Postdoctoral Scholar – UW VELMA

Position Overview

School / Campus / College: University of Washington, Tacoma

Organization: School of Engineering and Technology

Title: Postdoctoral Scholar – UW VELMA

Position Details

Position Description

The UW Puget Sound Institute seeks a Postdoctoral Scholar with expertise in process-based, multi-scale watershed modeling to collaborate with an interdisciplinary team developing a linked set of terrestrial-marine models parameterized for the entire Puget Sound basin and its watersheds. The 3-year project goal is to deliver a tool to support regional planning and restoration decision-making under alternative climate, population, and land use futures for a broad range of regional objectives, from orcas to human wellbeing. Watershed modeling outputs aim to help local and regional planners and managers visualize how effects of their decisions will propagate downstream with far reaching benefits and tradeoffs for terrestrial and marine endpoints of concern. This 3-year project brings together the USEPA’s VELMA modeling team, the UW Salish Sea Modeling Center team, the NOAA Atlantis and social-ecological systems modeling team, a high-resolution land-cover change model, and the coordination of the UW Puget Sound Institute.

We are particularly interested in broadly trained watershed modeling candidates with expertise in the application of process-based ecohydrological models for assessing impacts of alternative land use and climate change scenarios on terrestrial ecosystem structure and function, especially in relation to changes in water quality and quantity of stream and river systems, and the capacity of ecosystems to sustainably deliver services vital to human well-being.

Postdoctoral scholars are represented by UAW 4121 and are subject to the collective bargaining agreement, unless agreed exclusion criteria apply. For more information, please visit the University of Washington Labor Relations website.

The position has an anticipated start date of January 1, 2023 (negotiable). Initial appointment is for 2.5 years.

Position URL:

The base salary range for this position will be $4480-5250/month, commensurate with experience and qualifications, or as mandated by a U.S. Department of Labor prevailing wage determination. Other compensation associated with this position may include travel to national or international conferences, computing equipment, and fees associated with manuscript publications, if applicable. A summary of benefits associated with this title/rank can be found at


  • Ph.D. in Civil or Environmental Engineering, Ecohydrology, Quantitative Ecology, Biological Oceanography, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, or related discipline;
  • Process-based ecohydrological modeling (e.g., VELMA, SWAT, HSPF, DHSVM or similar) supporting multi-scale assessments of land use and climate impacts on terrestrial ecosystems and surface water quality and quantity. Training in the use of the Visualizing Ecosystem Land Management Assessments (VELMA) model will be provided as necessary.
  • Application of ArcGIS or similar tools for processing, analyzing, visualizing, and characterizing spatial and temporal patterns and variability in measured and modeled terrestrial data sets.
  • Application of Python or similar programming languages in conjunction with ArcGIS and watershed modeling applications are a plus.
  • Application of best QA/QC practices for managing large, complex modeling databases, including securely storing, organizing, retrieving, and applying data in support of watershed modeling.
  • Interpersonal and communication skills for working in a team environment.
  • Publication of modeling results in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.


Applications should be submitted by January 1, 2023 to ensure full consideration but the positions will remain open until filled

All applications should be submitted through Interfolio. Application packages should include the following:

  1. A letter of application that addresses how you meet the basic and preferred qualifications
  2. A Curriculum Vitae
  3. One to three representative publications
  4. Names and contact information of three references

Position URL:

Applicants with inquiries regarding this position should contact: Tessa Francis at

Salary: $63,000/year

Location: Center for Urban Waters, UW Tacoma. This position will have the option for hybrid schedule.

Travel: Funds include travel to one conference per year to present project results.

International Applicants: Visa sponsorship will be reviewed on a case-by-case bases. Relocation costs are not included.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.

Benefits Information

A summary of benefits associated with this title/rank can be found at Appointees solely employed and paid directly by a non-UW entity are not UW employees and are not eligible for UW or Washington State employee benefits.

Commitment to Diversity

The University of Washington is committed to building diversity among its faculty, librarian, staff, and student communities, and articulates that commitment in the UW Diversity Blueprint ( Additionally, the University’s Faculty Code recognizes faculty efforts in research, teaching and/or service that address diversity and equal opportunity as important contributions to a faculty member’s academic profile and responsibilities (

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Disability Services

To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or