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Postdoctoral Researcher- Structural Geology/Geophysics

Western Washington University

Western Washington University

Bellingham, WA, USA
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2023

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Postdoctoral Researcher- Structural Geology/Geophysics

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Position Title Postdoctoral Researcher- Structural Geology/Geophysics
About the University

Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 90,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

Western Washington University is committed to achieving excellence through advancing inclusive success, increasing our Washington impact, and focusing on transformational education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and based on innovative scholarship, research, and creative activity. Western's greatest strength is the outstanding students, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae who make up its community. Western supports an inclusive governance structure for all and provides a learning and working environment in which everyone can thrive. In pursuit of this excellence, individual employees are expected to establish and maintain productive and effective inclusive working relationships amongst diverse populations including staff, faculty, administration, student, and external constituents. Further, individual employees are expected to have the ability to operationalize sustainability concepts (economic, societal, environmental) into all aspects of performing their job duties.

About the Department The College of Science and Engineering and the Geology Department support Western's mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.
About the Position The Geology Department at Western Washington University invites applications for a two-year (24 month) Postdoctoral Research (non-tenure track faculty) position. Additional teaching opportunities during the summer and/or academic year may be available.

The successful applicant will join a larger multidisciplinary working group generating a Community Fault Model (CFM) for Cascadia as a part of the new Cascadia Region Earthquake Science Center (CRESCENT),  via a grant-supported community project focused on earthquake hazards in the Pacific Northwest. Specifically, the postdoc will play a central role developing a comprehensive topological and multi-earthquake cycle activity model of crustal faults in the upper plate of the Cascadia subduction system. The topological model will combine both on and offshore fault systems in the seismogenic crust and the subducting Juan de Fuca plate interface. The CFM will be used to characterize upper plate fault hazards, to evaluate fault interaction, and to understand the contribution of splay faults to deformation in the accretionary prism offshore. Creating the CFM involves synthesizing and compiling fault system information from existing fault topological datasets including the National Seismic Hazard Map, the USGS Quaternary Fault and Fold database, with information about fault structure from marine and terrestrial seismic reflection and other geophysical data sets and paleoseismic records. This work will include: 1) compilation of the location and recent and historical studies of on- and offshore faults, and other constraints on fault geometry and activity; 2) synthesis of high-resolution earthquake hypocenter distributions, subsurface structural imaging, and other geophysical observables to populate the fault topologic database; 3) application of innovative approaches to 3D subsurface fault modeling and visualization; 4) management of large databases and related metadata; and 5) attendance and participation in working group and community planning meetings. The successful applicant will work in close collaboration with supervisors at Western Washington University (Drs. Emily Roland and Colin Amos), other researchers involved in the CFM and Cascadia earthquake hazards, researchers from the US Geological Survey, and others.

Required Qualifications
  • PhD in structural geology, crustal/marine geophysics, fault modeling, or related fields awarded before start date
  • Experience with GIS, database creation and management
  • Experience with fault characterization and imaging including fault geometry, kinematics, slip rate, historic earthquake size and timing, etc.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Familiarity or experience with 3D fault characterization using geological, geophysical and/or structural modeling approaches
  • Familiarity with Python, Matlab and/or other coding languages
  • Interest or familiarity with single or multi-cycle earthquake simulators and dynamic rupture modeling
Conditions of Employment All employees must comply with our Immunization policies, including Proof of Rubeola Measles Immunity within 60-days of hire. Please reach out to HR@wwu.edu if you need information regarding medical or religious exemption and applicable accommodations.


Position salary is $60,000. Salary increases will be provided in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement, including a 4.5% increase effective September 16, 2024. Position will also receive support for travel to workshops and conferences.

Benefits Information Benefits Overview for Faculty Positions

Bargaining Unit

 United Faculty of Western Washington

Application Instructions

Application materials must be submitted via WWU’s electronic application system (PageUp). Submit a CV and a statement of research interest and experience relevant to this project for consideration, as well as contact information for at least three references.

Closing Date Notes

Application review begins October 23, 2023; position is open until filled.

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Western Washington University, Old Main 126 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay); crtc@wwu.edu

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3303 or 711 (Washington Relay).

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at vpsa.office@wwu.edu. The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires and rehires, which includes a sexual misconduct background check.

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