Land Core

3322 23865Position ID: 3322-POSTDOC [#23865]
Position Title: Statistician (Postdoctoral Research Associate)
Position Type: Postdoctoral
Position Location: Houston, Texas 77005, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Statistics, agricultural economics, agroecology, risk analytics
Application Deadline: none (posted 2023/11/14)
Position Description:   Remote  

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Position Overview 
Anticipated Start: Q4 2023/Q1 2024 
Position Duration: The appointment is for 2 years, based on performance. 
Salary Range: $72,000-$83,000 expected base salary, per 12-month period. 
Benefits: Healthcare stipend, retirement plan, paid time off, professional development, remote work, flexible schedule. 

Position Description
Land Core and the Department of Statistics at Rice University are seeking to fill a two-year Postdoctoral Research Associate position. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will conduct statistical modeling and analysis and be involved in research activities for innovative statistical methods and applications to agroecology, agricultural economics, and risk analytics. The postdoc will lead analyses assessing impacts of extreme climate events on diversified cropping systems and the resulting effects on crop production, including crop yields, remotely sensed data on crop rotation and cover cropping, and environmental variables. The postdoc will then develop statistical models of crop yield risks in a Bayesian framework which can include causal inference components. This position is part of a multidisciplinary and multi-sector team with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. The goals of the broader team include quantifying the value of farming systems that reduce the risks of yield and revenue losses for farmers. These data will allow agricultural lenders and insurers to quantify and incentivize identified low risk practices, via actuarial and economic analyses that will build on the statistical modeling conducted by this postdoc. Land Core is the project convener and formal employer for this role, while team members span multiple universities and private-sector partners. There is significant potential for real-world impact from this research by informing agricultural lending and crop insurance policies in the US, and through high-impact publications. There is also potential for mentoring, networking, fundamental research, and skills development for career paths including but not limited to academia. 

The successful candidate will work under the direct supervision of Dr. Frederi G. Viens in the Department of Statistics at Rice University in Houston, TX. Remote work can be negotiated. Adjunct faculty appointment in Rice University’s Department of Statistics can also be negotiated.

  • Develop and provide support for statistical modeling and analysis linking diverse cropping systems (crop rotation, cover cropping, and other cropping practices) with crop yields during adverse weather. Using a Bayesian causal inference framework is of particular interest.
  • Interact with members of the multidisciplinary and multi-sector team in designing and analyzing statistical models for agroecological quantities of interest, and in coordinating the statistical activities for the overall project.
  • Develop individual data analysis plans and determine appropriate statistical methodology. 
  • Participate in database design meetings, with data manager and with software developer, to ensure that the data evaluated satisfies analysis requirements, and collaborate with other statistical programming staff to ensure that all statistical code and software meet analysis requirements. 
  • Evaluate appropriateness of available software and statistical programming languages for planned analyses and ascertain needs for potential development of novel statistical methodology. 
  • Prepare verbal and written reports to effectively communicate results of statistical modeling and analyses to the project team, management, individual investigators including the senior statistician, industrial partners, and external academic collaborators. Provide responses to queries relating to model design, analysis, and interpretation posed by the senior statistician, industrial partners, and/or investigators. 
  • Work collaboratively with and articulate complex statistical concepts to stakeholders who may not have statistical training, with the assistance and guidance of the project’s senior statistician when needed. 
  • Present academic findings at professional conferences in applied statistics, agriculture science, and agricultural economics. Lead and participate in writing peer-reviewed academic papers to report the team's findings. 

Required Qualifications 
  • Ph.D. or equivalent degree in statistics or a closely allied discipline (Agronomy, Ecology, Agricultural Economics), or a Master’s degree in statistics with five years of demonstrably relevant work experience. 
  • Knowledge of statistical analysis methodologies, including applied and computational Bayesian analysis.
  • Knowledge of and experience with statistical programming and data processing software, including R proficiency.
  • Excellent written communication skills. Able to work effectively with personnel with different functional backgrounds. 
  • Demonstrate strong interest in statistical research activities and in application of novel methods to applied sciences. 
  • Must demonstrate the ability to learn, be organized, proactive and motivated, and consistently focus on details and execution. 

Preferred Qualifications 
  • Knowledge of frequentist statistical methodologies. 
  • Some exposure to data management methodologies and tools. 
  • Some knowledge of Python. 
  • Some exposure to Geographic Information Services. 
  • Some exposure to remote-sensing data acquisition, assessment, curation, and management. 
  • A statistician's understanding of and experience in agriculture science, ecology, environmental science, or closely allied domains, including experience in the analysis of observational studies data in one or more of these domains. Experience communicating with laypeople with varying degrees of scientific literacy. 

Application Requirements 

Interested individuals should submit the following items to Land Core ( and cc Dr. Frederi G. Viens ( 

  • A one- to two-page cover letter describing their experience, interest in, and fit for the position. We encourage including a statement addressing past and/or potential contributions to justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, through research, teaching, and/or service. 
  • A current CV 
  • The names and contact information of three professional references. Letters of reference may be requested for finalists. 

Email questions to Land Core ( The position will remain open until filled. 

Land Core is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. 

People who do not identify as gender-male, people who identify as belonging to groups under-represented in STEM fields, and people with disabilities, are strongly encouraged to apply.

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Contact: Dr. Frederi G. Viens
Email: email address
Postal Mail:
10857 Vernon Way
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Web Page: