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Position Details

Academic Personnel

Postdoctoral Scholar – Qualitative Modeling of the Puget Sound Social-Ecological System

Position Overview

School / Campus / College: University of Washington, Tacoma

Organization: School of Engineering and Technology

Title: Postdoctoral Scholar – Qualitative Modeling of the Puget Sound Social-Ecological System

Position Details

Position Description

The University of Washington Tacoma’s Puget Sound Institute, in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Services, Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle WA seeks a Postdoctoral Scholar to conduct qualitative modeling research in the Puget Sound region of Washington State, USA.

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 October 1, 2023 (negotiable). Initial appointment is for 1 year, with a potential reappointment up to 1 additional year, pending performance review.

The Postdoctoral Scholar will join the new “Puget Sound Integrated Modeling Framework” project, which will link several regional modeling frameworks to inform decision making related to species recovery, nutrients and contaminant management, and mitigation of climate change impacts. The three modeling frameworks are the Salish Sea Model of oceanography and biogeochemistry, the VELMA model of watershed hydrology and biogeochemistry, and the Atlantis model for Puget Sound food webs, fisheries and conservation activities. The project will also be developing a high-resolution land use change model. The project is a collaboration between UW Tacoma/Puget Sound Institute, the USEPA-ORD VELMA modeling team, the UW Salish Sea Modeling Center, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, PNNL, and CSIRO Australia. The postdoc will also interface with the Future Scenarios project at the Puget Sound Partnership.

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

This position will contribute to our collaborative group by conducting qualitative network analyses of the connections between land use, water quantity and quality, marine food webs and species, governance, and ecological, social and economic system dynamics and outcomes. A major focus of this position will be to develop the human wellbeing components of a qualitative network, like health, economic vitality, and equity, and their connections and responses to environmental outcomes from the quantitative biophysical models in the project.

We seek candidates that hold a doctoral degree in environmental social or natural science, for example in geography, political ecology, sociology, ecology, fisheries biology, oceanography, natural resource management or a related field, and who have demonstrated clever and impactful approaches to relating human activities on the landscape to social and/or ecological impacts.  We are especially interested in candidates whose work considers the social and economic benefits and costs of land use and development and the resulting strategies to mitigate impacts on adjacent waters.

Research activities include: coordinating with multiple stakeholders and collaborators to define objectives and research questions; leading participatory co-development and refinement of conceptual models; devising management scenarios; building network models in one or more platforms (e.g., loop analysis/qpress; fuzzy cognitive maps/Mental Modeler; Bayesian belief networks; etc.); and interpreting, communicating to broad audiences, and publishing results.


  • Ph.D. in Political Ecology, Geography, Sociology, Natural Resource Management, Quantitative Ecology, Economics, Fisheries Science, Biology, Zoology, Biological Oceanography, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, or related discipline
  • Knowledge of modeling ecosystem and/or social network dynamics
  • Strong quantitative skills
  • Proficiency with statistics and data analysis
  • Familiarity with a programming language such as R
  • Willingness to collaborate with other postdoctoral researchers, students, agency and university scientists, policy makers, and the members of the public
  • Demonstrated ability to summarize scientific findings in the form of written manuscripts and oral presentations

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience developing and ideally leading research analyses
  • Familiarity with qualitative modeling techniques
  • Familiarity with human system dynamics or aspects of human wellbeing


Applications should be submitted by June 01, 2023 to ensure full consideration but the position 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

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

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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