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Position Details

Academic Personnel

Postdoctoral Scholar in Wildfire-Treatment Outcomes and Remote Sensing at the Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory

Position Overview

School / Campus / College: College of the Environment

Organization: Environmental and Forest Sciences

Title: Postdoctoral Scholar in Wildfire-Treatment Outcomes and Remote Sensing at the Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory

Position Details

Position Description

The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, in collaboration with the USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station, is seeking a postdoctoral scholar with expertise in fire modeling and remotely sensed data to support innovative research. This project will improve our understanding of the conditions under which fuel treatments produce desired socioecological outcomes when encountered by wildfire. The postdoctoral scholar will join a team of postdoctoral scholars, federal scientists, and university faculty who will develop and refine a core, scalable methodology that leverages existing spatial datasets on landscape, fire, and fuel treatment characteristics. The research team will apply this methodology to observed wildfire-treatment encounters in different landscapes across the United States to produce empirical case studies of wildfire-treatment outcomes (WTOs). Fuel treatments are intended to change fire behavior (e.g., reduced intensity, spread rate, or spotting potential) in the event of a wildfire.

The WTOs the postdoctoral scholar will evaluate in the Pacific Northwest are the reduction of fire severity, the successful containment of fire spread, and the reduction of impacts to homes and critical infrastructure. These three outcomes are connected to the three pillars of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (“Cohesive Strategy”) of fire resilient landscapes, safe and effective wildfire response, and fire-adapted communities, respectively. The postdoctoral scholar will engage in research that takes advantage of the tremendous variation in landscape, fire, and treatment characteristics to conduct a set of natural experiments, taking a “big data” and remote sensing approach to learning from past fuel treatment activities. Such empirical, data-driven assessments of WTOs are critical to inform process-based models of future treatment outcomes under a changing climate, to improve future treatment layout and design, to guide decision-making on incidents, and to improve adaptive management and monitoring of fuel treatment investments. The proposed research involves both place-based empirical case studies and methodological development, therefore, the postdoctoral scholar’s research will build a foundation for improving monitoring systems, rapidly assessing drivers of treatment effectiveness on landscapes of interest and fostering collaborative learning with agency partners.

The postdoc will be based at the UW Seattle Campus and working at the USFS Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory. The postdoc will collaborate closely with other team members located in other USFS Research Stations in the country. The research will be conducted in the laboratory and will require field visits to wildfire sites.



The incumbent will be responsible of processing and analyzing large remote sensing datasets (e.g., Landsat, Sentinel-2, MODIS) and spatial datasets (e.g., FACTs, FTEM, field data) both locally with R/Python and via Google Earth Engine for wild-treatment outcome research. Work will include analysis of spatial and related data (vector, raster, imagery) sufficient to support multi-scale and/or multi-resource planning, assessments, and monitoring. Knowledge of data and data management sufficient to create, transform and integrate data in a variety of resolutions and formats. Analysis will include running machine learning algorithms (e.g., Random Forest, CART) and regression models (e.g., SAR, LME) to derive ecological insights from big data sets. The project entails developing reproducible and scalable methodologies, using common software and programming languages, that can be used by land managers for decision making support. The incumbent will work with principal investigators and professional staff from the University of Washington and the USFS to analyze geospatial data to support resource management decisions for multiple resource, jurisdictional, and ownership units or a large geographical region. It requires knowledge of cartographic principles and conventions sufficient to create maps for external and internal use that display natural resource and socio-economic information and highlight particular analysis results. The incumbent will be part of a team that will engage and collaborate with both the University researchers and outside experts and stakeholders. The postdoctoral scholar will lead writing of study reports and related publication manuscripts.



The base salary range for this position will be $6,000 - $6,500 per month ($72,000 - $78,000 per year), commensurate with experience and qualifications, or as mandated by a U.S. Department of Labor prevailing wage determination. 

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 (Seattle campus), a leader in undergraduate and graduate education and one of the world's premiere research universities, offers rigorous academic programs, outstanding faculty, and diverse cultural and social opportunities in a stimulating intellectual environment. The College of the Environment, including its six Schools and Departments and multiple programs, institutes, and centers, connects educators, researchers, students, and citizens, cultivating communities who work with and learn from each other while tackling critical environmental challenges. The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences is dedicated to generating and disseminating knowledge for the stewardship of natural and managed environments and the sustainable use of their products and services through teaching, research, and outreach. Our Seattle location is ideal, with access to a multitude of collaboration opportunities in a vibrant urban location with the allure of the mountains, forests, and islands within 45 minutes of campus.

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

The UW and School of Environmental and Forest Sciences promote diversity and inclusivity among our students, faculty, staff, and public. Thus, we are strongly seeking candidates whose experiences have prepared them to fulfill our commitment to inclusion and have given them the confidence to fully engage audiences from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.


  • Ph.D. in quantitative sciences, quantitative ecology and resource management, forestry, remote sensing, geographic information systems, or related fields and have no more than 3 years of total postdoctoral experience at the time of appointment (University of Washington postdoctoral scholar appointments are for a temporary, defined period not to exceed five years/60 months, including any previous postdoctoral experience).
  • Experience processing and analyzing large remote sensing datasets (e.g., Landsat, Sentinel-2, MODIS) and geospatial datasets (e.g., FACTs, FTEM, field data) both locally with R/Python and via Google Earth Engine for wildfire and fuel treatment outcome research.
  • Proficiency with running machine learning algorithms (e.g., Random Forest, CART) and regression models (e.g., SAR, LME) to derive ecological insights from big data sets.
  • Experience developing reproducible and scalable methodologies, using common software and programming languages, that can be used by land managers for multi-scale and/or multi-resource decision-making support for planning, assessments, and monitoring.
  • Background on natural resource management applications and wildland fire sciences.
  • Strong record of publications and verbal presentations. Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team of scientists and managers.


To apply for this position, please submit an application via Interfolio. Applicants must submit:

  1. A statement of research interests and relevant skills and experiences
  2. A CV including demonstrated scholarly production (e.g., list of publications, presentations, public datasets, or code)
  3. A representative example of your scholarly work/s
  4. Names, addresses, emails, and telephone numbers of three references


The position is open until filled. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but apply by June 30, 2023, to receive full consideration. The position will start as soon as possible, but no later than September 1, 2023. The initial appointment will be 100% FTE for one year with renewal for a second year depending on performance.


Questions regarding potential disability accommodations during the application process can be directed to For other queries, please reach out to Dr. Ernesto Alvarado at or Dr. Morris Johnson 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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Please see the Title IX website to learn more about how to report or make a formal complaint of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct. You will also find information about supportive measures and the grievance procedures that are utilized for complaints of sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct. Students and employees have access to support measures and resources, whether or not they choose to make a complaint.

Office of the Title IX Coordinator

Valery Richardson, Title IX Coordinator
Mags Aleks, Deputy Title IX Coordinator
4311 11th Ave NE Seattle, WA 98105