Postdoctoral Researcher

Updated: 6 months ago
Location: Lawrence, KANSAS
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!


Civil/Environ/Arch Engineering

Position Overview

The University of Kansas in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy is excited to announce a postdoctoral research opportunity to harmonize a set of existing process-based watershed models for intensively managed agricultural watersheds. The postdoctoral researcher will work with existing Soil Water and Assessment Tool (SWAT) watershed models to; harmonize model structure and parametrization, incorporate additional aquatic biogeochemical processes into the SWAT source code and to identify regional differences in parameterization and sensitivity across the models. This postdoctoral position is located at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, a mid-size college town located on the banks of the Kansas River. The position is expected to begin February 2020 and last for one year with the potential for extension. 

Watershed models are common tools to characterize water quality responses to changes in land use and land management yet are often so heavily parameterized that their application is not extendable to nearby regions with similar yet not identical characteristics. Numerous watershed models of subbasins of the Mississippi River exist yet remain of limited value towards a larger regional analysis due to the lack of consistent parameterization or architecture. Although there are larger regional models, they often too large to be computationally feasible to resolve the scales at which land management decisions are made for cost-benefit analysis where extensive model executions must occur. The focus of the research for this postdoctoral project will be to develop the intellectual and model base needed to create parsimonious models of the Mississippi River basin that can inform regional response plans to predicted patterns of climate and land use change.

Job Description

60% - Harmonize multiple SWAT models such that criteria for parameterization, subbasin structure and definition of HRUs is identical. Execute harmonized models under scenarios of climate and land use change. Compare contributions of near-channel and field based biophysical processes to watershed outlet water quality. Potentially modify model functions to better capture near-channel biophysical processes. Participate in planning, designing and conducting watershed modeling research projects under the direction of a faculty supervisor.

20% - Analyze and evaluate cross-model and individual model results from scenarios and provide interpretations.

15% - Complete writing tasks, including literature review, required to publish research in peer-reviewed journals, contribute toward the preparation of technical reports, papers and/or records.

5% - Contribute to the development, preparation and submission of externally funded proposals related to the research program.

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Hydrology, Ecology, Geography, or other related field.
  • Prior experience building SWAT watershed models with watershed hydrological and biogeochemical modeling.
  • 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.

    Preferred Qualifications

  • 2 or more years SWAT modeling experience
  • Computer programming fluency in Python or C++.
  • Knowledge of watershed hydrological and biogeochemical process characterization.
  • Experience working on interdisciplinary research projects and in a team environment.

  • Contact Information to Applicants

    Amy Hansen

    Additional Candidate Instruction

    A complete application consists of the online application, cover letter, resume, & three professional references.  Only complete applications will be considered.

    Application review begins January 16, 2020 and will continue until a pool of qualified applicants is received. 

    Advertised Salary Range


    Application Review Begins


    Anticipated Start Date


    Limited Term End Date


    Work Location

    University of Kansas - Lawrence

    Employee Class

    U-Unclassified Professional Staff

    Conditions of Employment

    Contingent on Funding, Limited Term


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