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Associate Research Scientist

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University
New York City, New York
Closing date
Apr 11, 2024

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Global Environmental Change
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The Olo Be Taloha Lab in the Climate School at Columbia University invites applicants for an Associate Research Scientist position. This appointment is full-time and located at the Columbia University Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory campus in Palisades, New York.

The Associate Research Scientist will focus on interactions between Holocene land use and land cover change in the tropics, with an emphasis on reconstructing interdisciplinary maps of pastoral land use and associated land cover change on Madagascar (c. 2000 BP to present). The Associate Research Scientist will be expected to perform original research in collaboration with a Madagascar-based team, present the results of the research at scientific meetings and to local communities in southwest Madagascar, and publish collaborative first-author and co-authored papers in peer-reviewed journals. The Associate Research Scientist will also co-lead the development of proposals for external research funding.

The Associate Research Scientist should have extensive expertise in the development of species distribution models using paleoecological, archaeological, and land use information; advanced understanding of human livelihoods and their interactions with vegetation change, with a specific focus on disturbance dynamics such as fire, and herbivory patterns. The Associate Research Scientist should have a willingness to collaboratively design and implement social science field surveys, novel modeling techniques, and mixed-media approaches to scientific communication and outreach (English, French, Malagasy).

Applicants should have established experience leading high-impact multidisciplinary research, demonstrated a record of significant research contributions through publications in peer-reviewed journals, and success in raising external funding for research.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful applicants must possess a PhD in environmental sciences with a focus on human ecology, and have at least 3 years of post-PhD related experience
  • At least 5 years of experience in the following: species distribution modeling of land use and vegetation change, social science livelihood survey skills, analysis of remotely sensed fire and vegetation patterns, and spatio-temporal reconstruction of land use and land cover using isotopic information
  • Track record of success in raising external funds (minimum of 3 years)
  • Strong communication (English, French, Malagasy desirable), technical, media arts, outreach, and leadership skills
  • Strong analytical skills in R
  • Desirable: analytical skills in Google Earth Engine and Engine, and languages for processing and visualization

Appointments are made on a fiscal year basis and are eligible for renewal each July 1st, contingent upon performance and funding.

The search will remain open for at least 30 days after the ad appears and will continue until the position is filled.

Columbia University benefits accompany this Officer of Research appointment.

We accept online applications only.

For more information about this position and others currently open at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, please use the link provided in this posting which will take you directly to the Columbia University careers site.  


Our center has a unique standing at Columbia University.  We are one of only a few centers in the United States actively developing a global climate model to understand past and future climates both on Earth and on other planets.  To do so, we have a special relationship with NASA.  We are co-located with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in Columbia’s Armstrong Hall. Here, Columbia and NASA scientists work closely together to advance climate science and improve societal resilience to climate-related challenges both in the United States and around the world.  CCSR scientists and staff also work with many other partners – private sector, governmental, and non-governmental organizations – to answer these challenging scientific, social, and economic questions.

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