Job Opportunities

 This page lists faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellow, and research associate opportunities. Graduate student research opportunities are posted on a separate webpage.

Post-doctoral Position in Oil Spill Modelling with MEOPAR

The Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Columbia invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow in the eld of numerical modelling of oil spills in the coastal ocean. The successful applicant will conduct research as part of MIDOSS (Model of Impact of Dilbit and Oil Spills in the Salish sea). MIDOSS is a three year project funded by MEOPAR to improve our scientific knowledge and tools to support evidence-based planning both in preparation for, and in response to, an oil spill in the Salish Sea.
MEOPAR ( is an NSERC Network of Centres of Excellence and oers a training program and other benefits.The position is for one-year, renewable for a second year, and preferred start date is September 2018. The application deadline is Jun 5, 2018 but will be extended if a suitable candidate has not been found.

Project and Responsibilities
Shipping associated with Canada's largest port, Vancouver, is increasing. The proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will bring a more than six-fold increase in the number of tankers transiting the Salish Sea, and they will be carrying diluted bitumen (Dilbit). MIDOSS will improve modelling of Dilbit in the coastal ocean, prediction of near-surface currents, and risk communication strategies for the diverse decision-making groups involved. MIDOSS will produce risk exposure products to aid in community planning and in mapping ecosystem vulnerability. In addition, MIDOSS will produce predictions of strong currents and extreme high/low water for pilots to help reduce ship accidents.
The post-doctoral fellow (pdf) will develop the oil spill exposure product and in the process will implement a coupled oil spill prediction system and evaluate it. Specifically, the pdf will develop a stochastic modelling framework, probably using Monte Carlo methods, for varying spill location, and the high-performance computing work ow to facilitate computational demand. The fellow will assist in coupling the MOHID oil spill model in the SalishSeaCast operational framework. They will assist two graduate students in evaluating
the system by hindcasting a series of documented small spills. They will work with the third student to integrate the stochastic simulations into oil spill risk exposure products for stakeholders.
The project is cross-country and cross-discipline. The successful applicant will be primarily supervised by Prof. Susan Allen, and will also interact with Prof. Stephanie Chang (UBC) particularly on the risk exposure products and Prof. Haibo Niu (Dalhousie University) particularly on the MOHID oil spill model.
Additional responsibilities will include: reporting to MEOPAR, publication of the results in peer-reviewed international journals and partial supervision of undergraduate and/or
graduate students working on other aspects of the project.

Minimum Qualifications and Experience
A Ph.D. together with a strong background in numerical modelling of ocean ows and interest in risk communication, particularly in producing risk information products that would be useful to a range of non-academic stakeholders. Candidates with experience using NEMO
and/or ocean oil spill models are preferred. The position is for one-year, renewable for a second year, and preferred start date is September 2018. Salary is commensurate with educational level and experience; the minimum salary is $48,000 per year plus benefits.

How to Apply
Applications, including a CV, copies of two relevant publications, and the names, e-mails and phone numbers of three referees should be sent to Dr. Susan Allen ( ).
The application deadline is Jun 5, 2018 but it will be extended if a suitable candidate has not been found.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply. We especially welcome applications from members of visible minority groups, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority
sexual orientations and gender identities and others with the skills and knowledge to engage productively with diverse communities. Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.

May 10, 2018
June 5, 2018

Instructor Positions for Vancouver Summer Program

We are seeking instructors to teach/co-teach a course for the University of British Columbia Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences department’s contribution to the Vancouver Summer Program (VSP). The VSP is a one month condensed summer program offered to international undergraduate students to come and experience life and classes at UBC. Instructors will be responsible for four weeks of teaching (July 14th – August 14th total 39 contact hours), course preparation (some materials will be provided), marking, and several social activities with the students during that period. The course is part of a package of two courses, each taught for 3 hours per day (with some days off in the week due to student’s social activities). The successful candidates will work closely with the lead instructor and their co-instructor to provide a cohesive package to the students. Our emphasis is on active learning teaching methods where students are inspired to explore the subject matter through field trips, labs, discussions, in-class activities, and as such there is some flexibility in the course design and progression.

The courses available are:

VSP Package A – The Dynamic Earth and Its Beautiful Treasures
We are seeking instructors for either the Earth’s Treasures section of this course or the Solid Earth portion of the course.

The Solid Earth section investigates earth's origin, composition, structure, and natural resources. Global and local examples of plate tectonics as the driving force for volcanism, mountain building, and earthquakes. Imaging Earth's interior and exploring its dynamic interaction with the surface. We also touch on Environmental geoscience and sustainability.

The Earth’s Treasures section investigates the formation, exploration, mining and aspects of marketing of gemstones and precious metals.  We touch on topics such as fundamental scientific concepts, natural and synthetic gems and explore the world of fine jewelry. The origin, valuation and exploration strategies for gems such as diamonds and precious metals such as gold and platinum will be investigated here and placed into a fascinating international and Canadian geological context.

Experience teaching EOSC 110 The Solid Earth: Dynamic Planet or similar would be beneficial
Experience teaching EOSC 118 Earth’s Treasures: Gold and Gems or similar would be beneficial.

VSP Science Package B – The Earth’s Oceans, Atmosphere and Climate
We are seeking instructors for the Ocean and Atmosphere Systems section of this course which assesses and quantifies the principal components of the global energy balance, how the energy balance affects the structure of the ocean and atmosphere and produces the winds and currents that control weather, air pollution and the biosphere. Students will examine ocean productivity and the important geochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous, and how over geologic time ocean and atmospheric processes coupled with the evolution of the life to regulate climate and climate change.

Experience teaching EOSC 112 The Fluid Earth: Atmosphere and Ocean or similar would be beneficial.

The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed and will be asked to prepare a 5-7 minute teaching presentation.

Please send your resume to VSP Coordinator, Alicia Warkentin ( and indicate the package that you are interested in teaching.

April 6, 2018
April 16, 2018

ENVR 430 (Ecological Dimensions of Sustainability) Sessional Needed

Applications are invited to teach ENVR430 (Ecological Dimensions of Sustainability) in Term 1 (Sept – December) of the 2018-2019 academic year.

Applicants must hold a M.Sc. or a Ph.D. (or be enrolled in a Ph.D. program) in a field related to Environmental Science and have a demonstrated interest in teaching at the undergraduate level. (Note: UBC Ph.D. students must have passed their candidacy examination in order to apply; students currently enrolled in a M.Sc. program are not eligible for this position). Previous teaching experience and/or instructional training are preferred.

Course description: Ecology is key to many key sustainability issues (such as food security, energy production, corporate environmental responsibility, and resource management), but one might not recognize this from current management and policy approaches. In this course students will explore the (limited) uptake of ecological principles in sustainability applications; they will consider the opportunity for innovative progress towards sustainability from stronger and deeper ecological grounding, and how to support this type of progress in their careers and day-to-day lives. Toward this end, the course will review human impacts on ecosystems, the processes by which ecosystems render benefits for people (ecosystem services), the dynamics of complex adaptive ecosystems, and the ways that individuals and organizations incorporate such information into their decision-making implicitly and explicitly. Together, this course cultivates ambassadors of sustainability science and facilitators of cross-cutting, realistic and strategic solutions for meaningful real-world progress towards sustainability.

Responsibilities of the lecturer include delivering lectures, facilitating student discussions, organizing student activities (including field trips), and providing timely feedback. Teaching support materials will be provided.

EOAS instructors are expected to use pedagogies that are shown to improve student learning. The Sessional Instructor will be provided with both 1) teaching materials and 2) training on how to teach more effectively. Participating in this training and using these teaching methods are required, and teaching will be evaluated.

Please provide a curriculum vitae; applicants who have not previously lectured in this course also should provide a one-page statement with their application describing their scientific interests and qualifications for teaching and should send the names of two referees.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians citizens and Permanent Residents will be given priority.

Applications and supporting material should be addressed to Dr. Roger Beckie, Head, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Room 2020, Earth Sciences Building, 2207 Mail Mall Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4 by Thursday, April 26th, 2018. Email applications should be sent to headsec


March 26, 2018
April 26, 2018

Manager, Electron Microbeam and X-ray Diffraction Facility

Job Summary

The Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is appointing a person to manage three highly sophisticated laboratories: electron-probe microanalyzer, scanning electron microscope with energy dispersion X-ray spectrometer and image analysis system, and two X-ray powder diffractometers. The facility serves science and engineering departments on the UBC campus, as well as, students and faculty from several western Canadian universities, and clients from government labs and industry. The manager has the scientific expertise and management skills to: i) manage the overall operations of the labs, ii) directly supervise a Ph.D. level researcher, two M.Sc., and one B.Sc. level Research Assistants who perform the day-to-day work, iii) educate, advise and supervise the diverse users and clients of the laboratories, and to iv) perform independent research and accountable for the integrity of the data. 

Organizational Status

The manager operates independently. As a professional scientist and an expert in the fields of electron-beam microanalysis, X-ray crystallography, and mineral and material  sciences, the manager develops administrative and scientific policy as appropriate to meet the needs of researchers and other clients.  The manager works closely with faculty members, supervises research scientists, advises users of the facility, and participates in the education of graduate students. This position reports to the Head of the Department and consults with the Director of Resources and Operations on administrative matters such as working conditions, contracts, billings, etc.

Work Performed

  1. Manages the operations of the three major laboratories and the analytical work of faculty, research associates, post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students.  Instructs and supervises users of the facilities including system training, analytical techniques, and calibration methods to be used. Ensures quality control for accurate quantification of a wide diversity of methods.  Prepares written and verbal technical materials for instruction purposes.  Ensures appropriate safety training is given and procedures followed by users in the lab.
  2. The leadership and management of the facilities are solely the responsibility of the manager.  The manager is a professional scientist and assumes leadership of both research work done, and how the various commercial operations of the facility are directed.  The manager determines management style, how staff is utilized, and is responsible for financial decisions concerning purchasing equipment subject to compliance with UBC practices and with approval of the Head of Department.
  3. The manager is responsible for maintaining operational continuity of the instruments through maintenance and repair of instruments, instrument servicing, and vendor communication. The manager ensures that funds are available for instrument maintenance and repair from the fees collected from users and clients.
  4. Operates the complex of laboratories on a cost-recovery basis, administers for-profit operation of the laboratories for clients from other universities, industry and government agencies. Recovers salary and benefits to support a full-time Ph.D.-level researcher and 3 other research assistants responsible for doing contract work and from client fees. Manages an average annual gross income from user fees for the complex of between $170,000 and $600,000. Orders all equipment and supplies for facilities, has signing authority on all related research accounts, invoices academic, government and industry clients for user fees and reconciles facility accounts on a monthly basis.
  5. Shares advanced microbeam and diffraction techniques with graduate students both within the department and from other departments to provide knowledge and skills to carry out independent research in support of their research. 
  6. Develops analytical methods based on current scientific advances to complement the needs of individual users and supervises interpretation of results. Provides strategic direction in securing new technology and instrumentation. Monitors instrument performance and adjustment of operating parameters to achieve optimum performance for specific analyses.  Purchases and tests new instruments, accessories and software and verifies their performance.
  7. Long-range planning for the facilities is solely the responsibility of the manager in consultation with EOAS research faculty. In this regard, the manager keeps up-to-date with both the scientific and technological aspects of the facilities and organizes funding through various granting agencies and whatever other sources become available. Applies independently and collaboratively for funds to support their research and to purchase new equipment.

Consequence of Error

The manager is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the facility and its instruments and for the quality of analytical work. Errors in analyses and/or poor supervision would lead to incorrect interpretation of research results and prevent the attainment of research goals.  Such errors would result in the loss of incalculable time and resources on behalf of the researchers.

Inefficient management of laboratory facilities and instruments would result in downtime that delays research, damage to very expensive instruments, and the inability to recover the cost of operations from user fees.

Issues such as these and others would be addressed by the head of department in consultation with the advisory council of facility-users.

Supervision Received

The manager works independently and establishes priorities taking into account the goals and needs of UBC researchers and other clients. Advises the best methods for achieving these goals by applying the appropriate scientific principles.  The manager makes his/her own decisions on both scientific and technical aspects of the work and is responsible for monitoring use of funds and resources. The manager's work is reviewed annually by department head and advisory council of facility-users.

Supervision Given

Trains and supervises all users of electron-probe microanalyzer, scanning electron microscope with energy dispersion X-ray spectrometer and image analysis system, and X-ray powder diffractometers. Oversees operations of three laboratories and, annually, provides supervision to as many as 150 faculty, research associates, post-doctoral fellows, undergraduate and graduate students, and clients from industry and government. Manages a Ph.D.-level researcher and two M.Sc.-/B.Sc.-level Research Assistants who are responsible for doing contract work, certain laboratory maintenance, and also participates in the training of the various clientele. From time to time, additional part-time employees are supervised.

Working Conditions

The work place is divided among “clean” research laboratories and office environments; the proportion of time is variable.  Working conditions occasionally include exposure to potential hazards (e.g., chemicals, high voltages, occasional heavy lifting, etc).

Organization Chart

Reports to the Head of the department.


Ph.D. degree in geosciences or other relevant disciplines and demonstrated productivity in the appropriate fields, or an M.Sc. degree combined with extensive experience pertinent to the position. Position is dedicated to the chemical analysis of minerals, rocks and related earth materials. Must have good management and organization skills and experience in the operation of EPMA, XRD, SEM, including basic maintenance. Has proficiency in designing analytical procedures for quantitative EMPA. Experience in teaching post secondary level courses. Participation in the acquisition of high quality chemical analyses, the development of new analytical procedures, and the teaching and supervision of students, faculty and visiting scientists. A demonstrated record of peer-review publication and successful grantsmanship.

Applications must be submitted through the UBC Career portal at:  posting #29041. Applications after March 30, 2018 should be sent to  

February 21, 2018
March 30, 2018

Asst Professor (tenure-track) - hydrogeology - posting 28656

The Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (EOAS) at the University of British Columbia invites applicants for a full-time, tenure-track faculty position at the level of Assistant Professor.  Applicants will have a PhD or equivalent experience in a related field and should be investigating physical, chemical or microbiological processes relating to the field of hydrogeology, and intersecting with research areas such as, but not limited to, Earth critical zone science, fracture flow and fault processes, geomechanics, geohazards, groundwater contamination and remediation, environmentally responsible resource development, and impact of climate change on water supply and quality. They will be expected to develop a strong, externally funded and internationally recognized research program, successfully supervise graduate students, and participate in departmental activities, including administration of the Geological Engineering program. They will also be expected to effectively teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the field of hydrogeology. EOAS is dedicated to practicing excellence in teaching and evidence demonstrating interest in innovative teaching methods is desirable, along with demonstrated potential for teaching excellence.

Research and teaching interests in EOAS, the top-ranked and largest Earth Sciences department in Canada, span the history of the Earth and the evolution of its structure from core to stratosphere ( We seek candidates who complement existing departmental strengths and have capacity and interest in interacting with other research groups both within and outside the department. Candidates should possess a strong record of research productivity commensurate with their experience.

Applications should include a cover letter, a detailed curriculum vitae, a summary of research interests including a one-page outline of a potential five-year research program, a statement of teaching philosophy, three recent publications (pdf format), and the names and contact details of three individuals from whom the search committee can request letters of reference. Submit your application online at , posting #28656. Review of applications will start March 15, 2018 and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. The successful applicant is expected to start time in Fall 2018 or at a date of mutual agreement. This position is subject to final budgetary approval.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

Questions should be directed to the Search Committee Chair, Professor Roger Francois, by email at .

January 11, 2018
March 15, 2018