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Position Details

Academic Personnel

Postdoctoral Scholar Position in Air Quality Modeling for Environmental Justice - Civil and Environmental Engineering

Position Overview

School / Campus / College: College of Engineering

Organization: Civil & Environmental Engineering

Title: Postdoctoral Scholar Position in Air Quality Modeling for Environmental Justice - Civil and Environmental Engineering

Position Details

Position Description

The Marshall Research Group at University of Washington has an outstanding opportunity for a full-time postdoctoral researcher in air quality modeling and environmental justice.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, self-motivated individual who has experience with air quality modeling and who is passionate about advancing environmental justice via research and working with community groups.

Candidates should have experience with research using air pollution models, especially chemical transport models (CTMs), and geospatial data. Candidates should see value both in excellent scholarship and in real-word impact.

Our group uses air pollution models to (1) understand national disparities in exposure to air pollution, and (2) test specific steps that could help address those disparities. For a current project, we are collaborating with organizations representing overburdened communities in Washington State and elsewhere. We work with community groups to understand questions and potential solutions they care about, and then to use air pollution data and models to investigate those questions and potential solutions. We also aim to make the models more useful and usable to community groups; to do so, we will implement, and improve the usability of, the InMAP model.

In this project, testing potential solutions means understanding how changes in emissions (specific pollutants and sources, in specific locations) would impact existing exposure disparities (e.g., disparities by income and race/ethnicity).

This position is initially offered for 1 year (12-month) 100%-time FTE, with renewability expected, depending on job performance and funding. The preferred start is Fall 2022. The postdoc will be hosted in the UW Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (, supervised by Professor Julian Marshall. Collaborators including Prof. Josh Apte at UC Berkeley, and community organizations.

The successful candidate may apply for an eScience Postdoctoral Fellowship (

Additional information about the InMAP models is available at and We and collaborators have used InMAP in multiple investigations of environmental justice; examples articles include

  • Tessum et al., 2021. PM2.5 polluters disproportionately and systemically affect people of color in the United States. Science Advances.
  • Tessum et al., 2019. Inequity in consumption of goods and services adds to racial-ethnic disparities in air pollution exposures. PNAS.

Other relevant investigations (not using InMAP) include

  • Liu et al., 2021. Disparities in Air Pollution Exposure in the United States by Race/Ethnicity and Income, 1990–2010. EHP.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The successful candidate will conduct excellent scholarly research and will support organizations representing overburdened communities. Primary duties & responsibilities include running and testing an air pollution model, using models to evaluate emission-reduction scenarios in terms of their impact on exposures and exposure-disparities, and engaging with community organizations. Additional duties & responsibilities include writing and editing peer-reviewed journal articles, communicating with diverse collaborators and stakeholders, presenting at scientific conferences and to community groups, and brainstorming ways to use scientific analyses to pose and test solutions to environmental inequity.

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


Minimum Qualifications:

Specific knowledge, skills and abilities required include:

• A PhD (at the time of appointment) in science, math, or engineering;

• Able to develop, maintain, and apply an air pollution model (InMAP) in a desktop and cloud computing environment;

• Able to process datasets using Python and/or R;

• Experience and/or demonstrated interested in air pollution research, environmental justice, and community engagement;

• Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills, with record of high-quality publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals;

• Passionate, self-motivated and able to work independently and collaboratively.

The first qualification above (“ability to develop, maintain, and apply the InMAP model”) includes abilities such as (1) data analysis and data-file management steps; for example, spatially re-gridding an emission inventory, overlaying census data with model results that are on an irregular grid, or generating potential emission-reduction scenarios that reflect broad policy scenarios and then running InMAP multiple times to see the impact of those emission-reductions; (2) investigating the mathematical representations of chemistry and physics in an air pollution model, (3) learning how to convert outputs from a conventional Chemical Transport Model into input for InMAP, and (4) working collaboratively with others to set up InMAP runs and to investigate their output.

Desired Qualifications:

Abilities that are desirable, providing for an enhanced level of job performance, include these:

• Comfort and familiarity with running scientific models in a cloud computing environment;

• Experience with community engaged scientific research, especially in environmental justice;

• Familiarity with large datasets and/or with datasets or models specific to air quality modeling (e.g., meteorological data, emissions estimates, or a CTM such as CMAQ or WRFChem);

• Familiarity with the programming language Go.

(Those skills are desirable but not required. We welcome candidates that have one or more of those skills; we do not expect that candidates would have all of the skills on this “desirable” list.).


UPDATED: To apply, applicants should upload the following application materials to Interfolio. The new application deadline is Friday, September 2, 2022. Applications will be reviewed following the application deadline. 

  1. A cover letter (2 pages max) briefly describing qualifications, research interests, professional goals, and specific interest in this position. If you are missing any of the "minimum qualifications", or if you have any of the "desired qualifications,” please mention this in your cover letter.
  2. A JEDI statement (1 page max) describing the candidate’s personal and professional experiences with justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI), and their contributions to and vision for promoting JEDI.
  3. Statement on air pollution modeling experience (1 page max), describing the candidate’s experience using, running, or modifying air pollution models.
  4. Resume or CV.
  5. Contact information (name, position, email) for 2 to 4 references.
  6. Sexual Misconduct form: State law requires that the University of Washington obtain the Disclosure of Sexual Misconduct declaration signed by the candidate. The declaration will require you to disclose any substantiated findings of sexual misconduct, to authorize current and past employers to disclose to the UW any sexual misconduct currently being investigated and/or committed by you, and to release current and past employers from any liability.

Please include your name as part of the filename.

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.

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

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements and Information

Under Washington State Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.1, University of Washington (UW) workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof thereof, or receive a UW-approved medical or religious exemption. This requirement will be a condition of any offer associated with this recruitment. For more information, please visit

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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
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