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Postdoctoral Researcher in Greenbelt, MD at Universities Space Research Association

Date Posted: 9/13/2018

Job Snapshot

  • Employee Type:
  • Location:
    Greenbelt, MD
  • Job Type:
  • Experience:
    Not Specified
  • Date Posted:

Job Description

This post-doctoral research associate position will participate in integrating novel NASA products to better understand linkages between the carbon and water cycle. The candidate will work closely with Drs. Chatterjee, Poulter and Masek at NASA GSFC and will also collaborate with international colleagues as part of the Regional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes program.

The project will build upon current NASA funded activities related to the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2), the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) and the Landsat missions and address science questions related to the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE). The integration of remote sensing observations with ecosystem models is essential for addressing key carbon cycle questions related to the ‘greening Earth’, increased seasonal amplitude in CO2, and for constraining climate-carbon cycle feedbacks.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Utilize SMAP soil moisture and freeze/thaw data to inform development of land-surface modeling and to provide improvements related to coupling the carbon and water cycle.
  • Evaluate such connections, assess the reciprocity of multiple sensors, and challenge our model representations focusing on temperate and boreal forested systems.
  • Engage with the Regional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes activity (RECCAP), which aims to develop carbon budgets for key regions around the globe.
  • Collaborate with other participants in NASA’s OCO-2, SMAP and ABoVE projects.
  • Submit a minimum of one manuscript per year for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Preparation of reports of own scientific and other activity for purposes of annual reports to NASA, annual GESTAR report, and annual evaluation of GESTAR staff/scientists.
  • Engage the academic community in research work through research collaborations, visits, invited guests, workshops, conferences, etc.
  • Develop an awareness of NASA’s mission needs and address them to the best of ability.
  • Maintain an awareness of funding opportunities in area of expertise through internal and external funding agencies; seek and obtain funding to ensure continuation and growth of research efforts.
  • Complete all trainings as required.
  • Other job related duties as assigned

Required Qualifications:


PhD in a relevant field of study.


0 - 2 years of postdoctoral research experience.


Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:  

  • Experience using remote sensing and/or in situ observations;
  • Model development and application on high-end computing systems;
  • Proficiency in Unix environment;
  • Experience with high-level computing languages such as Fortran 90 and Matlab/Python;
  • Ability to work with large data files in hdf or netcdf format.
  • Demonstrated ability to carry out research.
  • Demonstrated ability to publish in peer-reviewed journals.



  • Strong analytical and problem-solving background.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Willingness to learn and improve.
  • Strong team player.

Working Conditions:

Work will be performed in an office or computer lab environment.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit; talk or hear.  Keyboarding for large time spans each day may be a significant part of this position.



Applicants should apply to the posting at and include the following with their submission:

  • A curriculum vitae,
  • A statement of research experience and interests (max 1 page),
  • A brief synopsis of their doctoral dissertation (max. 400 words),
  • Names and contract information of at least three individuals from whom letters of reference may be requested,
  • List of programming and computing skills.

Review of candidates will begin immediately.  Additional information on USRA can be found at

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity