Two postdocs, one PhD student – EarthCube Geochronology and Cyberinformatics UW-Madison

Two postdoc Positions, one PhD student – EarthCube Geochronology & Cyberinformatics University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Geoscience, Department of Geography

We seek two postdocs and a PhD student to join a new NSF EarthCube ( project aimed at addressing a ‘grand challenge’ in the Earth sciences: to seamlessly blend geochronological information into an integrated four dimensional digital Earth so that we may fully understand dynamic Earth system evolution through time. We envision that these postdocs will work as a team with the PIs during the 3 year tenure of this grant. We recognize that few applicants for these positions will have all skills equally developed; as such, cross-training is part of the project goal for all participants.

The duties of the two postdocs are as follows:
1. To lead the development of cyberinfrastructure to manage and expose data produced by multiple distributed geochronology laboratory facilities around the USA. To extend the development of the GeoDeepDive automated text-recognition system, extracting geochronological data and metadata from the published literature. This postdoc must have some familiarity with geochronology laboratory methods and data (40Ar/39Ar, U-Pb, cosmogenic radionuclides) and programming knowledge (or the ability and desire to learn) to manage the acquisition, manipulation, and exposure of laboratory data from internal databases to outward-facing web resources and automated programming interfaces (APIs). Current software within the ecosystem of the project uses PostgreSQL/MariaDB databases, R, Matlab, JavaScript (Nodejs/Express), Python, and Perl. Experience with at least one of these is preferred.

2. To lead tool and workflow development to enable geochronological data and metadata obtained from labs and the GeoDeepDive system to pass into synthetic geological and paleobiological databases and data repositories (Macrostrat:; the Paleobiology Database:; and the Neotoma Paleoecology Database: To develop software that can harness the new geochronological infrastructure, leveraging it in order to generate new age models and facilitate the correlation and interrogation of Earth system records. The second postdoc must be a broadly-trained geologist or data scientist with domain knowledge in the paleogeosciences and programming skills in one or more scripting languages (see above) to work with our team to leverage geochronologic data in synthetic geological and paleontological databases.

The Ph.D student will be expected to work with the postdocs and with project PIs. The student may pursue a PhD in either (1) laboratory-based chronostratigraphic studies and development of laboratory cyberinfrastructure, or (2) in developing capabilities of the synthetic databases to ingest new geochronologic data and update age models of Earth history that are used to test hypotheses in the geosciences.

Applicants for the postdoc positions should send a CV, brief letter of interest, and the
names and contact information for three references, to Professor Brad Singer: Students interested in pursuing the PhD should contact one of the following Professors collaborating on this project to discuss applying to the Department of Geoscience or the Department of Geography:

Shaun Marcott,
Steve Meyers,
Shanan Peters,
Brad Singer,
Jack Williams,

We will begin a review of applications on November 1, 2017. Applications will be reviewed until these positions are filled.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.