Appalachian Laboratory

PhD level graduate student in environmental statistics

Applications are invited for a PhD level graduate student at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, working with Professor Xin Zhang and Professor Vyacheslav Lyubchich.

The key tasks in this position include developing a statistical approach to quantifying relevance and importance of the factors (such as resource inputs, climate and soil conditions) influencing the long-term dynamics of agriculture yields around the world. It will involve: 1) Working on the ways to investigate yield patterns across temporal and spatial scales and identify the relevant ecological and socioeconomic drivers. 2) Running extensive data analysis using modern statistical and machine learning techniques in a multivariate domain. 3) Work closely with the research team to synthesize research findings and to prepare the results for publication. 4) Present research findings at scientific meetings.

Qualifications: The successful candidate will have 1) excellent training in statistics and mathematics (a MSc in Statistics or a closely related field is desirable); 2) proficiency in R and other languages for statistical computing; and 3) genuine interest and working knowledge of the methods for spatio-temporal multivariate analysis, including time series modeling and forecasting, and machine learning. Working knowledge of the crop production system and climate science is desirable but not required.

The position is based at the UMCES Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg, Maryland and comes with a highly competitive stipend and benefits package. Three years of support are available through research assistantships, with additional support possible through competitive teaching assistantships. Finalists for the position will also be encouraged to apply for fellowships through UMCES:

The student will matriculate through the Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Sciences Program (MEES) at the University of Maryland, College Park and will be based at the Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg for the duration of the project.

Start Date: Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until qualified candidates are found.

To apply send an email to Xin Zhang ( containing following documents as a single PDF: (1) a statement of interest, (2) a CV, (3) contact information (names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses) for three references, and (4) copy of academic transcripts (optional).  Please indicate in your subject line “[INFEWS positions]”. Informal inquiries are also welcome.

Information about AL and UMCES can be found at:  UMCES is an affirmative action, EOE.  Individuals with disabilities, veterans, women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Appalachian Laboratory
Contact Name:: 
Xin Zhang
Wednesday, December 13, 2017