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Postdoctoral Researcher, Science, Visiting

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Company :
Universities Space Research Association

Location :
Greenbelt, Maryland

Expiry Date :
Fri, 26 Mar 2021 23:59:59 GMT

Apply Job :
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Description :
This position is within the Ocean Ecology Laboratory (Code 616) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center that performs fundamental research on ocean color remote sensing. We seek a postdoctoral scientist to support newly funded research that will investigate machine learning approaches for predicting phytoplankton community composition (PCC) from ocean color. Phytoplankton are a diverse collection of organisms that span a wide range of sizes from the sub-micron to millimeters and perform a wide array of ecological and biogeochemical functions. Understanding how these communities are organized – i.e., phytoplankton community composition – can reveal fundamental information on the uptake of atmospheric CO2 through photosynthesis, how much of that photosynthetically fixed carbon sinks to the deep ocean over climate-relevant time scales, and how efficiently their energy is transferred to higher trophic levels such as economically important fisheries species. The candidate will work with a highly qualified and diverse team of scientists that include ocean color specialists, phytoplankton ecologists, ocean ecosystem modelers, and a computer scientist. The overarching project objective is to develop Bayesian machine learning approaches to predict and understand the PCC signals that are contained within ocean color measurements. The candidate will interact intensively with this multidisciplinary team with the expectation that the developed approach will be a true collaboration between the domain specialists and computer scientists. Essential Duties/Responsibilities: – Regular interaction with the Principal Investigator and other senior project personnel for project guidance, technical support, and mentorship – Collation, quality control/quality assurance, and formatting of multiparameter oceanographic datasets – Development of machine learning approaches for modeling and predicting ocean ecosystem variables. More specifically, this will entail Bayesian machine learning approaches that run in Python development environments. – Regular interaction and collaboration with the senior team members – Participation in annual NASA Ocean Color Research Team meetings and other national and international conferences – Preparation of annual reports, peer reviewed publications, open access datasets, and code and accompanying documentation resulting from the research – Other job-related duties as assigned. Required Qualifications: Education: – Ph.D. in computer science, statistics, Earth science, or a related field Experience: – 0-2 years in research that utilized machine learning approaches, use of complex and/or Big datasets, Bayesian statistics knowledge/experience is desirable. Knowledge, Skills & Abilities: – Demonstrated ability to write and publish peer and non-peer reviewed publications – Fluent in Python, Matlab, or an equivalent programming language – Demonstrated experience in implementing machine learning approaches – Experience with or knowledge of Bayesian statistics – Strong interest in oceanography or Earth sciences – formal training in these fields is not a pre-requisite Attributes: – Communicate effectively by speaking, listening and write in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques; communicate with a broad range of scientists and engineers in a high-pressure, results-oriented context. – Speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization. – Work cooperatively and effectively with others in a research environment to set goals, resolve problems and make decisions that enhance team effectiveness. – Establish priorities and make effective decisions daily to promote the advancement of science. – Solve Problems: Assess problem situations to identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions and make recommendations and/or resolve the problem. Technology: – Proficiency in Microsoft Office and its applications. Working Conditions: This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, etc. Extensive online usage. This is largely a sedentary role. Travel: Up to 25 % travel. Applicants should apply to the posting at USRA Careers and include a letter of interest, resume, or curriculum vita. Additional information on USRA can be found at . USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer: Minorities / Females / Protected Veterans / Disabled / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity.