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Position Details

Academic Personnel

Postdoctoral Scholar - Geochemical Paleoclimate Records from Individual Foraminifera

Position Overview

School / Campus / College: College of the Environment

Organization: School of Oceanography

Title: Postdoctoral Scholar - Geochemical Paleoclimate Records from Individual Foraminifera

Position Details

Position Description

The School of Oceanography at the University of Washington (UW) invites applications for a postdoctoral scholar to conduct original research focusing on a new project “Constraining Pliocene North Pacific marine heatwave variability from individual foraminifera Mg/Ca,” funded through the NSF’s Paleo-Perspectives on Climate Change program. This will be an excellent opportunity for those who are excited by the challenge of using highly-sensitive, cutting-edge analytical techniques to generate novel reconstructions of past climate variability in hopes of better forecasting future change.

Marine heatwaves (MHW) are prolonged periods of anomalous ocean warming with considerable socioeconomic impacts, and a persistent north Pacific event from 2014-2016 is likely the most ecologically and economically impactful ever. Observational data suggest an increase in MHW frequency and duration over the past century, but simulations of future MHW behavior exhibit biases. Paleoclimate data can provide a benchmark for evaluating model performance under near future conditions, and the over aching goal of the project is to reconstruct north Pacific MHW behavior during the mid-Piacenzian warm period (mPWP), which is one of the best analogs of near future climate.

The successful candidate will work in UW’s TraceLab ( to generate paleotemperature distributions based on element/calcium ratios of individual G. bulloides foraminifera sampled from modern and mPWP sediment core intervals. The position will be based at UW in Seattle, WA, but under the joint direction of Dr. Alex Gagnon at UW and Dr. Casey Saenger at Western Washington University (WWU). Major responsibilities will include analyzing single foraminifera using isotope dilution and the mass spectrometers at UW (35%), analytical method improvement and development (10%), processing and interpreting data (20%), leading manuscript preparation (20%), helping to mentor WWU students during periodic visits (10%), and lab upkeep and data management (5%).

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 University of Washington, College of the Environment, and School of Oceanography are dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty and staff committed to teaching and working in a multicultural, inclusive environment and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and covered veterans. The School of Oceanography is therefore seeking candidates whose experiences have prepared them to fulfill our commitment to inclusion. For more information on our commitment to building a culturally diverse workforce, please see: and

The University of Washington (UW) is located in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, with a dynamic, multicultural community of 3.7 million people and a range of ecosystems from mountains to ocean. The UW serves a diverse population of 80,000 students, faculty and staff, including 25% first-generation college students, over 25% Pell Grant students, and faculty from over 70 countries. The UW is a recipient of a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award to increase the advancement of women faculty in science, engineering, and math (see

Salary range:  The salary range for this position will be $5,459 to $5,659 per month ($65,508-$67,908 annual salary), commensurate with experience and qualifications, or as mandated by a U.S. Department of Labor prevailing wage determination.


A PhD in geochemistry, chemistry, oceanography, earth science, climate science, or a related field is required. Strong candidates will have experience with one or more of the following: 1) analysis of trace metals in foraminifera 2) geochemical analysis of individual foraminifera 3) trace metal clean rooms 4) isotope dilution methods 5) plasma source isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Proficiency in a scripting language (e.g., Matlab, Python, R) is a plus. 

This position is full-time (100% FTE), 12-months/year, with an initial term appointment of one year (12 months), with the possibility of renewal up to a total of 30 months subject to satisfactory performance. Salary will be commensurate with experience and employee benefits will be provided.


To apply, candidates will be asked to submit materials via Interfolio including 1) a letter of interest describing your interest in the position and qualifications, 2) a curriculum-vitae including a list of publications, 3) a statement describing your research accomplishments and goals as well as your experience with collaborative research, mentoring, and broadening participation in science (no more than 2 pages) and 4) name and contact information for 3 professional references.

PDF files are preferred. Candidates from groups historically underrepresented in Oceanography are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications submitted by December 23, 2022, will be given full consideration. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  Questions can be directed to Dr. Alex Gagnon ( or Dr. Casey Saenger (

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

Apply now

The University of Washington is using Interfolio's Faculty Search to conduct this search. Applicants to this position receive a free Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.

For help signing up, accessing your account, or submitting your application, please check out Interfolio's help and support section or get in touch via email at or phone at (877)997-8807.

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