GLISA Hiring Postdoctoral Fellow for 'Making Gulf Communities More Resilient' Project

Friday, January 15, 2021

Postdoctoral Fellowship: “Making Gulf Communities More Resilient” Project funded by the National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program

School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Job Summary

A postdoctoral fellowship is available for a highly qualified individual to join the project “Making Communities More Resilient: Scaling-up Customized Vulnerability Assessment for Extreme Events in Gulf Cities” funded by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academy of Sciences. The successful candidate will work with a multidisciplinary a team of scholars from the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA, at the University of Michigan), SCIPP (Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program, at the University of Oklahoma), Stanford University, Headwaters Economics, and Adaptation International. GLISA and SCIPP are two of eleven Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) programs supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to expand and build the nation’s capacity to prepare for and adapt to climate variability and change. GLISA is a partnership between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, and this position will be housed at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS). The main goals of the project are to: 1) support communities to assess their vulnerability to extreme weather events, especially in relation to stormwater management, using a template co-developed by community practitioners and researchers; 2) test different ways in which technology (e.g., in-person, webinars, web-based tutorials) can assist community practitioners, researchers, and scientists in co-creating knowledge that will help the communities to become more resilient; and, 3) explore how these types of technology-based engagement can be disseminated and used by communities throughout the United States. The project is beginning year 2 of the 3-year project and is currently recruiting 60 cities to participate. More information is available here.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

The postdoc will be expected to work with the project team in assessing all aspects of the project’s experimental design, but especially in assessing our sample cities’ adaptive capacity and the potential impact of the project in the cities’ resilience to climate impact, specifically flooding and stormwater management. The postdoc will join the project’s adaptive capacity sub-team and join ongoing work including: a) compiling a database of existing climate or hazard plans; b) developing a codebook for in-depth qualitative analysis of this database; c) conducting and analyzing key informant interviews with city officials; d) developing a framework to examine baseline adaptive capacity; and e) contributing to survey and interview questions. The postdoc may also have the opportunity to engage directly with practitioners and participate in some of the city engagements. The successful candidate will participate in weekly project team meetings, weekly adaptive capacity sub-team meetings, and additional meetings as necessary. The postdoc will be also expected to maintain a strong record of scholarly publication and of presentation at scientific conferences and public meetings.

Required and desired qualifications

A Ph.D. in the social sciences but especially political science, sociology, social psychology or economics, and interdisciplinary degrees focusing on social environmental and climate sciences is required. A strong background in climate adaptation, adaptive capacity, and urban resilience, with expertise in related quantitative and/or qualitative methods is highly desired. Prior experience working or engaging with cities (in the Gulf coast or elsewhere) on climate and/or stormwater or flooding-related issues is also highly desirable. Familiarity with data analysis and visualization in a scripting environment using R, Python, or similar software is a plus. Strong communication skills are needed, as well as the demonstrated ability to work both with a team and independently, and to lead the development of manuscripts for journal publication.

Supervisor: Maria Carmen Lemos; Professor, University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability and Co-Director, GLISA

Location: University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, Ann Arbor, MI. The University of Michigan is consistently ranked among the top American public research universities, and Ann Arbor is routinely ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S. due to its affordability, natural beauty, preservation of wooded areas, vibrant arts program, and lively downtown. This position may begin remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but is expected to relocate to Ann Arbor when it is safe to do so.

Anticipated start date: March 1, 2021 (or earlier if possible)

Term: It is an 18-month postdoctoral appointment with the potential for an extension contingent on job performance and future funding to GLISA.

Compensation: This position offers a competitive salary plus benefits.

How to apply. Applicants must submit:

  • Online application here
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter describing qualifications related to the position, research accomplishments, and interests
  • Two representative publications
  • Contact information for 3 professional references

The application deadline is February 5, 2021. For more information about GLISA, please visit the GLISA website at: Please contact the GLISA Program Manager, Jenna Jorns (, with inquiries regarding this position or if further information is needed.


The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.