Research Associate - Applied Irrigation Science (5 year term)

Posted Date: Dec 07, 2018
Expiry Date: Jan 31, 2019
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Tags: PhD, Irrigation, Lethbridge, Research, Alberta

Lethbridge College

Job Title

Research Associate – Applied Irrigation Science (5 year term)

Hours per week/FTE 35 hrs/week

The Mueller Irrigation Research Group at Lethbridge College (Centre for Technology, Environment, and Design) is looking for a research associate at the postdoctoral level to conduct studies on the interface of irrigated agriculture, soil physics, and hydrology. The research group focuses on precision irrigation: investigating new technologies and management strategies that enable sophisticated on-farm water use. We experiment in the laboratory, on research plots, in production fields, and in computer environments to help producers embed these new technologies in their irrigation management. The research is shaped in close collaboration with local producers, distributors of irrigation technology, government researchers, and the irrigation districts. Students from disciplines such as agricultural, environmental, and information technology sciences participate in field and lab projects. The research associate will support the group’s work by providing expertise in the area of process and statistical modeling and analysis.

Job Duties

The candidate for this position will develop conceptual, numerical, and statistical models for vadose zone hydrology and plant physiology. The primary scope is to apply said models to evaluate water and solute transport in fields under various types of irrigation technology, e.g. centre pivots and subsurface drip irrigation. The candidate will use the extensive datasets that are collected in various lab and field projects of the irrigation research group for calibration and validation of the models. The candidate will use water system dynamics modeling to investigate how changes to irrigation management at the field scale impact the needs for water storage and distribution at the level of irrigation districts and small watersheds.

Responsibilities include:
• develop numerical and conceptual modeling strategies for various irrigation systems
• lead data analytics of soil moisture, meteorological, and groundwater datasets
• provide technical expertise to other group members in the area of modeling and statistical analysis
• participate in development of grant proposals
• analyze and publish existing and new data in peer-reviewed journals
• participate in outreach efforts to the irrigated agriculture community of southern Alberta
• assist in building Lethbridge College’s research network via internal and external research collaborations.

Required Qualifications

The ideal candidate:
• has experience with numerical hydrological software packages, e.g. HYDRUS, MODFLOW, or SUTRA, including parameter estimation and optimization techniques
• has experience with statistical analysis of large spatial and temporal datasets, e.g. statistical and machine learning techniques
• is able to code in one or more languages, e.g. R, Python, Matlab, or C++
• has a record of high-quality scientific publications
• functions well in a collaborative team with diverse backgrounds and experience
• is a creative thinker who is not afraid of getting their hands dirty

Preferred Qualifications

The successful candidate should hold a PhD degree in soil science, hydrology, or a related field with a specialization in soil physics and agronomy. Applicants must possess a strong affinity with the agricultural sciences and applied research. Candidates who are in the process of obtaining the degree will also be considered.

Salary Salary: Starting at $72,414 - $77,526 per annum; commensurate with education and experience.                                                                       
Posting Number                                                                                         

Open Date

Open Date: 12/06/2018

Close Date Close Date: 12/21/2018
Open Until Filled                                                                                         
Special Instructions to Applicants

For more information:
Dr Willemijn Appels
403-320-3202 ext 5278
Office CB 3029

To be considered for this competition, applicants must apply online using the following link: APPLY ONLINE 

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Lethbridge College, Lethbridge, Alberta

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