Published: Nov. 18, 2023
Guggenheim Building
  • Requisition Number: 53023
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado
  • Employment Type: Research Faculty
  • Schedule: Full-Time
  • Date Posted: 16-Nov-2023

We invite applications for a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), with a flexible starting date of January 2023. The initial offer is for 12 months, with strong potential for renewal contingent upon favorable progress and funding availability. This position is supported by multi-year research grants.

The postdoctoral scientist will have expertise in one or more areas of spatiotemporal deep learning, remote sensing, cryospheric science and sea ice, and geovisualization.

This particular position will require focus on the latter, i.e., machine learning for use with remote sensing and lidar altimetry data for characterizing sea ice.

The specific projects funding this position include an NSF-funded EarthCube project focused on high-resolution mapping and classification of sea ice (Data Capabilities: Enabling Analysis of Heterogeneous, Multi-source Cryospheric Data, Award# 2026962), and a recently-funded NASA Studies with ICESat-2 project titled entitled “Machine learning for Sea Ice Characterization using ICESat-2 and multi-SAR Data”. Potential primary areas of focus include creating methods and algorithms for (a) fusing SAR and ICESat-2 observations for sea ice mapping and roughness characterization, and (b) creating data-driven roughness categories from lidar and SAR measurements for this purpose. The models will use clustering algorithms as well as supervised and semi-supervised deep learning methods, including components from CNNs, LSTMs, and transformers. Therefore, the successful candidate has deep knowledge of some of these components and interest in learning and developing skills for others.

The postdoctoral position will be homed in the Geography Department at CU Boulder under the supervision of PI Dr. Morteza Karimzadeh. The postdoctoral scholar will actively collaborate with remote sensing and sea-ice geoscientists, and at times interface with stakeholders across multiple agencies based on the specific assigned project(s), including the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), CU Denver’s Department of Computer Science, CU Population Center, Norwegian Ice Service, and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA).

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

We are a team of geospatial scientists, making methodological and applied contributions in collaboration with domain experts and stakeholders in the context of transdisciplinary projects. Our expertise is situated between geography, computer science, GIS, and data science. We use our knowledge to bridge the physical and human sciences.

You will join a vibrant team of graduate students and postdocs in the GeoHAI (Geospatial Human-centered Artificial Intelligence) lab in the department of Geography at CU Boulder, making methodological and applied contributions. Funded projects in the lab cover a wide range of use-inspired research spanning environmental/cryosphere applications, applied remote sensing, machine learning-based epidemiological modeling, and spatial demography. All projects leverage either linear (e.g., spatial statistics) and/or non-linear (e.g., deep learning) models, and some have visual components, either direct research in geovisualization or integration of models within visual analytics systems.

The Department of Geography is ranked as one of the top programs among the nation’s doctoral-granting departments of geography. CU Geography has one of the nation's highest rates of PhD placement in academic geography programs as well as one of the highest rates of external funding for graduate student research.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Design and implement algorithms, software and computational modules in collaboration with team members.
  • Draft and lead scholarly publications and reports.
  • Assist in drafting research grant proposals.
  • Assist the PI with leading and managing research activities within the group.
  • Assist the PI with user evaluations and stakeholder engagement.
  • Mentor graduate and undergraduate students in the team with senior co-authorship opportunities.
  • Interface with other research groups at and beyond CU Boulder.

What You Should Know

This is a unique postdoctoral research associate opportunity providing the expertise of multiple collaborators in other fields at the disposal of the postdoc for excelling in cutting-edge research.

What We Can Offer

  • The salary range for this position is $62,000-$68,000 commensurate with experience.
  • The applicant will be eligible for CU Boulder’s graduate and family housing apartment rentals with excellent rates close to downtown Boulder.
  • This position is eligible for the University of Colorado’s generous Research Faculty benefits including health and life insurance and retirement programs. You can find additional information about the options available to you within our benefits plans on the CU System website:


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder

Be Statements 

Be ambitious. Be groundbreaking. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • A Ph.D. in geography, geoscience, computer science, information science, electrical engineering, statistics or a cognate field is mandatory.

What You Will Need

Solid foundation in deep learning, applied statistics and basic skills in GIS and remote sensing are required. Knowledge of sea ice, SAR and ICESat-2 products are highly desirable. Given the transdisciplinary nature of this postdoctoral position, we expect that the candidate will possess some of the following, with interest in developing other necessary items:

  • Research background and expertise in (applied) machine learning and particularly, deep learning.
  • Background and experience working with spatial data, remote sensing imagery, geographic information systems and earth observations.
  • Familiarity or strong interest in developing skills in working with altimetry data and products from ICESat-2 and potentially CryoSat-2, and passive and active microwave imagery such as Sentinel-1 and ALOS-2 SAR.
  • Programming skills in Python, Scikit-learn and deep learning libraries (TensorFlow or PyTorch).
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

What We Would Like You to Have

The postdoc will mentor graduate students working on diverse set of research projects, providing an opportunity for increasing publication output for the postdoc research portfolio with senior-authorship. To assist with these, optional but desirable skills include:

  • Experience working with cloud storage and compute instances.
  • Research background and expertise in spatial statistics and generalized linear models (GLM).
  • Working ability with R and its spatial statistics packages.
  • Interest or background in visual analytics for interactive machine learning.
  • Front-end development and visualization skills using D3.js, leaflet.js and the React framework is desirable.
  • Experience in working with the output of climate models. 

Special Instructions 

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Resume/CV.
  2. Cover letter: In your cover letter, include a brief research statement with a maximum of two pages. Please address how you meet the items mentioned in the “What You Will Need” section of this job posting, and how your interests and expertise relate to the NSF and NASA projects described here.
  3. List of References.
  4. Optional PDF Sample of Work.

If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version (if applicable) as an optional attachment.

Both beginning and senior postdoctoral candidates are encouraged to apply. Please direct your questions to Dr. Morteza Karimzadeh (, and change the subject line to ‘postdoctoral position inquiry’.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Please direct your questions to Dr. Morteza Karimzadeh ( Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting September 15, 2021 until the position is filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Dr. Morteza Karimzadeh

Posting Contact Email: