Hydrologic Data Scientist (Geohydrology Program)

Position Overview

The Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) at the University of Kansas (KU) is seeking a hydrologic data scientist to develop and lead a research program of international stature using cutting-edge data science and geostatistical techniques to investigate water resources questions of relevance to Kansas. Specific areas of research expertise may include, but are not limited to: machine learning, deep learning, or artificial intelligence approaches applied to investigations of water resources; work on water quantity and/or quality in groundwater and/or surface water systems; assessment of subsurface hydrostratigraphy; and data-driven investigations of hydrogeology, hydrology, or ecohydrology in human-dominated landscapes. While these are areas of potential focus, demonstrated research excellence and future research potential are more important than the candidate’s specific area of specialization.

Scientists at the KGS are hard-funded, faculty-equivalent academic staff with sabbatical eligibility. Scientific staff are expected to develop research programs that are of international stature and highly relevant to Kansas, with similar standards to academic faculty in terms of research productivity, obtaining external funding to support projects, and advancement through ranks. Scientific staff also can teach and serve as advisors of graduate research, and typically have courtesy appointments with one or more academic departments. A candidate at the assistant scientist level is preferred, but exceptional applicants at the associate or senior scientist levels will also be considered.

About the KGS and KU:
The KGS is a research and service center at KU that conducts fundamental and applied research significant to Kansas. Within the KGS, the Geohydrology program conducts research on hydrologic and hydrogeochemical systems ranging in scale from site-specific to river basin and regional aquifers. The Geohydrology program has ~20 individuals including five full-time scientists, technical support personnel, graduate students, and postdocs. Current areas of research include: physical, stratigraphic, and geochemical characterization of sedimentary aquifer systems; surface-water/groundwater interactions; solute fate & transport in river networks; spatial data analysis/geostatistics; assessment of sustainable yields in complex hydrologic systems; simulation of flow and transport processes; technology for subsurface characterization; quantifying impacts of withdrawals and conservation strategies on water resources; and human-water interactions. The group maintains a program of public information and education and has extensive interactions with water research and management entities at the state, local, and federal levels.

The KGS is located on the KU campus amidst the rolling hills of Lawrence, Kansas. KU is an international, R1 research university, a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and Big 12 conference, and the flagship university for the state of Kansas. KU has a large water and environmental research community spread across campus with many opportunities for collaboration, including with the Departments of Geology; Geography and Atmospheric Science; Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering; Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; and the Kansas Biological Survey. Lawrence is an eclectic town of ~100,000 people along the banks of the beautiful Kansas River with an excellent cultural scene, historic downtown, cutting-edge library, farmers market, and many delicious restaurants. Outdoor opportunities around town including biking, hiking, and boating. The big-city vibes and international airport of Kansas City are less than an hour away.

Review begins November 13, 2023. Start summer or fall 2024, exact start date is negotiable.

Job Description

(85%) Research
Develop and lead a research program with an emphasis on data-driven investigations of water resources. Conduct fundamental and applied research on hydrologic data science/geostatistics that is both of international stature and highly relevant to Kansas. Communicate the results of research in peer-reviewed publications and to both scientific and lay audiences. Develop research proposals for external funding.

(15%) Service
Service to the institution, university, and discipline such as: support KGS efforts in the areas of technical service and communication and public information; interact with public, university, government, and industry; participate in in professional scientific and industrial organizations; serve on University and KGS committees and organizations as assigned or in response to opportunities; participate with other KGS personnel in professional and governmental organizations that deal with Kansas and US water resources; work with students and visiting scientists when it complements and enhances research programs.

Required Qualifications

  1. Ph.D. degree in natural sciences, engineering, or data science with a focus on water resources and/or hydrogeology. Degree must be completed prior to appointment start date.
  2. Experience applying advanced data science techniques to investigate water resource problems, including working with and interpreting hydrologic or hydrogeologic data.
  3. Strong quantitative theoretical training and demonstrated commitment to collaborative research.
  4. Demonstrated ability or potential to provide scientific leadership in research on hydrologic data science.
  5. Excellent written and oral communication skills, evidenced by a record of peer-reviewed publications and presentations.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Experience working in interdisciplinary collaborative research teams.
  2. Experience with human-dominated landscapes such as agriculture, rangeland, or urban areas.
  3. Experience interacting with stakeholders such as water managers, state agencies, NGOs, or the public.

Additional Candidate Instructions

A complete online application consists of:
  • Cover letter detailing research experience, interests, and how the candidate meets the required and preferred qualifications (not to exceed 3 pages)
  • Full C.V.
  • A peer-reviewed publication the applicant believes showcases their research interests and expertise.
  • Contact information for 3 professional references.
Review begins November 13, 2023 and continues until a qualified pool of applicants is identified. For priority consideration, please apply by the review date. Tentative start date is summer or fall 2024, exact start date is negotiable.

Contact Information to Applicants

For additional information contact:
Sam Zipper, samzipper@ku.edu

For HR questions or information contact:
Annette Delaney, adelaney@ku.edu, 785-864-2152

Advertised Salary Range

Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Application Review Begins

Monday November 13, 2023

Anticipated Start Date

Monday July 1, 2024

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Posting Information

  • Posting ID:  26297BR
  • Department:  Kansas Geological Survey
  • Primary Campus:  University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
  • Reg/Temp:  Regular
  • Employee Class:  A-Unclassified Academic Staff
  • Review Begins:  13-Nov-2023

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