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Job Description

  Thank you for your interest in employment with the Desert Research Institute.  We want your  application process to go smoothly and quickly.  We ask that you keep in mind the following when completing your application:

  • Once you start the application process you cannot save your work. Please ensure you have all required attachment(s) available to complete your application before you begin the process.
  • Required attachments are listed below on the posting. Your application will not be considered without the required attachments.
  • Please see the application instructions under each posting for information on submittal deadlines.

If you need assistance or have questions regarding the application process, contact Human Resources Hotline at (775) 673-7431 or DescriptionThe Desert Research Institute (DRI) is an environmental sciences research organization within the Nevada System of Higher Education. DRI is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow with expertise in the general areas of Soil Science, Geomorphology, and Quaternary Geology to support currently funded projects.  Project efforts are focused on developing systematic relations among landform type, soil properties, surface conditions, and vegetative cover that can provide realistic prediction or estimation of basic soil properties (surface and subsurface) including dominant profile features, and soil physical properties (e.g., soil thickness, texture, degree of soil development) across various glacial landform features. We are especially interested in scientists with knowledge and expertise in the geomorphology and soils associated with areas having a history of late Quaternary continental glaciation and related deposits and landforms. The position is based at DRI's Northern Nevada Science Center in Reno, Nevada.We seek scientists with knowledge, experience, or interest in more than one of the following technical areas as applied to the soils and geomorphology associated with late Quaternary continental glaciation:Quaternary geologic/geomorphic mapping and terrain analysis of areas impacted by continental glaciation. Soil properties, processes of soil development, and soil mapping of areas impacted by continental glaciation. Knowledge of North American and European landscapes where late Quaternary continental glaciation has occurred. Laboratory experience in the analysis of soils including soil texture, pH, XRF, XRD, bulk density, and related physical and chemical parameters. Knowledge of basic soil morphology and experience in the field description of soil profiles, especially in glacial deposits.Required Qualifications

  • US citizenship.
  • Ph.D. in soil science, geoscience, or geography and related fields (e.g., environmental science) from an accredited institution.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Evidence of the ability to participate in collaborative, team-based oriented research.
  • Self-starter who can take direction but does not require it.
  • Ability to work independently to fulfill project goals and meet project deadlines.
  • Valid driver’s license and driving record that allows the ability to access U.S. instillation's.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Well-established knowledge of soil science, geomorphology, and geospatial aspects of terrain analysis.
  • Experience in one of the research areas above as related to late Quaternary continental glaciation.
  • Demonstrated abilities in using ArcGIS to map, model, and evaluate continental glacial terrain features and soils.
  • Ability to design, set up, and run novel field and laboratory experiments in support of above research areas.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to develop oral/poster presentations and write peer reviewed papers with limited supervision.
  • Ability to participate in the development of research proposals.
  • Strong quantitative and modeling skills.
  • Strong interest in developing research proposals for extramural funding.

Conditions of Employment

  • Due to security requirements associated with accessing essential project sites and information, ALL applicants MUST be citizens of the United States.
  • Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a background check.
  • Must be able to work extended hours in the field (often in remote locations) and travel as required.
  • Must be able to hand carry field equipment (up to 40lbs) and collect samples across variable terrain, conduct field data collects using shovels, picks, augers, and technical equipment to measure soil properties related to morphology, strength, and moisture.
  • The individual who is offered and accepts this position must provide, within 30 working days of his/her start date, a copy of the transcript(s) of the highest degree he/she has acquired, as awarded by an accredited institute as recognized by the United States Department of Education and/or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Organizational SummarySince 1959, DRI has stood at the forefront of understanding Earth's complex environmental systems, promoting preservation of diverse ecosystems, advancing responsible natural resource management, and improving human health and welfare throughout Nevada and around the world. More than 500 highly skilled scientists, engineers, technicians and students are collaboratively focused on understanding and answering critical questions about global climate change, water quality and availability, air quality, sustainability of desert lands, life in extreme environments, and more.Salary / BenefitsSalaries are competitive and commensurate with qualifications and continued appointment (assessed annually for up to a maximum of three years) being dependent upon performance and availability of funding. This position is eligible for DRI’s benefits package and relocation assistance. See this link for a benefits overview: Equivalent 100.0%Required Attachment(s)Qualified individuals interested in this position must apply online at upload the following documents in the specified section of your application in Workday:

  • A cover letter detailing your research experience, career goals, and project interests;
  • A current curriculum vitae;
  • Contact information for three professional/work-related references, to be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant permission.

Qualified individuals who meet all qualifications and requirements are encouraged to apply immediately and provide all required attachments to receive full consideration. Recruitment will close without notice when a sufficient number of applications are received, or a hiring decision has been made.For more detailed information about DRI, please visit us at For questions regarding this position or assistance with your application, please call the recruiting office at 775-673-7319.Posting Close Date09/30/2020Note to ApplicantApplicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience with specific reference to each of the minimum and preferred qualifications. The search committee will use this information during the initial review of application materials.  References will be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant notification and permission.Newly hired faculty and postdoctoral fellows must assure that their official transcript is submitted to the Human Resources Office within 30 calendar days from the effective date of employment.  Academic degrees must have been awarded by regionally accredited institutions.This position may require a criminal background check to be conducted on the candidate(s) selected for hire.As part of the hiring process, applicants for positions in the Nevada System of Higher Education may be required to demonstrate the ability to perform job-related tasks.DRI employs only U.S. citizens and aliens authorized to work in the U.S. DRI only sponsors aliens applying for research faculty or postdoctoral fellow positions (J-1 or H-1B Visas).All applicants hired by the Desert Research Institute are subject to E-Verify.