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Seismo-acoustic Postdoc

What You Will Do

In collaboration with the Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management's Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program (DOE EM MSIPP), the Geophysics Group in the Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is seeking a postdoc researcher for an opening.

Hydrologists and climatologists lack an effective and efficient geophysical method that can provide timely, city-scale, and kilometer-resolution information regarding human- or climate-induced groundwater changes for urban water resource management. The selected postdoc will work with us to develop a cost-effective, high-resolution approach using Optical Fiber (OF) based Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) to monitor city-scale groundwater changes, and thus to mitigating the flooding and drought risks due to climatological changes. By utilizing DAS to continuously record ambient seismo-acoustic vibrations in pre-existing OFs running through and nearby facilities, the status of the groundwater and can be monitored for both long-term climatological changes and short-term changes due to (under)overabundance of water due to (de)increased precipitation.

EES employs about 120 scientists, 40 postdocs, and many students with expertise in various facets of geosciences. The successful candidate will join the multi-disciplinary Geophysics Group (EES-17) working on strategic national and global problems related to national, energy, and environmental security, including earthquake physics, global nuclear security monitoring, local to global-scale subsurface characterization, renewable energy exploration and exploitation, and more. EES has been in active and wide collaboration with industry, universities, and other national laboratories.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:
  • A background in seismic ambient noise data analysis and subsurface characterization.
  • Demonstrated ability to carry out independent and collaborative research.
  • Excellent written and communication skills as demonstrated by a record of peer-reviewed publications and oral presentations at conferences and meetings.
  • An ability to work and communicate effectively in a diverse team environment.

Education/Experience: Eligible candidates must have been granted one or more degrees from a higher education institution classified as a minority serving institution and have obtained or will have received a doctoral degree in a STEM discipline by time of hire.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Substantial experience with seismic data analysis, particularly local to regional-scale seismic ambient noise data analysis, coda wave interferometry, and time-lapse seismic data analysis.
  • Experience with OF-DAS-based seismic data acquisition, data management, processing, and analysis.
  • Knowledge of seismic wave propagation and seismic inversion, and experience with dispersion- or waveform-based surface-wave inversion for near-surface characterization. Knowledge and experience with machine-learning-based geophysical research will be a plus.
  • Proficiency in Python, particularly in generic numerical libraries (e.g., Numpy and Scipy), seismic-related libraries (e.g., ObsPy and deterministic or probabilistic surface-wave inversion packages), scientific visualization (e.g., matplotlib and pyvista), and machine-learning libraries (e.g., PyTorch and TensorFlow); Proficiency in other related programming languages (e.g., Fortran, C++, MATLAB) will be a plus.

Location: This position will be located in Los Alamos, NM.

COVID Vaccine:

The COVID vaccine is mandatory for all Laboratory employees, on-site contractors, and on-site subcontractors unless granted an accommodation under applicable state or federal law. This requirement will apply to those working on-site, those teleworking, and all new hires.

Note to Applicants:

To apply, please submit an online application, including your CV. A cover letter will be requested in the second stage of the interview process.

Any questions about the position may be directed to Dr. Carly Donahue ( and Dr. Kai Gao ( No applicant is expected to have all the desired skills. Anyone who meets the minimum requirements is encouraged to apply.


Competitive salaries are based on the date the PhD degree requirements were completed or the degree was awarded. On the anniversary of these dates, salaries are automatically adjusted to the next higher level, e.g. PhD + 0: $81,500; PhD + 1: $83,000, etc. For more information go to Postdoc Program website at .
Where You Will Work

Located in beautiful northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. Our generous benefits package includes:

§ PPO or High Deductible medical insurance with the same large nationwide network

§ Dental and vision insurance

§ Free basic life and disability insurance

§ Paid childbirth and parental leave

§ Award-winning 401(k) (6% matching plus 3.5% annually)

§ Learning opportunities and tuition assistance

§ Flexible schedules and time off (paid sick, vacation, and holidays)

§ Onsite gyms and wellness programs

§ Extensive relocation packages (outside a 50 mile radius)
Additional Details

Directive 206.2 - Employment with Triad requires a favorable decision by NNSA indicating employee is suitable under NNSA Supplemental Directive 206.2. Please note that this requirement applies only to citizens of the United States. Foreign nationals are subject to a similar requirement under DOE Order 142.3A.

Q Clearance: Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements* for access to classified matter. This position requires a Q clearance which requires US Citizenship except in extremely rare circumstances. Dependent upon position, additional authorization to access nuclear weapons information may be required that may or may not be available to dual citizens depending upon the circumstances.

*Eligibility requirements: To obtain a clearance, an individual must be at least 18 years of age; U.S. citizenship is required except in very limited circumstances. See DOE Order 472.2 for additional information.

New-Employment Drug Test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new-employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing.

Equal Opportunity: Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. All employment practices are based on qualification and merit, without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or preference, marital status or spousal affiliation, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, pregnancy, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or citizenship within the limits imposed by federal laws and regulations. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email to or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.Employment StatusFull Time