Research position in coupled natural-human system modeling


University of California, Santa Barbara


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Start Date

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A research (Associate Specialist) position is available within the Water, Vegetation, and Society Lab (WAVES) at the Earth Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the area of coupled natural-human system modeling. The WAVES lab ( is conducting research that seeks to reveal the dynamics of production and consumption of food, energy, and water resources in sub-Saharan Africa, and use these revelations to develop solutions that can better sustain coupled food, energy, and water systems through improved multi-scale, multi-resource governance. Additional detail regarding this research effort can be found at

A successful candidate's duties would include, under supervision and within a multi-institution team environment: (1) developing and implementing models of coupled natural-human systems within smallholder agricultural settings; (2) integrating and verifying model dynamics against novel data sets of high-frequency, co-located in-situ observations of agricultural decision making and crop/climate dynamics; (3) leading the authorship of research manuscripts for publication based on model development and applications. 

The position is full time and offers a competitive salary and benefits. The initial appointment is for one year. Continuation beyond one year will be based on performance and funding availability. The ideal start date for the position is July 1, 2018. The department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service.

Basic qualifications: A master’s degree (or equivalent degree) or have at least five to ten years of experience demonstrating expertise in some combination of environmental systems science, natural/social systems simulation, and subsistence agricultural dynamics.

Additional qualifications: Two or more years prior experience in: developing coupled natural-human systems modeling frameworks; implementing coupled natural-human system models; characterization of smallholder agricultural dynamics, working with social/environmental data, and addressing fundamental research questions within coupled-natural human systems.

Extreme fluency in python and/or R programming languages, demonstrated by code written both individually and in a collaborative code development process. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills to work independently, under direction, and also collaboratively within a multidisciplinary research team.

Preferred qualifications: Ph.D. preferred. Demonstrated experience developing large-scale implementations of appropriate data science methods and their use in environmental research.

Please log in to to submit your CV, a cover letter specifying the position of interest, and the contact information for three references. For primary consideration, please submit by May 28th. For more information, please contact Prof. Kelly Caylor (

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Contact Name

Prof. Kelly Caylor

Contact Email