Assistant Professor of Environmental Data Science (Tenure-Track)

Internal Job ID: 51968

Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), an interdisciplinary research institute within the University of Colorado Boulder, invites applications for a tenure-track faculty member at the Assistant Professor level specializing in environmental data science. The position is rostered in CIRES, with tenure and teaching responsibilities in the Department of Geography in the College of Arts & Sciences.

The new faculty member will play a leadership role within ESIIL and advance their own extramurally funded research agenda that aligns with and uses ESIIL capabilities and resources. Environmental data science is highly interdisciplinary and represents the integration of data science with environmental sciences, advancing knowledge of the dynamics and interactions of the Earth system, towards actionable insights and tools, by using advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), statistics, data mining and fusion, computer vision, or other advanced analytical approaches.

Environmental research themes that focus on data-intensive exploration of the biosphere will be prioritized, such as AI for Earth Observations; biodiversity and the data revolution; data-driven inquiry on natural hazards and responses of ecosystems/communities; understanding disturbance and system thresholds in landscape ecology; climate and global change impacts, forecasting ecosystem health; data science for adaptation and resilient environmental futures, or other relevant data-driven themes. Advanced analytical and computational approaches could include AI and ML approaches, innovative data harmonization techniques, advanced statistical approaches, robust scientific software, new cloud-compute architectures, etc. The research will also use a broad swath of environmental data types and sources such as remote sensing data, e.g., Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) to airborne collections to satellite sensors; observatory field network data (e.g., NEON, CZNet, LTER); paleo records; synthetic or modeled environmental data; biorepositories; eDNA; citizen science and crowdsourced data; or other relevant environmental/biological data.

There is a three-course teaching load per year associated with this position. Teaching needs are associated with the three-course professional certificate in Earth Analytics that is taught through Earth Lab and Geography. Two courses will be taught in the professional certificate in Earth Analytics (which is taught in a hybrid-mode) and a third course will be taught in Geography on remote sensing applications, geographical information science, physical geography, or advanced analytical approaches using environmental data (determined based on the candidate’s specific expertise).

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

CIRES is an internationally recognized leader in innovative environmental science and research and is located at the University of Colorado Boulder. At CIRES, more than 800 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES has partnered with NOAA since 1967, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, biology and ecosystems, changes at Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, solid Earth sciences, and more. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

The Environmental Data Science Innovation & Inclusion Lab (ESIIL) is a newly established data synthesis center at the University of Colorado Boulder in collaboration with CyVerse at the University of Arizona and the University of Oslo. ESIIL, funded by the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Biological Sciences, is designed to foster collaboration across a broad range of disciplines related to environmental data science (EDS). ESIIL’s mission is to empower an inclusive and diverse community to accelerate open Environmental Data Science. ESIIL enables a global community of environmental data scientists to use the wealth of environmental data and emerging analytics to develop science-based solutions to solve pressing challenges in environmental sciences. ESIIL’s research community generates discoveries and novel approaches through 1) pioneering team science, 2) innovative tools and collaborative cyberinfrastructure, 3) data-science education and training, and 4) building inclusive participation and diverse groups. There are additional data-intensive collection and management efforts at CIRES and CU such as the Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research and NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

Maintain an active, externally funded research program, supervise and mentor graduate students, teach at the professional-student level and undergraduate- and graduate-student levels, and contribute professional service both within the university and to their professional research community. The typical effort distribution for tenure-track faculty is 40% teaching, 40% research, and 20% service.

What You Should Know

  • As part of the University of Colorado Boulder’s deep dedication to equity, diversity, and inclusion, the campus has implemented a reference check pilot program with respect to final candidates for tenured faculty appointments. The reference check pilot program is intended to allow CU Boulder to collect and review information about a candidate's conduct at their previous institutions, specifically conduct related to sexual misconduct, harassment, and/or discrimination – before making hiring decisions. All final candidates for tenured faculty appointments are required to complete an Authorization to Release Information.
  • The University of Colorado is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to building a diverse workforce and inclusive work culture that respects the rights and dignity of all individuals in our academic community. We encourage applications from women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. Alternative formats of this ad can be provided upon request for individuals with disabilities by contacting the ADA Coordinator at

What We Can Offer

The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

What We Require

Minimum academic requirements include a PhD at the time of appointment in geography, ecology, ecosystem science, evolutionary biology, or a related field such as computer science, data science, information science, and/or geographic information science, with a demonstrated research record in environmental science.

What We Would Like You to Have

We would like the candidate to have a foundation in data science and skills (e.g., experience in distributed computing and workflow management either on HPC, HTC, or Cloud) and a commitment to open science practices. The candidate will also demonstrate a commitment to greater diversity and inclusion in the field of EDS.

Special Instructions

For full consideration, please apply no later than November 11, 2023. The desired starting date for the position is August 2024 but is negotiable. For consideration, applications must be submitted online via the CU Boulder Jobs website at: Application materials will not be accepted via email.

Search Committee Contact:

For inquiries, please contact CIRES HR: Emily Hinga, at

Posting Contact Information:

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources
Posting Contact Email:

published: 27 October 2023     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.