Seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate with a Ph.D. and background in geoscience, specifically sedimentary geology and geochemistry, for a funded project.
Applicants from minoritized groups in STEM are highly encouraged to apply.
The applicant will join an active research group and thriving community of geoscientists in the Geology and Geophysics Department at University of Utah where mentoring, professional and personal career development, diversity, equity, and inclusion are valued. University of Utah offers a range of attractive employment benefits and a high quality of life in Salt Lake City. Due to the nature of core sampling, possible field work, and geochemical analysis, relocation will likely be required, at least during the data collection phase of the research.
Funding available for an 18 month period for Phase 1 of the project. Start date is upon completion of contract negotiations, likely beginning August 15, 2021.
The project will investigate the abundance of carbon ore, rare earth and critical element resources in coal, coal seam-adjacent strata, and, secondarily, oil shale in the Uinta Region of Utah and western Colorado. These resources will be valuable in the energy transition toward renewables. Publicly available details about the project are available here: https: // www. energy.gov/articles/doe-awards-19-million-initiatives-produce- rare-earth-elements-and-critical-minerals.
Because coals in Utah and Colorado are found in Cretaceous fluvial-coastal plain-shallow marine strata of the Book Cliffs and Wasatch Plateau, ideally, applicants should have a solid sedimentologic understanding of deposition in these environments, as well as the stratigraphy. The project is focused on inorganic geochemical analysis of critical and rare earth elements. As such, applicants should have experience with handheld X-ray fluorescence ( XRF ) analysis and/or datasets. Additional experience with Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy ( ICP -MS) is desirable. Applicants should be well versed in handling large geochemical datasets within a stratigraphic and geographic context and be prepared to innovate dataset management solutions. The applicant should be comfortable with working with, describing, and sampling stratigraphic core. Field skills are needed for possible field work.
The applicant will collaborate with a larger geology team on the project, with geologists at state geologic surveys and research institutes. The individual is expected to lead the bulk of the geologic investigation, data collection, and reporting, leading to several, first-authored, peer-reviewed publications.
The applicant will be a part of a large project team with team members across materials science engineering, mining engineering and geology disciplines from eight institutions. Part of the project duties will be to liaison with private industry partners, including Utah and Colorado coal mining companies and power plants.
This position is considered Category IIA : Not required on campus and has the ability to telework remotely for the duration of the University of Utah’s response to COVID -19. An employee hired into this role will be responsible for providing space, telephone, printing, networking and/or internet capabilities at the telecommute location and agree to the terms of the University of Utah campus and Health Academics COVID -19 Telecommuting Agreement.