Post-doc position on Flood Warning Communications at University of Vermont

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Anne Jefferson

May 24, 2023, 2:28:22 PMMay 24
to AboutHydrology

We seek a postdoctoral researcher with interest in flood hazards and science communication research to join an interdisciplinary team at the University of Vermont (UVM) on a NOAA-funded project to investigate how new flood warning tools will be interpreted and used by multiple public audiences. The researcher will be a key contributor to a mixed-methods research effort to understand how local stakeholders from different sectors (e.g., local officials, small business owners, homeowners, community services) currently receive, interpret, and use existing flood information and to explore new communications approaches that build on new NOAA-developed flood inundation map forecast products. Potential end-users for such data likely differ in significant ways from known users (e.g., emergency managers) and it is currently unclear how data presented with varying complexity, precision, and utility for decision-making may impact comprehension, trust, and flood safety action across user groups.

The ideal candidate will have a PhD that has given them exposure to both social and physical science approaches relevant to flood risk communication. Strong skills in qualitative data analysis are essential, and we strongly prefer candidates with experience with focus group facilitation and recruiting community-based stakeholder participants. Candidates should be able to demonstrate comfort working in interdisciplinary, collaborative research teams. Qualified candidates could come from multiple disciplines of study, but research experience resulting in publications on risk communication, natural hazards, and/or flooding are especially desirable. 

This project is part of UVM’s contribution to the Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology (CIROH) and the post-doctoral scholar will collaborate with researchers at project partner RTI International, and benefit from interactions with other faculty, post-doctoral scholars, and students working on a variety of CIROH-funded projects at UVM and other participating institutions. UVM is a top research university that prioritizes transdisciplinary research and collaboration as a strategy for continued strengthening of scientific inquiry and education. Burlington perennially appears on national rankings that laud its livability, access to nature and recreation, thriving food and music scene, and a rising identity as a technology and innovation hub.

The postdoc will be co-supervised by UVM faculty Anne Jefferson ( and Elizabeth Doran ( Please contact them for more information. 

The anticipated start date is September 1, 2023, but there is flexibility for the ideal candidate. A remote position may be possible, but occasional travel is required. Review of applications will begin June 1 and continue until the position is filled. 

To apply: please send a CV, cover letter outlining research interests and expertise, and contact information for two references to and reference position ID PDS#301.

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