Delta Independent Science Board Postdoctoral Scholars

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Application Deadline: November 29, 2021
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Two Postdoctoral Opportunities: Delta Independent Science Board Postdoctoral Scholars

Applications will be reviewed starting on November 29, 2021, and the listing will remain open until filled.

Contact Information:
Stephen Brandt, Chair, Delta Independent Science Board

Lab/Research Program Website

Position Title
Delta Independent Science Board Postdoctoral Scholar

Disciplinary Specialty of Research 
Aquatic Sciences, Ecology, Biogeochemistry, Hydrology, Geology, Ecosystem Modeling, Harmful Algal Blooms, Food-webs, Restoration, Adaptive Management, Institutional Science

Description of the Position
The Delta Independent Science Board (Delta ISB) and California Sea Grant (CASG) are seeking two postdoctoral scholars to support the Delta ISB with its legislative mandate to provide oversight of the scientific research, monitoring, and assessment programs that support adaptive management of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which is part of the largest estuarine ecosystem on the west coast of North America and is the hub of California’s extensive water supply system.

The Delta ISB, which is made up of 10 prominent scientists from across the United States, reviews “science programs” by topical or thematic areas. Reviews normally assess the state of the science topic in general and across the Delta and make recommendations to improve the science, fill gaps, integrate or explore new ideas. Over the years, the Delta ISB has produced several influential reports on various topics, such as on fish and flows, adaptive management, water quality, and non-native species, and has provided valuable input on critical science documents to inform decision-making. The Delta ISB is currently in the process of wrapping up its reviews on the entire monitoring enterprise across the Delta and water supply reliability and is in the process of identifying new review topics. 

A fundamental responsibility of the postdoctoral scholars will be to work with the Delta ISB on these major reviews once potential topics are identified. Potential topics include harmful algal blooms, food webs, restoration, climate, subsidence reversal, and ecosystem forecasting. The postdoctoral researchers will explore what science and syntheses have been done on the topic in the Delta and other regions, and the latest scientific approaches. The postdoctoral researcher’s work will help provide the framework for the Delta ISB to develop its findings and recommendations on the review topic. 

In addition, there will be an opportunity to conduct independent research that might not be directly related to the work of the Delta ISB. The postdoctoral scholars will work with the Delta ISB chair and leadership team to develop a mentorship plan. 

The location of the work is flexible. The postdoctoral scholars are expected to work together, independently in their areas of expertise, and in close collaboration with state and federal agencies, academic, stakeholder, and community collaborators. The postdoctoral scholars will provide high-quality and independent expertise to inform the work of the Delta ISB. 

Specific responsibilities would include but not be limited to the following items:

  • Write preliminary draft reports and syntheses on issues and topics to inform Delta ISB work.
  • Conduct literature reviews on key science issues both across the Delta as well as the national and international literature and provide briefings to the Delta ISB.
  • Help conduct analyses on data, information gathered from workshops and surveys, and provide briefings to the Delta ISB.
  • As appropriate, conduct relevant interviews with stakeholders to inform Delta ISB reviews.
  • Provide briefings on the status of and help with exploration of emerging Delta issues to the Delta ISB.
  • Provide scientific-technical support to inform the development of workshops and panels to inform Delta ISB reviews. 
  • Present seminars, and scientific papers at regional, national and international scientific conferences to help with outreach for Delta ISB products, or to present findings based on the postdoctoral scholar’s independent research.
  • Produce manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed scholarly journals, which could be based on postdoctoral scholar’s independent research.
  • Attend professional conferences, meetings of relevant working groups and advisory boards, and community organization meetings.
  • Actively participate in monthly Delta ISB meetings as necessary based on meeting agendas, present preliminary results of review activities, and early drafts of scientific products.
  • Submit annual progress reports as required for specific, project-based deliverables.

The annual salary is open.

Appointment Length/Period
One year, with the possibility of extension for one year.

Qualifications Required and Preferred Academic Background

  • Must have received a Ph.D. within the last three years. 
  • Should have experience with at least two of the following disciplines and an interest in applied problem solving: Aquatic Sciences, Ecology, Biogeochemistry, Hydrology, Geology, Ecosystem Modeling, Harmful Algal Blooms, Food-webs, Restoration, Adaptive Management, Institutional Science
  • Ability to synthesize diverse, multi-disciplinary, disparate datasets; and provide constructive comments.
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team setting and maintain good working relationships.
  • Ability to prepare clear, complete, and technically accurate reports

Application Procedure 
Interested candidates should submit the following items as a single PDF to and by November 29, 2021, for initial consideration. The position will remain open, and applications accepted until suitable candidates are selected.

  1. Cover letter with a statement of interest in the position and qualifications,
  2. a curriculum vitae,
  3. names/contact information for three (3) references,
  4. a diversity statement including your experiences/commitment to diversity, and a statement of research describing your relevant background/career goals.

Please direct all questions about this job posting to Dr. Stephen Brandt, Delta ISB Chair at

The positions will be filled as soon as suitable candidates are found. 

Application Closing Date
Applications will be reviewed starting on November 29, 2021, and will remain open until filled.

Job Posting Expiration
Open until filled