Atkinson Postdoctoral Science Fellow, Cropland GHG Mitigation - Ithaca, NY


The Fellow will be based at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY with occasional travel to field locations within the Hudson Valley of New York. Authorization to work in the U.S. is required for the duration of the fellowship.



This is a 2-year fellowship with an anticipated start date of ASAP and no later than September 2024.


Application Materials

Interested applicants should attach their cover letter and resume to the EDF application, together with a peer-reviewed publication or manuscript in prep or in review.


Program/Department Overview


The Office of Chief Scientist (OCS) is the nexus of science at EDF, ensuring the science that is the backbone for all EDF policy positions is based on the best available information. To be most effective in this role, OCS works with staff from across EDF and provides programmatic support for all EDF scientists as well as fosters relationships with scientists in academia, government and industry.


EDF has set the ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030 through nature-based climate solutions. Reduced emissions from and increased carbon sequestration in croplands are necessary to meeting this goal. Improved understanding of mechanisms, measurement, and baselines will enable implementation of the most effective and credible climate solutions while also benefitting agricultural resilience, soil health and farmer livelihoods. We work to advance the scientific understanding of agricultural systems, and to translate the science into action through implementation of the most effective and credible climate solutions.


Overall Function


The Fellow will be closely engaged with the work of Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Sciences’ Soil & Crop Sciences Section, will participate in the joint EDF-Cornell Sustainability Leadership Program, join a thriving community of scientists across EDF, and participate in ongoing meetings with program and policy staff across the organization. The Fellow will be part of a collaborative team that spans multiple universities (Yale School of the Environment, Cornell School of Integrative Plant Science) and organizations (Hudson Carbon and Woodwell Climate Research Center), and will report directly to the co-P.I.’s (Drs. Emily Oldfield and Jocelyn Lavallee at EDF and Dr. Louis Longchamps at Cornell). This collaborative team is implementing a research project focusing on regional and field scale sampling designs for soil carbon sequestration in the Hudson Valley of New York State. The Fellow will couple high density soil carbon stock data with other data products related to soil series, topography, management, landscape and environmental covariates (e.g., soil survey data, remote sensing data products) to explore questions related to soil sampling designs, landscape stratification and data optimization for digital soil mapping in a regional agroecosystem. We anticipate the Fellow will lead the writing of at least one peer-reviewed publication, a white paper, one publication and one presentation for Extension, and will help curate an open-access database.


Key Responsibilities


Working with the co-P.I.’s, the Fellow will help refine and direct the scope of the study and assume leadership of the work in close collaboration with the larger project team.

Tasks will include but are not limited to:

  • Research and analyze which environmental, landscape and management co-variates are most effective for stratifying agricultural fields to inform efficient sampling designs and improve sampling for soil organic carbon (SOC) estimation.
  • Identify whether stratification of agricultural fields relevant to SOC spatial distribution can provide valuable information to farmers for crop management (e.g., site-specific management of fertilizers and/or links between yield history and soil health metrics).
  • Evaluate trade-offs between precision and time/cost when comparing traditional soil sampling and analysis with field-based visible and near infrared (vis-NIR) approaches.
  • Prepare digital soil carbon stock maps for participating farmers highlighting information relevant to farmers for crop management.
  • Outreach and engage with participating farmers and stakeholders through Extension publication(s) and presentation(s).
  • Assist in the generation and collation of an open-access database including soil sample analysis, spectroscopic measurements, biophysical covariates, and farm management data.
  • Write at least one paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and present project results at scientific workshops and conferences.
  • Contribute to grant proposals, white papers, reports, fact sheets, policy briefs and blogs on pathways to scaling soil carbon stock measurement/monitoring, reporting, and verification.
  • Facilitate project cohesion and collaborative research ties through organizing meetings, delivering casual presentations on research progress, and maintaining email contact with the project team.
  • Supervise intern(s) associated to the project and support research teams with related projects as required.
  • Participate in advancing EDF Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.
  • Participate in the joint Cornell Atkinson and EDF Sustainable Leadership Program for postdoctoral fellows.



  • A recent Ph.D. in soil science, digital agronomy, spatial statistics or related area.
  • Strong analytical skills, including demonstrated experience with spatial statistics and interpolation.
  • Experience with statistical computing (e.g., R or Python) and GIS analytics and software (e.g., ArcGIS or QGIS).
  • A track record of relevant research and presentations at scientific conferences, including at least one peer-reviewed publication (or manuscript currently under review) on a related topic or using relevant quantitative methodology.
  • Demonstrated excellence in rigorous scientific analyses and in oral and written communication of scientific concepts.
  • Demonstrated interest in expanding expertise to new areas, and to the science-policy interface.
  • Ability to communicate science-based insights to a range of stakeholders in the research, development, and policy communities.
  • Aptitude and inclination towards creative problem solving with transdisciplinary approaches.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Well organized, motivated, and detail-oriented.
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work independently, using independent judgment and initiative to plan, prioritize, problem solve, and organize workload in a fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrated self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated initiative and problem solving skills.
  • Ability to travel within the U.S. if interested in participating in field and lab work (up to 10 days per year over the term of this position).

We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization. We take into account factors such as candidate experience, skills, training, internal team equity and local norms.

Please note that pay ranges are country specific. As a result, the stated currency is not meant be converted into any other currency.

Pay range

$68,250 USD/Yr.


Fellow (Fixed Term) Full Time


Remote - US


April 9, 2024

Apply now

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