Skip to content Skip to navigation
Photo credit: evgeni Tcherkasski

Open Positions

Join Our Team

A key piece of who we are is our people. When we have a job opening, we seek creative, talented, dedicated people who work well on interdisciplinary teams and who love a good challenge.


Postdoc opportunity: Assessing ecosystem benefits for hydropower under land use and climate change in the Andes-Amazon region (shared position at Stanford University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences)

生态系统过程与服务研究组(与斯坦福大学合作)招收博士后

We seek a creative and application-oriented postdoc with a background in water resources, hydrology, or ecosystem service modeling to assess ecosystem services for hydropower in the Andes-Amazon region. The position is equally shared by the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University and the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences (RCEES) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

The successful candidate will perform model-based assessments to quantify climate and land use change impacts on hydropower operations and revenues. The postdoc will study the role of ecosystems in maintaining hydropower benefits under changing climate and land use and evaluate opportunities for improving hydropower outcomes through land conservation and management.

The project is specifically focused on engaging with hydropower projects in the Amazon that were recently acquired by Chinese companies. Thus, fluency in Mandarin Chinese is required and familiarity with actors in the Chinese hydropower sector is a plus. 

The postdoc will work for 12 months at the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences (RCEES), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and 12 months at Stanford University 1, with potential to extend the appointment depending on funding and performance. At Stanford University, the position will be based in the lab of Dr. Gretchen Daily (Natural Capital Project founder and faculty director and mentor) and will be co-supervised by project leads Dr. Rafael Schmitt and Dr. Adrian Vogl. At RCEES the position will be supervised by Dr. Hua Zheng.

The Natural Capital Project (NatCap, naturalcapitalproject.stanford.edu/) aims to mainstream natural capital approaches by developing practical tools and approaches to account for nature’s contributions to society, so that leaders of countries, companies, communities, and organizations worldwide can create a more sustainable future.

The successful candidate(s) must be able to work independently under tight deadlines, have excellent written and oral communication skills, and also excel in a collaborative research environment. Being part of the Natural Capital Project and RCEES, the successful candidate will have opportunities to contribute to other initiatives at NatCap/RCEES and will be part of an exciting global research and conservation network.

Responsibilities:

(i) Co-develop and refine catchment hydrologic models for evaluating climate and land use change impacts on streamflow, sediment loads, and other relevant parameters

(ii) Develop operational models of selected hydropower projects in the Amazon Region

(iii) Simulate land use and climate scenarios on hydropower generation and economics  

(iv) Facilitate communication with hydropower operators

(v) Prepare publication of results in peer reviewed journals

Required Qualifications 

  • Ph.D. in catchment hydrology, hydrologic modeling, water resources engineering or a related field (Ph.D. must be obtained before start of the position)
  • Experience using spatially distributed models
  • Fluency in Mandarin Chinese and very good written and oral communication skills in English 
  • Publication record in international peer-reviewed journals

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Track-record of collaborating with hydropower developers and/or operators
  • Experience in geospatial data management and Geo-Information Systems (GIS)
  • Skills and interest in climate and ecosystem change analysis
  • Proficient in using high-level programming languages (R, Python, Matlab)
  • Experience/Interest in modeling hydropower operations and hydropower economics 
  • Experience and interest in working with private and public sector actors in the hydropower sector 
  • Affinity for working in interdisciplinary and international research teams

Start date: February/March, 2021 preferred, but negotiable

Duration: 12 months at RCEES, CAS, Beijing and 12 months at Stanford University

How to apply:

To apply, please email Rafael Schmitt (rschmitt@stanford.edu) with the subject line “HYDRO AMAZON POSTDOC” and attach a detailed C.V, list of publications, contact information for three references, and a cover letter. In the cover letter, please address:

  • Your qualifications for the position
  • What unique experiences you could bring to our team
  • Indicate if you would require sponsorship for a visa to work in the United States / China, and any details that would affect the type of visa. Visas must be processed through the consulate in your home country 2.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting January 22, 2021.

Please get in touch with Dr. R. Schmitt (rschmitt@stanford.edu) for any questions.

Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at the Natural Capital Project. We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization. We therefore encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds.

1 We understand current challenges related to the COVID pandemic and are flexible with regard to actual the time split between RCEES and Stanford.

2 Note that we are open to considering alternative work or contractual arrangements if visa or citizenship status means that relocation to California is not feasible.

 


Postdoctoral Positions (2): Assessing ecosystem services of the Llanos de Moxos region of Beni, Bolivia

Together with the Wildlife Conservation Society and a diverse group of researchers and NGOs in Bolivia, the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University (NatCap) is collaborating with a wide variety of stakeholders to co-develop (a) a set of scenarios and a common vision that demonstrates the potential for economic development that preserves the existing natural and cultural heritage while providing local livelihoods, thus promoting a more sustainable development pathway for the Llanos de Moxos region and the Department of Beni in Bolivia; and (b) a shared database of information on the natural assets, ecosystem services, and scenario results for the Llanos de Moxos region. For that task, we are seeking up to two Postdoctoral researchers to support the project. Desired skills and background for each are detailed below.

The term is for one year, with the possibility of extension to 18 months based on performance and funding availability. The position would likely be based at Stanford University with the Natural Capital Project, with the expectation that significant time would be spent in the region (if and when travel becomes feasible). However, given the ongoing COVID crisis, we are open to consider other locations and work arrangements for a candidate with the right skills and experience.

Postdoc 1. Ecosystem services, sustainable development, and livelihoods

Applicants for this position will have a background in the linkages between human and natural systems, and the role that ecosystem services (particularly hydrologic services) play in sustainable livelihoods in developing countries. The successful candidate will (a) contribute toward creating a framework for the quantification and mapping of different ecosystem services across the region, identifying proxy variables for services where data are limited, and evaluating the potential for including economic valuation; (b) engage closely with local collaborators to co-develop scenarios of sustainable development, incorporating priorities and policies from a diverse set of actors; (c) assess how ecosystem benefits are impacted by these scenarios (in terms of biophysical, economic, and/or other livelihood metrics), and thus how sustainable land management can contribute to livelihoods; and (d) how impacts and benefits are distributed among different communities, sectors, Indigenous groups, etc.

QUALIFICATIONS

Required

·       Ph.D. in a relevant environmental or social science discipline (e.g., environmental policy, anthropology, economics),

·       Demonstrated ability to contribute to interdisciplinary work at the intersection of ecosystem services (especially hydrologic services) and livelihoods 

·       Experience collaborating with community and NGO stakeholders communicating the benefits of ecosystem services in terms of economic or livelihood benefits

·       Very good written and oral communication skills in English

·       Fluent in Spanish

Preferred

·       Experience working in conservation or sustainable development in the Bolivian Amazon, or in neighboring regions

·       Ability to work with geographic information systems (GIS)

·       Knowledge of economic valuation for ecosystem services

 

Postdoc 2. Floodplain/wetlands hydrologist

Applicants for this position will have a background in the hydrology and ecosystem services of floodplains and wetlands. The successful candidate will focus on spatially-explicit assessment of how land use changes impact water flows and, thereby, the ecosystem services provided by this unique region. Further, the position will explore how the realization of these benefits hinges on hydrologic and climatic conditions, and thus how preserving these conditions through catchment management and sustainable land management can ensure the maintenance and preservation of hydrologic ecosystem services for various communities and stakeholders, including Indigenous management areas, agriculture and ranching interests, fisheries, etc.

QUALIFICATIONS

Required

·       Ph.D. in water/natural resources, catchment hydrology, engineering, or other relevant science 

·       Experience with hydrologic modeling, including developing or applying floodplain models in areas with low data availability

·       Ability to work with geographic information systems (GIS)

·       Very good written and oral communication skills in English

·       Fluent in Spanish

Preferred

·       Demonstrated ability to contribute to interdisciplinary work at the intersection of ecosystem services and livelihoods.

·       Experience working in the Bolivian Amazon, or in neighboring regions.

·       Experience with the use of remote sensing (or other Earth observation-derived products) to supplement hydrological analyses in areas with limited data availability.

·       Experience collaborating with community and NGO stakeholders communicating the benefits of water ecosystem services in terms of economic or livelihood benefits.

What you’ll need to succeed

In both of these interdisciplinary roles, the successful candidate(s) must be able to work independently under tight deadlines, have excellent written and oral communication skills, and also excel in a collaborative research environment. They will collaborate closely with researchers at Stanford University, the Universidad Autonóma del Bení in Bolivia, Wildlife Conservation Society, and other collaborators and stakeholders in the region of Bení, including potential travel to the study area (when and if feasible given COVID restrictions). The postdoc will also be responsible for generating presentations and contributing to other communications materials for outreach and community engagement on the values of and threats to the ecosystem services of the Llanos de Moxos region.

Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at the Natural Capital Project. We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization. We therefore encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

How to apply

To apply, please email Adrian Vogl (avogl@stanford.edu) with the subject line “BOLIVIA POSTDOC” and attach a C.V., contact information for three references, and a cover letter. In the cover letter, please address:

·       Your qualifications for the position

·       What unique experiences you could bring to our team

·       Indicate if you would require sponsorship for a visa to work in California1, and any details that would affect the type of visa. Visas must be processed through the consulate in your home country.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting January 11, 2021.

1 Note that we are open to considering alternative work or contractual arrangements if visa or citizenship status means that relocation to California is not feasible.