In California and many other parts of the country, wildfires are increasingly impacted by the combined impacts of climate change, drought, declining forest health, and unnatural fuel accumulations. These shifts lead to increased incidence of extreme fire behavior and corresponding greater risk to firefighters and to communities. With the underlying drivers only worsening with time, there is an urgent need for solutions. After several decades in which fire suppression has been the dominant paradigm, there is now a growing consensus that more proactive approaches, such as fuel treatments and prescribed fire, are critical to changing this trajectory. However, the data and modeling systems currently used in fire management do not represent fuels or in fire behavior with adequate detail to properly inform managers regarding the best paths forward. The San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego and its partners are currently engaged in building capacity to shift to this new paradigm through the development of data systems supporting new fuel and fire models that enable more in-depth examination of fuel and fire interactions, enhanced by the power of artificial intelligence and big data.
The San Diego Supercomputer Center seeks to hire a postdoctorate position to support this effort. The project is complex, linking remote sensing and geospatial sciences, statistical analysis, systems development, and artificial intelligence components; ideal candidates do not need experience in all these areas but should have a strong quantitative background, programming, and statistical analysis skills. Working closely with Los Alamos National Lab and US Forest Service research partners, the incumbent will contribute to this larger effort in multiple ways. Possible foci include prototyping and development of new 3D fuel mapping approaches using LiDAR or high-resolution imagery, development of algorithms for calculations of metrics quantifying fuel characteristics in 3D fuels, systems integration (such as linking fuel dynamics models to 3D fuel data systems), and sensitivity analysis examining process-based fire model sensitivity to various aspects of fuel representation or fuel dynamics.
The postdoctoral research will work as a part of the WIFIRE Lab (wifire.ucsd.edu) at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC.edu). SDSC is a leader and pioneer in high-performance and data-intensive computing, providing cyberinfrastructure resources, services, and expertise to the national research community, academia, and industry. Located on the UC San Diego campus, SDSC supports hundreds of multidisciplinary programs spanning a wide variety of domains, from astrophysics and earth sciences to disease research and drug discovery.
To apply, please send your CV and cover letter with the subject line "WIFIRE Lab Postdoc" to firstname.lastname@example.org