Postdoctoral Research Associate
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Start date 12/11/2023
Estimated duration 24 months
Application Due Date
Applications will be accepted until December 13th, 2023.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Primary Purpose of Organizational Unit
The UNC Institute for the Environment (IE) has a multifaceted mission: (1) To strengthen environmental research capacity across UNC by supporting a multi-disciplinary community of scholars that enhances collaboration, increases sharing of knowledge, and identifies solutions to the world’s critical environmental problems. (2) To work in partnership across UNC and with external partners to coordinate and deliver 21st century educational programs that provide students with the experience and skills to thrive in a growing global economy. (3) To put new environmental knowledge into action by engaging and serving communities, here in North Carolina and around the world. (4) To fuel and harness the university’s sustainability activities through the Sustainable Carolina Initiative.
This position may be eligible for a hybrid work arrangement that may include a partially remote work location, consistent with System Office policy. UNC Chapel Hill employees are generally required to reside within a reasonable commuting distance of their assigned duty station.
The Data-Driven EnviroLab at UNC-Chapel Hill seeks a postdoctoral research associate to work with a team of researchers on a NASA-funded interdisciplinary earth science project to utilize satellite remote sensing and modeling techniques to quantify heat stress disparities in the continental US. The successful candidate will perform multi-temporal analyses and implement machine-learning algorithms with satellite-derived datasets to generate near-surface parameters specifically modeled for urban areas. The candidate will also perform exposure and inequality analysis based on the developed models and evaluate potential mitigation scenarios for present and future climate projects. Expertise in statistical analysis (particularly machine learning methods) relevant to satellite data and time-series forecasting is desired. The postdoc will work closely with a team of researchers and collaborators locally and around the U.S.
Minimum Education and Experience Requirement
Ph.D. degree in Computer Science, Remote Sensing, Machine Learning, Climate Science, Earth Sciences, Physics, Statistics, or a related field
Required Competencies, Qualifications, and Experience
– Expertise in satellite remote sensing, especially using Google Earth Engine
– Experience in working with large-scale earth observation data, cloud computing or high-performance computing, particularly for geospatial analysis and Earth system modeling.
– Experience in advanced statistical modeling and machine learning techniques
– Knowledge of urban systems and urban-scale remote sensing and modeling
– Knowledge of version control and experience contributing to open-source projects on GitHub
– Ability to think critically and pursue original ideas independently
Preferred Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience
– Experience in modifying the source code of models to develop new capability
– Knowledge of novel data-model integration techniques
For information on UNC Postdoctoral Benefits and Services click here
Net Zero Tracker Volunteer
The Net Zero Tracker aims to increase transparency and accountability of net zero targets pledged by nations, states and regions, cities and companies. We collect data on targets set and on many factors that indicate the integrity of those targets — essentially, how serious the entity setting the target is about meaningfully cutting its net emissions to zero.
The Net Zero Tracker was born of necessity. Net zero targets have proliferated massively over the last few years, especially in the wake of the 2018 IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C. But the accountability and transparency architecture has simply not been able to keep up, leading to the absence of a way to differentiate between targets that come with plans, accountability mechanisms and a serious commitment, and those consisting of mere rhetoric. We see ourselves, then, as an important foundational element — one among many — helping to build and ultimately strengthen that architecture, enabling interested parties from all walks of life to understand, evaluate and assess the state of play globally, regionally or sectorally.
The Tracker’s data is updated on a rolling basis by our volunteers, some of whom are in Oxford and some of whom are around the globe. Updating the data involves checking that the information we have in our database reflects the current targets of the relevant entities. This might involve a bit of research to see if there have been any updates in the time between the last time the entity was updated and now, as well as checking that the existing data is correct. In some instances, this usually involves some net zero sleuthing/googling/ecosia-ing.
Our wonderful volunteers update one entity when they have a moment. Usually, this is once a week but some volunteers help out a bit more infrequently. If you join us, every Tuesday you’ll be assigned an entity that needs to be updated. Each new draft will need to be approved by a fellow volunteer – so this is really a global team effort.
How do I get started?
If you’re interested in being a volunteer, let us know if you would like to focus on any languages (e.g., perhaps you’re a French speaker) or any types of entities (e.g., African cities, Brazilian states, island countries or fashion companies? You tell us). Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved, or explore our website.