Postdoctoral Researcher - 21278BR

Postdoctoral Researcher

Kansas Geological Survey
University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
Work Location Assignment: 
Employee Class: 
U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Position Overview

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher with a passion for groundwater sustainability and socio-environmental research to contribute to an NSF-funded project investigating the social and environmental factors that influence the effectiveness, resilience, and sustainability of self-governing groundwater conservation programs in Kansas and Colorado. The successful candidate will lead the development of an open source Crop-Hydrological-Agent Modeling Platform (CHAMP) that will couple together groundwater models, crop models, and agent-based models to investigate feedbacks and interactions among humans and water resources in irrigated agricultural landscapes. The postdoc and other project members will use CHAMP to evaluate factors affecting the resilience and sustainability of groundwater-dependent agriculture in Kansas and Colorado. Thus, the ideal candidate would have strong technical skills for working with and coupling social and environmental models, an interest in advancing human-water systems theory, and a desire to engage with an interdisciplinary team of researchers.

This position is based at the Kansas Geological Survey, a research center within the University of Kansas. This postdoc will be part of the HydroEcology of Anthropogenic Landscapes group (HEAL@KGS) supervised by Sam Zipper ( and will work closely with collaborators at Virginia Tech, Colorado School of Mines, and Purdue University.

Salary, Employment Status, and Fringe Benefits: This position is funded for three years with an expected salary of $50,000 annually. Annual professional development budget. Other benefits include university staff privileges; 176 hours of paid vacation earned per year, 96 hours of sick leave earned per year, nine paid holidays plus one discretionary day, a retirement program, medical & dental insurance, life and disability insurance, other benefit plan options, and State of Kansas discounts offered by various vendors. KU also offers employees educational and professional development opportunities. The initial appointment will be for one year with the expectation of renewal assuming satisfactory performance.

Start Date: Prefer January 9, 2023, exact start date is negotiable.

Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin March 21, 2022, and continue until the position is filled.

Job Description

35%- Develop coupled socio-environmental modeling tools.
35%- Use modeling tools and data analysis to conduct socio-environmental research.
20%- Disseminate findings through conference presentations, publications, and open-source code.
10%- Service to the discipline and institution through participation in activities that may include collaboration with other KGS researchers, scientific peer review, serving professional societies, and public outreach and education

Required Qualifications

Evaluation of the following requirements will be made through (1) descriptions of research and educational experiences in cover letter, (2) record of accomplishments in resume/curriculum vitae, (3) information from professional references, and (4) transcripts.
  1. Ph.D. in a discipline related to water, environmental, and/or agricultural science or engineering, conferred no more than 4 years prior to the start date.
  2. Experience working with at least two of the following types of models: groundwater, crop, and/or agent-based.
  3. Coding experience in Python or a comparable language (R, MATLAB, Julia, etc.).
  4. Experience working both independently and collaboratively.
  5. Strong communication skills as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications/conference presentations.
NOTE: To be appointed at the Postdoctoral Researcher title, it is necessary to have the PhD in hand. Appointments made without a diploma or certified transcript indicating an earned doctorate are conditional hires and are appointed on an acting basis not to exceed six months.
Upon verification of degree the appointment will be extended to its full duration.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Experience with coupling models and/or high-performance computing.
  2. Familiarity with irrigated agricultural landscapes.
  3. Experience working with stakeholders on issues related to water management.

Additional Candidate Instructions

Upload the following information:
  • Cover letter (max 2 pages) including how you meet the required and preferred qualifications, your career goals, and why you are excited about the position.
  • Full CV.
  • Contact information for 3 references (relationship, email address and phone number).
  • College and graduate school transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable).
Review of applications will begin March 21, 2022.

Contact Information to Applicants

For further technical information about the position, contact Sam Zipper at
For further information about other aspects of the position, contact Annette Delaney at or (785) 864-2152.

Advertised Salary Range

$50,000 per year with benefits

Work Schedule

8-5, M-F

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Posting Information
Posting ID:
Kansas Geological Survey
Primary Campus:
University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
Work Location Assignment:
Employee Class:
U-Unclassified Professional Staff
Application Review Begins: