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NCEAS Wildfire in the West Postdoc

Position overview

Position title: NCEAS Wildfire in the West Postdoc
Salary range: The posted UC system-wide salary scales set the minimum pay based on prior months of postdoc service (both domestic and international) before the start of appointment. See Table 23 and 23N (Hourly) for experience level minimums. A reasonable estimated full-time rate for this position at 100% time is $70,000. Salaries that are higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated experience level minimum, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: May - August 2023
Position duration: 2 years

Application Window

Open date: February 14, 2023

Next review date: Wednesday, Apr 5, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Thursday, Aug 31, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description


The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at UCSB seeks a postdoctoral fellow focused on Wildfire Resilience in the US and Canadian West as part of our Morpho Initiative. The Morpho initiative sponsors working groups and postdocs to synthesize data and knowledge about environmental science, resource management, and restoration efforts. As part of our 2023 initiative we will support a postdoctoral position that will work collaboratively with a to-be selected synthesis science working group specifically focused on Wildfire in the West as well as work on their own related postdoctoral research. This is a two-year long position and will be based at NCEAS in Santa Barbara, California.


The Morpho Initiative convenes working groups consisting of government agency, NGO, tribal, and academic researchers to develop and accelerate science in the service of environmental management. In 2023 NCEAS is sponsoring a special call for working groups focused specifically on issues related to wildfire resilience in the US and Canadian West. This postdoc position will split time between supporting and collaborating with the working group team that is selected and developing your own independent synthesis project focused on a specific challenge facing the wildfire resilience science and management. This position will give you significant opportunities to maximize the impact of your research and to work at the interface of ecological synthesis science and applied management solutions. You will be part of a growing cohort of postdocs and researchers at NCEAS in downtown Santa Barbara, California.

Your proposed independent research project should focus on leveraging and reusing existing data to develop synthesis products. Coproduction of synthesis products with working groups, practitioners, and stakeholders across the West is highly encouraged.

Duties and Responsibilities

Research related to the selected wildfire resilience synthesis working groups (50% time)

  • This postdoctoral researcher will participate in the work of a Morpho Initiative synthesis working group, as appropriate based on experience and interest.

Independent research (50% of time)

  • This postdoctoral researcher will be afforded significant time to pursue their own research interests related to wildfire resilience in the West, publish independent research in peer review journals, and attend scientific conferences.

Residency at NCEAS

NCEAS is located in scenic downtown Santa Barbara, California. The Center is known for fostering interaction and collaboration, a characteristic that leads to the success of its scientists. NCEAS has a growing and thriving community of postdocs, resident scientists, and analysts, and a frequent influx of leading scientists and practitioners from around the world participating in working group projects across a diverse range of initiatives. NCEAS is also a leader in data science training, offering courses and expertise in reproducible workflows, data infrastructure, and environmental statistics. We expect that postdocs will contribute their knowledge, interests, and enthusiasm to the intellectual atmosphere. The postdoc should anticipate spending the vast majority of their time in residence at the Center and will have the opportunity to travel to relevant national and international events and conferences, with a special focus on meeting and networking opportunities across the Western US and Canada.

NCEAS is committed to improving diversity and inclusion in science. We value the diversity of expertise, backgrounds, needs, and experiences reflected among our residents, visitors, and broader communities. We are committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender identity, parental status, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, citizenship status, and nationality. To see the steps we are taking to advance diversity and inclusion please see our full statement here:

The department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

At the time of application, applicants must have completed all requirements except the dissertation for a PhD in environmental science, ecology, climate change, environmental policy, or a relevant discipline.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

Ph.D. in environmental science, ecology, climate science, environmental policy, or a relevant discipline at time of hire.

Preferred qualifications
  • Strong analytical and modeling skills, including data science, database management, data visualization, etc.
  • Strong publication record
  • Experience working on subjects related to wildfire resilience in the Western US and Canada
  • Regional knowledge of the North American West ecosystems and people
  • Ability to review and synthesize large amounts of literature and complex information
  • Ability to take initiative and work both independently and as part of a research team
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to translate complex scientific information and effectively communicate with a variety of audiences
  • Strong networking and relationship-building skills and interest in building broad collaborations
  • Experience working with groups outside of academia (agency, industry, NGOs, etc.)
  • Demonstrates an understanding and acceptance of diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts that are broader than only race, ethnicity, and gender.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - Cover Letter including:

    Interest in the position
    Qualifications related to position
    Experience supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Statement of Research - A short (3 page) proposal of research you would like to conduct as part of your independent project. We expect projects to primarily be synthesis and/or analysis research; the proposal should include a short section setting the context and motivating the work, a main section explaining the research questions, methods, and data that will be used, and a short final section that addresses expected applied implications of the work.

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)

Name and contact information for three references. The top candidate's references will be contacted before the final job offer.

Apply link:

Help contact:

Campus Information

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs – With Updated Interim Amendments. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine Primary Series or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, Religious Objection, and/or Deferral based on pregnancy or recent COVID-19 diagnosis and/or treatment) no later than the applicable deadline. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of receiving the most recent CDC-recommended COVID-19 booster or properly decline such booster no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Exhibit 2, Section II.C. of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Attachment for applicable deadlines. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of being Up-To-Date on seasonal influenza vaccination or properly decline such vaccination no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program Attachment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Santa Barbara, CA