Postdoctoral position in tree mortality detection

Summary: The Atmosphere, Climate and Ecosystem Sciences (ACES) team within the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory is seeking a highly qualified Postdoctoral researcher to work on cutting edge tree mortality quantification. We expect the candidate to develop and test a coupled model of vegetation dynamics and forest canopy reflectance and transmittance to quantify the amount of tree mortality from remote sensing imageries (LANDSAT/MODIS). The coupled model will be calibrated and tested against different sources of data using advanced data assimilation approaches. The successful applicant will work within an interdisciplinary team of staff scientists, postdocs and students at LANL.

Required skills: A PhD in remote sensing, environmental science, earth systems science, or closely related field. Proficient in computer modeling and simulation using amongst others C, Fortran, MATLAB, R or Python, and demonstrated ability to publish high quality peer-reviewed papers. Effective written and oral communication skills, and willingness to work in a team environment.

Desired skills:
Knowledge of remote sensing processes, vegetation dynamics and data assimilation.

This position is for two years. Strong 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. For general information please refer to the LANL Postdoctoral Program page (

Salary and benefits: LANL pays national top-level salary for Postdocs at a rate above 70K/year, a 9% match of your salary for your retirement [about 7K/year] and 5K for relocation.

To apply please send a resume and a short statement of your future research goals to Chonggang Xu ( We will begin our review by Feb 20, 2012 and will continue until the position is filled.

About Los Alamos: Los Alamos, New Mexico sits at 7,500′ in the Southern Rocky Mountains. The town is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise with more than 300 days of sunshine per year during our four distinct seasons. Only thirty miles away, Santa Fe includes a wide array of cultural activities, including a wonderful outdoor opera house, world-class museum and art galleries and a great selection of fine restaurants.