Postdoctoral Researcher - CFOS/NPS

Apply now Job no: 508567
Classification:Post Doctoral Fellow non represented
Grade:Non-Union Faculty Grade 40
Work type:Post Doc
Administrative Unit:University of Alaska Fairbanks
School/Business unit:College of Fisheries&Ocean Sciences
Location: Fairbanks
Categories: Other

Position Summary:

An adventurous post-doctoral researcher is sought to lead an Arctic research project that will improve our understanding of Bering Strait region coastal systems and their connections to offshore marine waters. Joining the strengths of two 100-year-old institutions, this position will work in close collaboration with both the National Park Service and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


20Data analysis and synthesisEssential
20Field workEssential
20Interface with UAF and NPS research activitiesEssential
20Logistics, planning and preparations for field work activitiesEssential
20Report and journal article writing and publicationEssential


Additional Position Details:

The position is designed to provide coastal physical oceanography expertise to National Park Service studies in Alaska and technical assistance for coastal physical issues nationally. Initially, this position provides an opportunity to develop a more complete picture of how the waters of the Western Arctic Parklands and Bering Land Bridge National Park are connected to the greater Bering and Chukchi seas; similar opportunities near other National Parks in Alaska may also present themselves.

This work fulfills two significant public purposes. The first is to enhance general understanding of the nearshore oceanography around a critical connection between the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic Ocean. Bering Strait is the sole interface of these two oceans and a major migratory pathway for marine mammals, fish, and birds using the North American and Asian flyways; species which are used for subsistence purposes by citizens of at least 3 nations including the United States, Canada, and Russia. The second is to increase our collective knowledge of the connectivity between nearshore coastal systems and the offshore environment.

The Alaska Regional Office (AKRO) Oceans and Coastal Program (OCP) is tasked with identifying important informational gaps relative to coastal and marine systems necessary to address and enhance natural resource management efficacy and capabilities. Within this charge is to identify and coordinate pathways to address these needed information gaps. The AKRO OCP has identified several coastal parks with significant information gaps associated with the nearshore oceanography, nearshore-offshore oceanographic connectivity, and physical dynamic processes of water masses affecting National Park resources and seeks to address these gaps. The OCP recognizes important linkages between coastal systems and offshore oceanographic processes that, when linked, will significantly enhance the National Parks Service’s ability to address its primary concerns regarding natural resource management: preserving natural resources unimpaired in perpetuity for future generations.

Tying nearshore informational gaps to offshore processes is important for effectively managing coastal park resources. Current rates of change in the coastal environment are of great concern to park resource management; particularly in understanding how park systems will change as broader oceanic conditions change. One key question that echoes broadly across the National Parks Service and within Alaska in particular in this regard is, what appropriate preparatory actions could and should be taken, given the current change rates in the coastal environment.

The objectives of this work within the Alaska Region include to identify and describe nearshore currents in the waters of and adjacent to the Western Arctic Parklands and Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. The goal would be to tie this information to ongoing oceanographic research in the Bering Strait (e.g., as part of the Arctic Integrated Ecosystem Research Program) to provide a more complete picture of how the nearshore waters are influenced by the waters of the Bering Strait. Additionally, the nearshore waters of Kenai Fjords National Park are lacking sufficient understanding of nearshore oceanographic processes to understand the implications of changing glacial input to the fjord waters.  This position may also support efforts to more fully describe the nearshore ocean dynamics and glacial interactions of Kenai Fjords within the fjord systems. Ongoing research in these fjords and offshore include activities of the Gulf Watch Alaska research program.

Other parks that require similar types of nearshore oceanographic and physical dynamic process information include Katmai National Park, Lake Clark National Park, and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Should the opportunity through ongoing research arise, these parks would also be considered as potential research sites to collect this information.

The Ocean and Coastal Resources Branch (OCRB) within the NPS Natural Resource Stewardship and Science directorate is tasked to, “Increase National Park Service technical capacity for ocean exploration and stewardship” by the 2007 Ocean Park Stewardship Action Plan. The ORCB provides technical assistance to coastal parks without access to the specialized skills that this endeavor will provide. As such, this position will be utilized to provide oceanographic technical expertise to the NPS National OCRB program, and potentially, provide support to any of the coastal National Parks across the entire Nation.

Applicant Instructions:

Interested applicants must apply online.  If you need assistance applying to this posting, please contact the UAF Office of Human Resources at 907-474-7700. 

Required Applicant Documents:

  • Cover Letter
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) 
  • Contact information for three professional references (address, email and phone number)

Review Date:

Early applications are welcome but must be received no later than March 15, 2018, by 11:55 PM Alaska Standard Time to ensure full consideration. Applications received after this time and date may not be considered for this position. This position will remain open until filled.

Education required for this position:

PhD. (already received or having completed all requirements and awaiting graduation)

Type and length of experience required for this position:

Proven track record of relevant experience and first-author published peer-reviewed papers.

Knowledge, skills and abilities required for this position:

General knowledge of physical oceanography and oceanographic data analysis techniques. Experience interpreting, running and/or analyzing numerical model results. Experience working with standard oceanographic sampling equipment.

Applicant will need to participate in remote high-latitude fieldwork.  Fieldwork may be conducted in remote environments requiring travel in bear country; riding in small vessels in ocean and lagoons settings; flying in small aircraft; and/or hiking in remote, unimproved areas, over uneven terrain; and carrying a heavy pack. Field operations may be conducted in inclement conditions that may include rain and/or snow, large waves, sea ice, and low temperatures. Medical facilities may not be immediately available.

Background Check:

The successful applicant is required to complete a background check.  Any offer of employment is contingent on the background check.

Training Policy:

It is the policy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks that all employees are required to attend training to meet the requirements of the positions they hold, and to complete the required training within a specified period of time to remain employed at UAF.  The policy can be located at:

Tobacco-Free Campus:

UAF Campus is a tobacco free campus.  For more information, please go to:

Notice of Nondiscrimination:

The University of Alaska is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution.  The University of Alaska does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, age, sex, physical or mental disability, status as a protected veteran, marital status, changes in marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, parenthood, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, or other legally protected status. The University's commitment to nondiscrimination, including against sex discrimination, applies to students, employees, and applicants for admission and employment. Contact information, applicable laws, and complaint procedures are included on UA's statement of nondiscrimination available at

Advertised: Alaskan Standard Time
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