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McDowell Lab Research

Goals - Our group is focused on quantifying mechanisms that control the balance between carbon uptake and water lost at the leaf, whole plant, and ecosystem scales.  This theme is applied to numerous questions that are of national and international consequence, including climate change and climate variability, forest management and disturbance impacts on ecosystems.  We use numerous tools from the plant physiology and ecosystem ecology backgrounds, including water relations tools such as continuous sap flow and water potential measurements, hand-held photosynthesis measurements, and stable isotope measurements.

Principle Investigator - Nathan G. McDowell, Technical Staff Member, EES-14

Postdoctoral Fellowship Announcement

Terrestrial Ecosystem and Climate Dynamics

Up to six postdoctoral positions and two technician positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory and one postdoctoral position at the University of Montana are available to study past and future patterns and impacts of vegetation mortality on the terrestrial carbon cycle and climate forcing. The project is an interdisciplinary effort utilizing remote sensing, machine learning, field observations, ecosystem modeling, and climate modeling. The specific postdoctoral positions are focused on...

  • remote sensing of vegetation using Quickbird, MODIS, and other platforms (one at LANL and one at U. of Montana),
  • data mining and analysis of large, space- and ground-based data sets (one at LANL),
  • machine learning of large, spaced- and ground-based data sets (one at LANL),
  • terrestrial ecosystem modeling using the Ecosystem-Demography/Community Land Model (ED-CLM) and possibly other terrestrial ecosystem models, including ecosystem carbon cycle models (two positions at LANL), and
  • climate modeling using the Community Earth System Model (one at LANL).

The technician positions may be focused on the machine learning and data mining efforts, though skilled, motivated individuals with a B.Sc. or M.Sc. will be considered for any of the above focal areas. In addition, technician positions can be converted to graduate student positions depending on interest.

The successful applicants will work within a large, interdisciplinary team of staff members, postdocs and technicians linking LANL's Earth and Environmental Science Division, the Climate-Ocean-Sea Ice Model group, and the International Space and Response Division. In addition, the positions will involve close collaboration with the Climate and Global Dynamics division of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO, the Numerical Terradynamic Simulation group (NTSG) at the University of Montana, and ecologists Nathan Stephenson and Craig Allen within the United States Geological Survey.

Required Skills

Required skills for postdoctoral fellowships include demonstrated ability to publish peer-reviewed papers, effective written and oral communication skills, willingness to work in a team environment, and a Ph.D. pending or received within the last five years. Required skills for technician positions may include experience with data mining or remote sensing, and a B.Sc. degree. A complete description of required and preferred skills for each specific position can be obtained by contacting Nate McDowell. Candidates may be considered for a Director's Fellowship and outstanding candidates may be considered for the prestigious J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard P. Feynman or Frederick Reines Fellowships.

About LANL

LANL is located at 7,500' in the Southern Rocky Mountains and has >300 days of sunshine per year and four distinct seasons. Salaries and benefits for LANL postdocs are competitive with industrial standards.

For More Information

For more information or to apply please send a resume and a short statement of your future research goals to Nate McDowell.


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