Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Irvine

Irvine, CA

Position Title: Postdoctoral Scholar

Organization: University of California, Irvine

Location: Irvine, CA

Organization Overview: UCI’s CLIMATE Justice Initiative aims to culturally transform the geosciences through multidirectional programming that brings on-the ground challenges of environmental justice and sustainability into the heart of geoscience research and education. The specific project objectives are to: 1) Train and empower postbaccalaureate and PhD students from historically marginalized communities to pursue graduate education and careers related to climate change, 2) Increase participation of scientists from traditional STEM disciplines in environmental justice and community-engaged research, 3) Build strong cross-disciplinary collaborations between geoscientists and experts from other fields, such as social science, 4) Develop equitable partnerships with community-based organizations, and 5) Transform the culture of geoscience by building a learning ecosystem that spans traditional institutional, disciplinary, and hierarchical boundaries. The project is funded through the US National Science Foundation’s Cultural Transformations in the Geoscience Community program.

The CLIMATE Justice initiative strives to foster a collaborative working environment that welcomes diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and life experiences (related to race, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, veteran status, socioeconomic status, disability, and justice system involvement, in particular).

UCI’s EcoGovLab cultivates research, education and diverse collaborations supporting next-generation environmental governance. Led by social scientists, the EcoGovLab brings together researchers and educators across generation, geography, and discipline to bring social science methods and perspective into interdisciplinary environmental research and education. EcoGov Lab is affiliated with AirUCI, a solutions-focused, multidisciplinary research unit focused on air pollution, climate change, and sustainability. EcoGovLab also collaborates with many environmental, health and social justice organizations and activists, including MPNA-GREEN in Santa Ana, California; the Descendants Project and Whitney Plantation in St. John Parish, Louisiana; Louisiana Center for Health Equity; the San Antonio Bay Waterkeepers in Calhoun County, Texas; and Justice for Formosa Victims, focused on Vietnam. Their goal is to build durable, reciprocal relationships that make the university a resource for these organizations while creating opportunities for students and faculty to learn from and support them.

The Research Justice Shop (RJS), co-founded in 2018 and housed in the Newkirk Center for Science & Society, seeks to transform research practices to be more inclusive by facilitating equitable collaboration between the university and the communities most impacted by their collective social and environmental problems. As such, the RJS contributes to UC Irvine’s aspiration to be a Minority Thriving Institution, a great partner to Orange County’s diverse communities, and at the forefront of interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research. RJS trains individuals and organizations in research justice and community-based research methods; they consult on and implement community engagement strategies and conduct research projects that use community-based research methods such as participatory action research and photovoice; they also study community-campus partnerships and the pedagogy of engaged scholarship.

The Department of Earth System Science (ESS), founded in 1995, is the first US university department dedicated to understanding the Earth as a coupled system. Current departmental research focuses on environmental and climate science, including biogeochemistry of the land, ocean and atmosphere; climate dynamics; atmospheric science; ecosystems; glaciology and cryosphere science; and human systems. The ESS mission is to contribute through research and teaching to a fundamental scientific understanding of the Earth as a coupled system, to train the next generation of Earth scientists, and to inform and educate policy makers and the public-at-large. They envision a society that understands the impact of human activities on the global environment and the interactions within the Earth system that preserve the habitability of the planet. Inclusive Excellence is a core value of the Department of Earth System Science and they aim to foster a positive, inclusive, and healthy climate for all of their departmental members.

Position Overview:  The University of California, Irvine is seeking a creative and motivated postdoctoral scholar to assist in the development of a teaching and research program that connects the social sciences and community-engaged research with the geosciences, contributing to a Cultural, Learning, and Institutional Model to Accelerate Transformations for Environmental Justice (CLIMATE Justice). The postdoc will help build a cross-disciplinary, multi-generational, campus-wide learning ecosystem focused on environmental justice; develop and teach a course for post-baccalaureate and PhD students that foregrounds social science analysis in environmental justice and climate research; co-organize and deliver workshops on community-engaged research practices; develop good working relations with community partners; design and support community-engaged student research; plan field trips; develop environmental justice case studies for earth science courses; and produce academic and public-facing publications that share both the methods and results of the CLIMATE Justice initiative.

Applicants should have a strong record of research focused on environmental, energy, or climate justice. Applicants should also have a record of work with the theories and practices of collaborative, community engaged research. Preference will be given to applicants with experience designing and leading collaborative research involving researchers across disciplines and with community partners.

Minimum/Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in social science or related discipline.
  • Research and teaching experience focused on environmental justice.
  • Experience and demonstrated ability working and communicating with community partners.
  • Experience with teaching and/or mentoring students from historically marginalized communities.
  • Detail oriented with strong organizational and communication skills.

Start/End Dates: Flexible, Spring.  2-3 year appointment

Salary/Pay: $60,000 to $72,000

Application Deadline: April 5

How to Apply: Please use the online application to view the full job description as well as how to apply.