Postdoc: GIS and Food Systems at University of Michigan


University of Michigan


Monday, March 12, 2018

Start Date

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

The University of Michigan announces one post-doctoral research opportunity, beginning August 2018 and focusing on urban GIS broadly-conceived. The successful applicant will work on Food Systems. This includes two projects:  1) The food-energy-water nexus of urban agriculture across multiple scales; and 2) urban meat production-consumption patterns and dynamics. Collaborating with a team of faculty, postdocs, and students, research will be conducted in cities in Europe (France, Germany, the U.K, and Poland) and the U.S. (New York, Los Angeles, and Detroit).  The postdoctoral researcher will be work in the Urban Sustainability Research Group (, mentored by Joshua Newell (Associate Professor). 

Qualifications: A PhD is required at the time of appointment. Candidates must have a PhD in one or more disciplines broadly associated with Land System Science (e.g., geography, natural resource economics, sociology, political ecology, remote sensing, landscape architecture). Proficiency with the management and analysis of geospatial data in geographical information systems (e.g., ArcGIS, QGIS, etc.) and experience with acquiring, managing, and harmonizing heterogeneous data types are required. Preference will be given to applicants with publication experience and programming experience in R, Python and/or Google Earth Engine. Experience processing, analyzing and displaying ‘big data’ is a plus. The ability to apply this expertise and tools in an urban context is highly desirable.

Position Details: Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications. Benefits are excellent and include employee health and dental insurance. The position is initially for one year, with the potential to extend to two years based on performance.  

Background: The University of Michigan is one of the world's premiere research universities, offers rigorous academic programs, outstanding faculty, and diverse cultural and social opportunities in a stimulating intellectual environment. The School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS)’s overarching mission is to contribute to the protection of the Earth's resources and the achievement of a sustainable society.  Through research, education, and outreach, the faculty, staff, and students are devoted to generating knowledge and developing policies, techniques, and skills to help practitioners manage and conserve environmental resources to meet the full range of human needs on a sustainable basis. SEAS is a diverse collection of natural scientists, social scientists, engineers, and designers working collectively in an integrative setting.

Application Instructions:  Applicants should send: 1) a CV; 2) a 2-page cover letter that a) details their interest in the position, and b) outlines their relevant skills and experience; 3) one recent publication or dissertation chapter, and 4) names and contact details (email addresses and telephone numbers) for three references, to Dr. Alec Foster ( Please bundle all materials as one pdf file. Contact Dr. Foster should you have questions. The application deadline is March 12, 2018. 

Contact Name

Dr. Alec Foster

Contact Email