Postdoctoral Scholars - Environmental Science / Data Science

The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Center for Data Science & Environment (DSE) at UC Berkeley, along with an opportunity from our partners in the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center for Large Landscape Conservation, is accepting applications from recent PhDs in environmental science and/or data science fields interested in providing domain specific research that informs the development of data enabled solutions to our most pressing environmental challenges.


To apply to this position, please visit the UC Berkeley Jobs site and follow the instructions for Postdoctoral Scholars – Environmental Science / Data Science.


About Us

The DSE combines the power of computing and environmental science with open science principles and a commitment to inclusivity—all towards the purpose of building tangible, replicable, and accessible solutions to problems compromising the health of our environment. We aim to co-create these solutions in direct partnership with those who hold the knowledge and expertise of their local needs and environmental context.


The Center aims to contribute to the global community who are similarly working to take on these challenges in four key areas:


  • Generating ground-breaking computational/data science discoveries motivated by pressing environmental questions;
  • Producing scalable solutions to critical threats facing the environment, powered by open-source tools;
  • Deploying these solutions widely, taking advantage of modern cloud infrastructure and open data/open software, and maintaining a design philosophy of vendor neutrality to ensure that community needs are prioritized;
  • Creating an enhanced pipeline of young environmental leaders connected to local communities and organizations to meet their needs and translate our research findings and technological developments into practical impacts.


Primary Responsibilities


Postdoctoral researchers will:

  • Provide domain specific research to improve scientific understanding of the given environmental challenge
  • Collect and analyze data related to one of the project areas described below
  • Develop code and datasets using open source applications and methods
    work closely with staff project teams in order to prioritize work
  • Foster engagement with stakeholders and partners
  • Provide domain specific research to improve scientific understanding of the given environmental challenge
  • Disseminate research results to the broader scientific community via peer reviewed publications, conferences, and seminars
  • Collaborate on project reporting needs


Multiple postdoctoral positions are available. Candidates should have academic training in, and a desire to work on, one or more of the following project areas. Please clearly indicate the opportunity of interest while applying.


Climate resilience in our National Parks
DSE is actively developing new data-enabled tools to help park managers make informed decisions in a changing climate. The initial projects focus on the management planning for post-fire recovery, so domain specific knowledge around fire impacts and vegetation mapping would be immediately applicable. As our partnership with the National Park Service evolves, the postdoc will help develop and enact additional project areas, which may relate to other management areas in the park landscape. Background in downscaling climate models, species range modeling, and/or ecological modeling is desirable.


Indigenous Environmental Stewardship
The Biodiversity program seeks an individual(s) to help build collaborative research partnerships between UC Berkeley and Tribal Researchers to support Indigenous environmental stewardship and conservation efforts. Desired experience handling data to estimate wildlife, vegetation, and/or biodiversity distribution and abundance. The position will be working on a defined project to better understand the movements, migrations, habitat use, and population dynamics of wildlife and /or designing data workflows in the context of open source/data, data privacy, and data sovereignty.


Applied hydrology
The hydrology postdoc would help us expand our freshwater portfolio that currently includes tooling for assessing snow water content from satellite imagery. Our goal is to build out hydrological modeling in all of our project spaces to support tooling for water managers to use for water conservation and flood preparedness/mitigation. Specific project areas potentially include:

  • the hydrological implications of snowmelt under various snowfall and climate scenarios, 
  • integration of water usage scenarios into agricultural crop yield models,
  • support of indigenous community water management efforts

The hydrology program may also include an equitable water management component. We expect this project to evolve in collaboration with the expertise of our faculty partners and the hydrology postdoc. Hydrologists with disciplinary expertise in any of these areas are encouraged to apply.


Tools for Working Lands 
Increasing the pace and scale of conservation on private, working lands such as ranches and farms is critical to biodiversity and to wide-ranging wildlife in particular. This Stone Fellow will work in partnership with Berkeley’s forthcoming James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center for Large Landscape Conservation to help advance conservation initiatives that protect and restore working lands. We welcome applicants with diverse technical skills related to geospatial analysis, landscape ecology, environmental evaluation, rangeland assessment, and/or animal movement modeling


Appointment Terms

DSE postdoctoral scholars are a highly valued part of our community. They will contribute to our programs and projects by:


Providing depth to our work (80%)

  • Bringing subject matter expertise on the topics that are critical to the success of our work
  • Directly contributing to the development of data-enabled tools that help to solve an environmental challenge
  • Improving the underlying data and models we rely on
  • Ensuring that our assumptions and outputs are in line with the current understanding in the field


Growing as a scholar (20%)

  • Pursuing and publishing novel findings related to a topic of DSE interest
  • Working closely with our team of data scientists and software engineers and finding ways to both learn from their approaches
  • Contributing to next steps and new ideas for the Center
  • Engaging faculty and other postdocs across campus for professional development

PostDocs will be co-mentored by a DSE affiliated UC Berkeley faculty member and staff member.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values at UC Berkeley. Successful candidates for our academic positions should demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.


The UC academic salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and step at appointment.

A reasonable estimate for this position is $87,000 - $95,068, plus full benefits. 

Anticipated start: Winter or Spring 2024 
Position duration: Two years with the possibility of one (1) year extensions based on performance and availability of funding.


To apply to this position, please visit the UC Berkeley Jobs site and follow the instructions for Postdoctoral Scholars – Environmental Science / Data Science.


Open date: January 15, 2024

Next review date: Tuesday, Jan 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.


Final date: Friday, Feb 16, 2024 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.