Appalachian Laboratory

Postdoctoral Researcher in Sustainable Agriculture Matrix

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 post-doc will work closely with the PI on a research project regarding the Sustainable Agriculture Matrix (SAM), an indicator system and a database to measure several aspects of sustainability and resilience of agricultural production. The project will track a country’s performance in sustainable agriculture using transparent and consistent approaches, and investigate the major socioeconomic (e.g., agricultural policy and food demands) and ecological (e.g., climate and soil conditions) drivers for a country moving towards sustainable agricultural production.


  1. Develop the first version of SAM indicators according to the recommendations from the SAM workshop held at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC).
  2. Become familiar with the literature and database related to sustainable agriculture.
  3. Develop research proposals to investigate the interlinkages among indicators in SAM and support the improvement of SAM.
  4. Work closely with the PI to synthesize research findings and to write manuscripts for publication.
  5. Present research findings at scientific meetings.

Qualifications: A Ph.D. in environmental/agricultural economics, environmental science and policy, statistics, 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 Industrial 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.

Start Date: Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a qualified candidate is found. The position is funded for 1 year with a possibility of renewal.  Salary is $48,000 per year and includes fringe benefits.

To apply send an email to Xin Zhang ( containing following documents as a single PDF: (1) a statement of interest, (2) a CV, and (3) contact information (names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses) for three references.  Please indicate in your subject line “[SAM postdoc]”. 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