New Positions at GDCS

GDCS Staff Positions

Scientific Technician

May 1, 2019—ASU’s Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science (GDCS) is pleased to announce an opening for a full-time (40 hrs per week) scientific technician position. We seek a highly motivated and creative person to join our Center, which is at the forefront of satellite/airborne remote sensing science. The unique capabilities of GDCS place us as key players in global efforts to understand and preserve Earth’s remaining biodiversity.
The successful candidate will work closely with the Center's researchers in many different projects across terrestrial and coral landscapes and using cutting-edge approaches. We seek someone who can combine and manipulate multiple geospatial data sources, thus strong computing and quantitative skills are desirable. In particular, we seek someone with demonstrated experience with python or other high-level language and working knowledge of remote sensing or GIS concepts. A master’s degree in areas such as remote sensing, GIS, or computer science is strongly preferred. The position will be based at GDCS in Tempe, Arizona, and will report to GDCS Lead Data Scientist, Dr. Nick Vaughn, but will typically be collaborating on projects with several center scientists simultaneously.
Business office hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 am–5:00 pm. 
Salary: $50,000 plus benefits
Minimum qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in a field appropriate to the area of assignment; OR, four years research experience appropriate to the area of assignment; OR, any equivalent combination of experience and/or education from which comparable knowledge, skills, and abilities have been achieved.
  • Comfort with reading and writing Python code, preferably with geospatial programming experience.
  • Experience with GIS software and a solid understanding of GIS concepts.

Desired qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in an appropriate field.
  • Demonstrated skill in Linux command line - i.e. able to work on ASU’s Agave cluster.
  • Experience in object-based satellite image classification (e.g., using eCognition or other image segmentation tools).
  • Experience in handling and manipulating big remote sensing datasets.
  • Knowledge of machine learning models and tools, particularly those applicable to remote sensing data.
  • Interest to work in a highly international environment.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of the principles and techniques of the subject discipline.
  • Knowledge of modern research methods, data collection, and analyses.
  • Skill in effective communication, both verbal and written.
  • Skill in analyzing and evaluating data.

Essential Duties:

  • Performs scientific data collections, reductions, and analyses involving routine procedures characterized by moderate use of independent judgment.
  • Conducts experiments, surveys, and excavation of sites using various tests, routines and analyses, aerial photographs, maps and survey instruments where procedures are clearly defined and results readily determined.
  • Maintains detailed records of studies conducted, organizes data, prepares data for computer input and records computer output.
  • Compiles data and generates computerized statistical data for analytical purposes using software packages; makes preliminary analyses and assists researchers in interpreting the data.
  • Conducts library searches to find research or archaeological information on related procedures and techniques that can be used in the laboratory and/or field.
  • Writes summaries of projects, documenting location, findings and procedures used and assists in writing reports by conducting literature searches and background research; prepares bibliographies as required.
  • Operates laboratory and experimental equipment such as microtomes, microscopes, electron microscopes, spectrophotometers, centrifuges, analytical balances, photometers and spectrometers.
  • Performs minor repairs and makes arrangements for major repairs to be performed.
  • Assists in performing necropsies and surgical procedures on research animals.
  • Maintains detailed records of controlled substances used in the laboratory; packages waste material and arranges for disposal according to established procedures.
  • Inventories and requisitions supplies; may maintain bookkeeping records.
  • Trains students and staff in the operation of equipment and/or in the performance of technical procedures.

Review of applications will begin July 22, 2019, and continue until the position is filled. Applications should be sent to Andrea Cottrell:

Postdoctoral Scholarships

Carbon Neutral Landscapes


A postdoctoral research position is available for a quantitative ecologist/ecosystem modeler to develop modeling approaches that support pathways to regional scale carbon neutrality throughout the Hawaiian Islands. We seek a researcher who can combine multiple data sources, such as energy sector and remote sensing data, into models directly applicable to the management of carbon sources and sinks. This position requires strong statistical, computer programming and spatial analysis skills. The successful applicant will be part of a team of researchers that employs a suite of remote sensing and modeling methods to evaluate the natural, agricultural and societal sources and sinks for atmospheric greenhouse gases with the goal of moving Hawaii towards is legislated goal of carbon neutrality by 2045.

The position will be funded by Arizona State University’s Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science (GDCS), and based at the facility inside the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry (IPIF) in Hilo, Hawaii. The successful candidate will work closely with researchers on a carbon neutral landscapes working group that includes: Drs. Greg Asner (Arizona State University), Christian Giardina (USDA FS), and Zhiliang Zhu (USGS). The candidate will also interact with collaborators from Yale University, University of California Los Angeles, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, The Nature Conservancy, Hawaii Green Growth Initiative, Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, as well as postdoctoral researchers, field technicians, graduate students and undergraduate research assistants as part of daily activities related to the project.

Responsibilities include model development and analysis, publishing in peer-reviewed journals and conducting outreach with environmental management professionals. Funding is for up to two years. A Ph.D. in a discipline such as Ecology, Ecological Economics, Geography, Sustainability Science or equivalent is required; strong quantitative, modeling and coding skills, as well as demonstrated experience are highly desirable. Demonstrated experience in working with diverse collaborators and in a working group environment is a positive.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, statement of research interests that includes your accomplishments and how this position will help you achieve your career objectives, current curriculum vitae, and the names of two references (please include email addresses and phone numbers).

Review of applications will begin July 1, 2019, and continue until the position is filled. Applications should be sent to Andrea Cottrell: