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Western Wildfire Resilience Index Postdocs (2 positions) at NCEAS

Position overview

Position title: Western Wildfire Resilience Index Postdocs
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 for experience level minimums. A reasonable estimated full-time rate for this position at 100% time is $70,000. Full UCSB postdoc benefits package included.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: Position is expected to start as early as June 1, 2023 and no later than October 1, 2023.
Position duration: 2 years

Application Window

Open date: May 11, 2023

Most recent review date: Thursday, Jun 15, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Sunday, Dec 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 two postdoctoral fellows to help lead a newly funded program focused on developing a Western (US and Canadian) Wildfire Resilience. Built on the success of NCEAS’s Ocean Health Index, the Western Wildfire Resilience Index will provide policymakers and the public with clear, actionable metrics on wildfire resilience to improve management. As part of this two year project this postdoctoral cohort will work collaboratively with a dynamic project team including an expert working group, two data analysts, a project manager, a communications and policy officer, and a web developer. Together this team will work to create the first quantitative, applied index of wildfire resilience in the west. This is a two-year long position and will be based at NCEAS in Santa Barbara, California.


Wildfires are major ecological and social hazards across the North American West. Communities are working hard to be resilient to this growing threat, but how do we know when management is working? The Western Wildfire Resilience Index will provide policymakers and the public with clear, actionable metrics on wildfire resilience to improve management, while also advancing the science of socio-ecological resilience. As a successful postdoctoral fellow you will use your analytical skills and knowledge to lead the development of a suite of indicators and a comprehensive indicator framework to quantitatively measure wildfire resilience at scales applicable to 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, advancing knowledge about complex systems and creating more sustainable and equitable management outcomes. You will not only be part of a large wildfire focused research team, but also a diverse and growing cohort of postdocs and researchers at NCEAS in downtown Santa Barbara, California.


  • Lead analysis and synthesis of social-ecological information to develop and implement a framework for data-driven metrics to populate a Western Wildfire Resilience Index that can be applied at any scale;
  • Help guide team of two data analysts in needed data and coding tasks to support project development;
  • Engage with wildfire experts, policymakers stakeholders, scientific advisory committees;
  • Lead writing and publication of scientific developments in peer review journals, and attend scientific conferences.


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.
  • Experience working with social-ecological indicator frameworks
  • 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 synthesis 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 the 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 address expected applied implication 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:

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About UC Santa Barbara

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, as may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Santa Barbara, CA