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Assistant Research Professor/Post Doc Associate

University of Maryland

Job Description

Position Number:



Assistant Research Professor

Functional Title:

Assistant Research Professor/Post Doc Associate

Category Status:

15-Fac.Non-Tenured,Continuing Con

Applicant Search Category:


University Authorized FTE:




Campus/College Information:

Founded in 1856, University of Maryland, College Park is the state’s flagship institution. Our 1,250-acre College Park campus is just minutes away from Washington, D.C., and the nexus of the nation’s legislative, executive, and judicial centers of power. This unique proximity to business and technology leaders, federal departments and agencies, and a myriad of research entities, embassies, think tanks, cultural centers, and non-profit organizations is simply unparalleled. Synergistic opportunities for our faculty and students abound and are virtually limitless in the nation’s capital and surrounding areas. The University is committed to attracting and retaining outstanding and diverse faculty and staff that will enhance our stature of preeminence in our three missions of teaching, scholarship, and full engagement in our community, the state of Maryland, and in the world.

Background Checks

Offers of employment are contingent on completion of a background check. Information reported by the background check will not automatically disqualify you from employment.

Vaccine Protocol

The University of Maryland has made the safety of our students, faculty and staff, and our surrounding communities a top priority. As part of that commitment, the University System of Maryland (USM) recently announced that students, faculty, and staff on USM campuses this fall, including UMD, are required to be vaccinated against COVID. As a prospective and/or a new employee at UMD, you will be required to comply with the University’s vaccination protocol. Proof of full vaccination will be required before the start of employment in order to work at any University of Maryland location. Prospective or new employees may seek a medical or religious exemption to the vaccination requirement at return.umd.edu and must have an approved exemption prior to the start of their employment. Failure to provide proof of vaccination or to obtain approval for a medical or religious exemption will result in the offer of employment being rescinded.

Position Summary/Purpose of Position:

The Department of Geographical Sciences at University of Maryland, College Park, is seeking multiple Professional Track Research Faculty Members (non-tenure positions) at either the Post-Doctoral Associate rank or the Assistant Research Professor rank, commensurate with qualifications and experience. Salary and benefits are highly competitive. These positions will cover a range of activities, including support of the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation – GEDI (https://gedi.umd.edu/), other research projects, as well as new research proposed by the applicant.

GEDI data support research projects at UMD in the areas of biomass estimation, habitat characterization, and prognostic ecosystem models, among others. GEDI data are also being used in research projects specifically targeting their fusion with our remote sensing data, including passive optical, lidar, SAR and SAR-interferometry, such as NASA’s NISAR and ICESat2 missions, and DLR’s TanDEM-X mission. The GEDI mission is expected to continue making observations in 2022 with final mission data products at the end of FY2024, while other associated research projects have timelines that extend beyond this date. Candidates will contribute to various aspects of GEDI and allied science analyses, including refinement and validation of science algorithms, post-flight calibration and validation, development of field observation data bases, science data product development, data, multi-sensor data fusion, including SAR remote sensing.

Applicants should have a background in disciplines aligned with Earth observation and terrestrial ecology, including interests in remote sensing science, machine learning, ecosystem structure and biomass, ecosystem modeling, habitat/biodiversity studies and related areas. Applicants are encouraged to develop their own research interests in these areas, leveraging the resources and the University of Maryland, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center (GSFC) and others. Technical expertise in lidar or SAR remote sensing is highly desirable; however, applicants with strong experience in other areas of remote sensing, or in application of machine learning to remote sensing are also encouraged to apply.

The researchers will be located at the new International Center for Innovation in Earth Observation and Geospatial Analysis at the University of Maryland but may also spend time nearby at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center. There may also be periods of fieldwork, both domestic and foreign, in support of research products and goals.

Further information on the research programs of the Department may be obtained from the address above and can be found at http://www.geog.umd.edu.

Minimum Qualifications:

An earned doctoral degree in Geographical Sciences or allied fields in environmental science, such as Biology and Forestry is required. Candidates with doctoral degrees in other fields (for example, Physics, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering) with a demonstrated knowledge and understanding of remote sensing of the land surface will also be considered. Competent programming and statistical skills (e.g., such as Python, IDL, MatLab, C/C++, R, TensorFlow) are required. Candidates at the level of Assistant Research Professor must have a demonstrated ability to independently conduct research as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications.

Additional Information:

Applications should include a personal statement of background and experience relevant to the position, a signed, dated Curriculum Vitae, reprints (or accessible download urls) of selected peer-reviewed publications, and names and addresses (including e-mail) of 3-5 references. Applicants with specific research interests they would like to pursue at UMD are encouraged to contact Ralph Dubayah (dubayah@umd.edu) to discuss their potential plans.

For best consideration applications should be submitted no later than October 15th, 2022, but the search will continue until a suitable candidate is appointed.

Applications from women and minorities are particularly sought. The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer.

Posting Date:


Open Until Filled


Best Consideration Date


Diversity Statement:

The University of Maryland, College Park, an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, creed, marital status, political affiliation, personal appearance, or on the basis of rights secured by the First Amendment, in all aspects of employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

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