Global Water Futures (GWF): Solutions to Water Threats in an Era of Global Change is a collaborative initiative between multiple Canadian universities and partner organizations funded, in part, through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.
The program (GWF) aims to deliver risk management solutions for water resources and services – informed by leading edge water science and supported by innovative decision-making tools – in Canada and throughout the cold regions of the world. Key research areas include predicting change in Cold Regions, developing Big Water data and support systems, and designing user solutions that focus on real world problems.
University of Waterloo researchers are looking to hire scientists and specialists as part of the latest projects funded by GWF. All positions are headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Global Water Futures Core Team opportunities
Core Data Science Post-Doctoral Fellow/Research Scientist
We are looking to hire at the PDF or Research Associate/Scientist level, with a potential cross appointment as a Research Assistant Professor in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. This individual will be a part of the core Computer Science team and will collaborate closely with domain scientists.
The successful candidate has the ability to engage in all aspects of the data science life cycle: understanding and formulation of specific problems and tasks from under-specified goals; data preparation, cleaning, profiling, and manipulation; the development of statistical and machine-learned models, as appropriate; validation and error analysis; final deployment in end-user applications.
The ideal candidate has expertise in at least some of the following: big data infrastructure (e.g. Hadoop, Spark), relational databases, data science platforms and toolkits (e.g. Jupyter notebooks, Pandas, etc.), machine learning (including but not limited to neural networks). Additional experience that would be beneficial includes familiarity with Internet of Things (IoT) technology, remote sensing, distributed sensor networks, and work with time series data. Specific domain knowledge in hydrology and related disciplines is not necessary, but willingness to engage with the water science community is required.
The candidate will work under the supervision of Professor Jimmy Lin. It is expected that the candidate will collaborate closely with domain scientists in the context of the GWF project, as well as develop a complementary but independent research program. Performance will be assessed annually, and funding for this position is available for up to three years.
Applicants must have a PhD in computer science and/or a relevant discipline. They must demonstrate strong quantitative and analytical skills, and have a track record of research productivity, as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications. Strong written and oral communication skills in English are required, and the ability to communicate across disciplinary boundaries is highly desired. Applicants must be able to work independently as well as part of a multidisciplinary team, including external partners and practitioners.
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, and state their motivation and professional expectations. In addition, a curriculum vitae, academic transcripts and contact information of three references are required. All documentation submitted must be assembled in a single pdf file and sent to email@example.com with PDF_Core_Data_GWF_YourName in the subject line.
Applications will be accepted immediately and reviewed beginning Nov 15, 2017. The position will remain open until filled. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.
Two postdoctoral positions in biogeochemical and ecosystem modeling
Two postdoctoral scientist (PDS) positions are available in the ecohydrology research group at the University of Waterloo. The positions are part of Global Water Futures: Solutions to Water Threats in an Era of Global Change, a large collaborative initiative involving multiple Canadian universities and partner organizations.
The two PDS will focus on the theoretical and numerical modeling of biogeochemical and ecosystem processes in catchments and lakes. Of particular interest will be to link local-scale reactive transformations and ecological interactions to regional-scale hydrological and biogeochemical fluxes. The PDS will work within a multidisciplinary team with significant strengths in ecohydrology, limnology, environmental (bio)geochemistry, aquatic ecology, high-performance computing, information systems and water governance.
One researcher (PDS1) will use multicomponent reactive transport modeling to quantify transformations and exchanges of carbon, nutrients and metals at reactive interfaces along the terrestrial water cycle (rhizosphere, capillary fringe, riparian soils, streambed and reservoir sediments). The other researcher (PDS2) will apply deductive and inductive modeling approaches to simulate and forecast algal blooms along the margins of large lakes. The PDS will be expected to interface with colleagues carrying out observational studies, and to interact on a regular basis with external partners and practitioners.
Applicants must have a PhD in a relevant natural science or engineering field, and have a track record of research productivity, including peer-reviewed publications. Preference will be given to applicants who have demonstrated experience in mathematical modeling, programming and numerical analysis. Experience with relevant software and modeling platforms, high performance computing and model-data assimilation techniques is desirable, but not necessary.
The PDS will work under the supervision of Professor Philippe Van Cappellen and their performance will be assessed annually. Funding for the positions is available for up to three years.
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter in which they identify the position (PDS1 or PDS2) for which they wish to be considered, and state their motivation and professional expectations. In addition, a curriculum vitae, academic transcripts and contact information of three references are required. All documentation submitted must be assembled in a single pdf file and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with PDSMOD-GWF-YourName in the subject line.
Applications will be accepted immediately and reviewed beginning Aug 21, 2017. The positions will remain open until filled. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.
Masters of Science Position in Transformative sensor Technologies and Smart Watersheds Project
Opportunity: Field testing of GNSS reflectometer for snow depth and surface soil moisture measurements
Start date: Winter/ spring 2018
A Master’s of Science position is available in the ‘Transformative sensor Technologies and Smart Watersheds for Canadian Water Futures’ project (TTSW) at the University of Waterloo. TTSW aims to develop, test, and employ advanced terrestrial, sub-orbital, and satellite remote sensing tools connected through “smart” watershed networks. These technologies are targeted to support research regarding the emerging spectrum of water-related issues throughout cold regions.
Water supply and water quality are two critical concerns relevant to water resources not only in Canada, but globally in a warming climate. Through collaboration with industrial partners, this project works towards the design, development, and deployment of remote sensing technologies that will better prepare end users to respond to the threats of changing water futures.
Global Navigation Satellite System Reflectometry has shown potential for the retrieval of water and land surface properties including soil moisture and snow depth. The surface reflected (passive) GPS signals measured onboard drones, aircrafts, or satellites are expected to revolutionize land/hydrology mapping. GNSS reflectometry (GNSS-R) will be used as a form of passive remote sensing that uses signals from GNSS satellites, most commonly GPS to correlate to the reflected signals from earth to characterize and measure several properties such as the dielectric properties of a frozen land or soli moisture content.
The successful student will collaborate with researchers and private industry in order to carry out field testing of a GNSS reflectometer as well as collect coincident field measurements.
A background in electrical engineering is required, with preference given to those who have remote sensing/ environmental science experience. Students are expected to have strong interests/background in electrical engineering concepts pertaining to radar basics and hands-on experience and testing. Majority of the testing will be performed on a quad-copter platform for the payload proof of concept and design.
The student will work under the supervision of Professor Armaghan Salehian from University of Waterloo's Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering Department.
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter stating their motivation and expectations. In addition, a curriculum vitae, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for three references should be included in a single pdf file and sent to email@example.com with MSC4-TTSW-YourName in the subject line. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only selected candidates will be contacted.
Postdoctoral position in Transformative Technologies and Smart Watersheds
Opportunity: field laboratory instrumentation, data fusion platform development
A postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) position is available in the ‘Transformative Sensor Technologies and Smart Watersheds for Canadian Water Futures’ project (TTSW) at the University of Waterloo. The Global Water Futures: Solutions to Water Threats in an Era of Global Change is a collaborative initiative between multiple Canadian universities and partner organizations. The research program is led by the University of Saskatchewan and is funded in part by a $77.8-million grant from the Canada First Excellence Research Fund. GWF aims to deliver risk management solutions for water resources and services - informed by leading edge water science and supported by innovative decision-making tools - in Canada and throughout the cold regions of the world.
The information and knowledge required to understand and adapt to changing water futures within Canada’s diverse landscape will be founded on data collected within the natural environment at both a scale and degree of complexity that is unprecedented. Technology associated with sensors, data collection platforms, communication pathways and data processing is advancing rapidly and promises to provide the core tools required to assemble the data streams upon which future water decisions will be based. Appropriate integration and delivery of data from orbit-based platforms, low-elevation systems (drones) and terrestrial sensor networks represents a major challenge that will require the collaborative skills of a wide range of disciplines.
To facilitate the interdisciplinary research required to address this grand challenge, this project will establish a network of “smart” observatories at different geographic and climatic settings at a pan-Canadian scale. These observatories will support the development of novel monitoring strategies for both physical and ecological systems, provide natural settings to test emerging sensors and data logging systems, act as “ground truth” points for airborne and remote sensing systems and deliver dense, real time data streams for the development of data management and visualization tools. TTSW aims to develop, test, and employ advanced terrestrial, sub-orbital, and satellite remote sensing tools connected through “smart” watershed networks. These technologies are targeted to support research regarding the emerging spectrum of water related issues throughout cold regions.
Applicants must have specialization in hydrology/hydrogeology or a related field with experience in performing field and laboratory technical duties, including operation of state-of-the-art environmental technologies. Preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated skills and experience in experimental work in environmental sciences, or a related field.
Funding for the position is available for three years. During the course of the three years of the project, the PDF, in concert with the key end user and partner team, will evaluate the current sensor networks, data logging platforms and transmission systems to initiate the process of testing and integrating emerging technology to optimize the nature and form of the data, its collection and communication. The PDF will work under the supervision of professor David Rudolph and will collaborate with researchers and students, as well as government and private partner organizations in order to implement and manage these observatories and incorporate the emerging approaches.
Send your application to Marie Hoekstra (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please include “PDF1-TTSW-YourName” in the subject line and attach a single PDF file that contains:
- A cover letter stating your motivation for applying to this position and your research interests
- Curriculum vitae
- Copy of unofficial transcripts
- Contact information for up to three references
Closing date: Applications will be reviewed as they are received. The position will remain open until filled. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.
Seven graduate student (PhD) opportunities in Lake Futures
Lake Futures seeks seven graduate students (PhD) interested in research on the causes, impacts and mitigation of water quality issues in the Great Lakes and their watersheds. The successful candidates will work with a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Windsor as well as with industry, government and community partners. Projects involve a combination of fieldwork, data synthesis and numerical modeling. We are specifically looking for candidates for the following sub-projects:
Project 1: Watershed Pressures and Stressors (3 PhD positions)
The goal of this project is to advance the predictive understanding and modeling of land-based pressures on lake ecosystems, specifically by quantifying the impacts of changing climate, land use and land management activities on changing nutrient and dissolved organic matter loadings. We are looking for 3 PhD students for this project.
PhD 1.2 will focus on the developing field of urban metabolism, where he/she will use a data synthesis and modeling approach to quantify urban nutrient flows in Toronto and the “Golden Horseshoe” Region around Lake Ontario, to assess the impact of current and future development on surface and groundwater quality and to identify externalities of urban development associated with a range of processes, from global trade to regional waste management. Supervisor: Nandita Basu
PhD 1.3 will focus on understanding climate and land use controls on the export of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) by developing a flexible modeling framework capable of predicting DOC dynamics across various spatial and temporal scales. Supervisor: Nandita Basu
The students will be guided by a team of researchers including: Nandita Basu, Sherry Schiff, James Craig, and Bryan Tolson from the University of Waterloo; Chris Wellen from Ryerson University; Scott Smith from Wilfrid Laurier University; and researchers from multiple external organizations including Environment Canada, the Grand River Conservation Authority, the Toronto Region Conservation Authority and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
Project 2: Lake Impacts and Responses (2 PhD positions)
The overall goal of this project is to advance the predictive understanding and modeling of the biogeochemical responses of large lake systems to changes in nutrient inputs and climate warming at temporal scales ranging from days to decades, with an emphasis on nutrient cycling and the management of algal blooms.
PhD 2.1 will work on nearshore-off shore exchange in Lake Erie, with a focus on modeling the plume from the Grand River, via high-resolution numerical simulations using a three-dimensional numerical model. Applicants are required to have a background in fluid dynamics and computational mathematics. Supervisor: Kevin Lamb
PhD 2.3 will use remote sensing methodologies to estimate algal bloom occurrence and distributions, and link them to environmental drivers including inland (precipitation) and lake (ice cover, temperature, wind speed, solar radiation) meteorological forcings, nutrient sources, water temperature, light penetration, etc. A background in remote sensing and statistical techniques is preferred for this position. Supervisor: Homa Kheyrollah Pour. More information.
The students of Project 2 will be guided by a team of researchers including: Kevin Lamb, Philippe Van Cappellen, Marek Stastna, Claude Duguay, Homa Keyrollah Pour, and Raoul-Marie Couture from the University of Waterloo; Jason Venkiteswaran from Wilfrid Laurier University; and researchers from Environment Canada and from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
Project 3: Ecosystem Impacts (2 PhD Positions)
The overall goal of Project 3 is to develop and test indicators that measure temporal and spatial changes in the environmental health of keystone ecosystems along the watershed-lake continuum.
PhD 3.1 will work with Rebecca Rooney (University of Waterloo) and Jan Ciborowski (University of Windsor) on modeling causes and consequences of nutrient loadings to Lake Erie using Fuzzy Cognitive Maps. Applicants should have strong interests in quantitative ecology and a background in food webs or nutrient dynamics of aquatic ecosystems. More information.
The students should have research experience in the fields corresponding to the particular PhD position to which they are applying, as detailed above. They will work with a cross-university team of researchers and must be effective in a multidisciplinary, team-based environment. Excellent communication and organizational skills are required. To apply to any of the positions listed above, please submit a complete application as a single PDF document to Tatjana Milojevic (email@example.com), with the subject line: PhD-LF_Project#_your surname.
In your application, please include:
- The PhD position to which you are applying (if you are interested in more than one position, please note that)
- A letter explaining your motivation for applying to the position and how your research interests align with the position(s)
- Curriculum vitae
- Copy of transcript(s)
- Contact information for 3 references
Closing date: Applications will be reviewed as they are received. The positions will remain open until filled.
We thank all applicants for their interest. However, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.
Winter Soil Processes in Transition
We invite applications for two PhD positions to participate in a research project to advance the process-based understanding of the function of soil biogeochemical processes in cold region environments during the fall-winter and winter-spring transitions and during the non-growing season using a combination of data synthesis, laboratory, and computational approaches. The main tasks of the PhD students will be conducting laboratory experiments and modeling analyses. We are looking for 2 PhD students for this project.
PhD 1 will focus on understanding the rates and mechanisms of soil biogeochemical processes under variable freeze-thaw cycles and soil moisture conditions, and will determine the effects on carbon and nutrient cycling under variable snow cover and winter conditions. This PhD student will also be involved in developing a reactive transport model that simulates the biogeochemical transformations of carbon and nutrients in cold region soils under winter conditions.
PhD 2 will focus on establishing the temperature-dependencies of carbon and nutrient mineralization rates and the associated effects on winter microbial soil communities. This PhD student will also be involved in developing a bioenergetics-based framework to model microbial dynamics under variable snow cover and winter conditions.
The students will be guided by a team of researchers including: Fereidoun Rezanezhad (PhD 1 lead supervisor), Laura Hug (PhD 2 lead supervisor), Philippe Van Cappellen, David Rudolph, Christina Smeaton, Chris Parsons and Colin McCarter from the University of Waterloo; Scott Smith from Wilfrid Laurier University; and collaborators from multiple universities involved in this project.
Applicants must have specialization in biogeochemistry, hydrology, soil science or a related field. Preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated skills and experience in experimental work and numerical mathematical modeling in biogeochemistry, and environmental sciences, or a related field. MSc student positions can be created in lieu of a PhD position for exceptional candidates who prefer to undertake a Master’s degree.
For further information regarding these positions, or to submit an application, please contact Dr. Fereidoun Rezanezhad (firstname.lastname@example.org) for PhD position 1 and Dr. Laura Hug (email@example.com) for PhD position 2. In your application email, please include “GWF-WSP-PhD#_yourname” in the subject line and attach a single PDF file that contains:
- Your motivation for applying to the position and your research interests
- Curriculum vitae
- Copy of transcript(s)
- Contact information for up to 3 references
Closing date: Applications will be reviewed as they are received. The positions will remain open until filled. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.