expand the scientific impact of Aqua Salud.  The successful candidate will work with existing long-term data sets as well as help oversee continuing stream flow data collection, curation, and management. Responsibilities will include participation in the evaluation of existing hydrology infrastructure. Existing long-term stream flow data is available for the post-doctoral scientist to work with in publications but will require modest assessment and potentially significant processing prior to publication. The scientist will also be expected to lead research on methods development and testing of methods for rapid and cost-efficient assessment of stream flow recovery with reforestation.     

Candidates should have strong field, analytical, and writing skills, a record of successful publication, and experience with or willingness to work on multidisciplinary teams. Training will be provided for planned analyses, with latitude for related independent research and professional development.  The project provides up to three years of funding, with the third year of funding determined by performance in years 1 and 2. There are opportunities for multiple lead author publications, and ownership of future research directions. There are funds to support travel to international meetings. The location is at STRI in Panama but with potential visits to the Stroud Water Research Center outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA to work with Dr. Melinda Daniels, the co-supervisor. STRI fosters a lively, collaborative research community, with 32 Staff Scientists, a similar number of post-doctoral fellows, and over 1,200 international scientists visiting annually. Ability to communicate with a wide range of people in a multicultural environment will be considered.

Applications will be evaluated as they are received. The successful applicant will begin by June 2024; however, the position will be held open for the right applicant.

To Apply: Interested candidates should submit a single PDF file including cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of research accomplishments and interests, significant publications, and the names and contact information of three references to Jefferson Hall and Melinda Daniels at The position is open until filled; review of applications will begin on 15 March 2024.

At STRI, we value and embrace diversity in all its forms. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment that welcomes and celebrates individuals from various backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. We believe that diversity fosters innovation, creativity, and collaboration, which are essential to our success.

We encourage individuals of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, ages, abilities, and backgrounds to apply for Postdoctoral Research Fellow at STRI. We provide equal opportunities and maintaining a fair and respectful recruitment process for all candidates. If you require accommodations during any phase of the application or interview process, please let us know, and we will be happy to assist.

STRI is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. 

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