Appalachian Laboratory

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Sustainable Agriculture Assessment

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral researcher position at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Appalachian Laboratory (UMCES-AL), working with Professor Xin Zhang. The selected candidate will work closely with the PI on developing an indicator system and a database to measure several aspects of sustainability and resilience of agricultural production. The key tasks in this position include (1) review literature and data related to sustainable agriculture; (2) identify major characteristics of sustainable agricultural production in environmental, social, and economic dimensions, and synthesize data from various sources to provide quantification of each characteristic; (3) evaluate and visualize sustainability in agricultural production with the indicator system; and (4) develop methodologies to assess the resilience of agricultural production for a country, and examine the trade-offs between resilience and sustainability.

Qualifications: A PhD in environmental/agricultural economics, environmental science and policy, statistics, computer science or a closely related field is required.  The successful candidate will have a working knowledge of sustainable agricultural production, strong quantitative skills, and proficiency in at least one basic programming language (e.g. Matlab, R). Experience with remote sensing data, data visualization, Industry Ecology, and Econometrics is desirable but not required. Excellent writing and communication skills are essential.  

The position will be based at the Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg, MD.  Frostburg is a small college town in the mountains of western Maryland. The area provides a great quality of life and abundant outdoor recreation opportunities. The major metro areas of Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Pittsburgh are all within a 2.5 hour drive.

This is a full-time appointment with benefits, renewed annually for up to 3 years, subject to satisfactory performance.

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