Atkinson-EDF Post-Doctoral Fellow, Health

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 630 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.

Overall Function

EDF and Cornell University seek a motivated, post-graduate (PhD) interested in being part of a collaborative, interdisciplinary team to develop Advanced Fine Scale Intra-Urban Sustainable Transportation - Climate - Air Quality - Health Integrated Assessment Tool for Future Cities. Objectives include: 1. Development of fine scale sustainable transportation air pollution health impact assessment methods; 2. Utilization of tools to develop evidence to inform targeted sustainable transportation plans to maximize climate, air pollution and health co-benefits in case study cities. This work is expected to result in scientific publications, as well as “in-house” analyses for use by other staff and written materials aimed at policy makers, community groups, journalists, and the public at large. The Post-doctoral fellow will work under the direction of Dr. Ananya Roy at EDF and Professor H. Oliver Gao at Cornell University Transportation and Environment/Energy Systems and the Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health (CTECH, The fellow will be based at Cornell  University  and will work closely with faculty and graduate students in the development of AQ-Health modeling and management methodologies, resource/environmental economics models, computing software, and decision supporting systems for both government policies and firm growth strategies. The research participant will learn to: process large data sets for appropriate modeling and analyses; and further develop skills for successful manuscript preparations and reviews. The research participant will have the opportunity to interact with a multidisciplinary team at the leading edge of advocacy and decision making and develop a real world understanding of the intersection of science and policy.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop multiscale air quality models focused on transportation emission impacts on air quality within cities.
  • Utilize (transportation models) to forecast air quality, health, climate and economic impacts of possible transportation policies
  • Develop papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and reports/fact sheets/blog posts for general audiences on the topic of habitat quality on working lands.


  • A recent Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science, Atmospheric Chemistry, Air Quality Modelling, Civil Engineering, Transportation Planning, Environmental Health or other relevant field (with an emphasis on analytical systems modeling).
  • Experience in Air Quality and Health Risk Modeling, AQ-Health Systems Management or Applications of Operations Research.
  • Strong quantitative skills (statistical analysis, modeling, spatial analysis)
  • Skilled in the application of air quality modelling tools (WRF, SMOKE, CMAQ (IPR, IRR, DDM, STOPS), Spatial Allocator, BEIS, MOVES)
  • Experience in using health risk assessment tools, such as BenMap
  • Familiarity with in formulation and solution of policy optimization problems, and transportation planning tools
  • Proficiency in certain programming language (e.g., C++/Java, Matlab, Python, etc.), statistical analysis packages (e.g., R, SAS, SPSS, GAUSS), and ArcGIS is a plus.
  • Excellence in academic writing such as journal papers and research proposals is essential.
  • The ability to communicate complex ideas to a general audience in writing and orally.
  • An interest in translating scientific theory into real-world applications and practice
  • Connections with Houston transportation authorities and environmental regulators a plus.


This position will be based out of EDF’s Washington, D.C. office.


The fellowship term is two years. The second year is contingent on performance and on mutual agreement between the fellow, the advisers, Environmental Defense Fund, and the Atkinson Center. Fellows are expected to participate fully in the Atkinson Center/EDF Knowledge to Impact Professional Development Training Program and related Atkinson/EDF activities during the fellowship.


In your application, please include your resume, cover letter, and a complete list of your publications. We will also require a list of your references and two of your publications relevant to the topic. Finally, please include an electronic version of your academic transcript.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.