Woodwell Climate Research Center (Woodwell Climate) conducts science for solutions at the nexus of climate, people, and nature. We partner with leaders and communities for just meaningful impact to address the climate crisis. 


Woodwell Climate is seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher to contribute to develop automated computer vision and machine learning tools to assess river herring migration populations based on in-river video footage. The work is coupled with volunteer monitoring and Passive Integrated Transponders (PIT) tagging to validate and improve accuracy of annual river herring spawning run estimates. The project is a collaboration among a Woodwell Climate Senior Scientist, a professor at the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and MIT Sea Grant. 


  • Responsible for automated computer vision and machine learning tools to interpret underwater herring videos, assist with field work on Cape Cod and participate in lab meetings at MIT and Woodwell. 
  • Collaborate with volunteers and MIT students to install cameras, curate training data sets, train and evaluate computer vision models, and develop an automated monitoring and counting system for use by fish monitoring programs. 
  • Work independently and assume responsibility for specific phases of research projects and work with their supervisor to define and accomplish publication goals. 
  • Conduct research in a lab and field environment.
  • Work in a collaborative environment with minimal oversight.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

  • Ph.D. (or while obtaining the Ph.D.) degree in environmental science, biology, computer science or a related discipline. 
  • Strong python literacy and software development experience.
  • Data science experience, including the storage, processing, and management of data.
  • Familiarity with computer vision programs is desired, including object detection with the YOLOv5 or YOLOv8 code repositories as well as more traditional image processing including optical flow, masking, morphological associations, and background subtraction. 
  • Familiarity with computer vision datasets and their curation, including open source image and video labeling software, data selection, data splitting for training and evaluation, computer vision benchmarking and fair comparison, and awareness of the effects of spatial, temporal, and sensor-type data bias.
  • Interest in translating scientific theory into real-world applications and practice
  • Ability to work as a member of a highly collaborative team in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong organizational and multitasking skills are critical.  
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and the ability to work well with team members and the public are essential.
  • Experience in ecological statistics and computational research preferred.
  • Experience mentoring students preferred.
  • Ability to travel occasionally, if needed.

Physical Requirements:

In the office:

  • Ability to tolerate sustained periods of walking, standing, sitting
  • Ability to lift 25 pounds
  • Ability to communicate
  • Ability to kneel, bend, and carry items
  • Ability to use phone and computers
  • Repetitive movements
  • Air, train, vehicle travel to attend meetings/event

In the field, the physical requirements of this role include:

  • Air, train, vehicle travel to access field locations
  • Driving a vehicle or ATV to access field locations
  • Walking, hiking, climbing to access field locations
  • Paddling, canoeing to access field locations
  • Standing and sitting for sustained periods
  • Frequent bending, squatting, and kneeling
  • Reaching overhead
  • Climbing ladders
  • Use of manual and power tools including shovels, saws, drills, and hammers
  • Ability to lift up to 25lbs up to 10 times/day
  • Ability to carry up to 25lbs up to 10 times/day
  • Ability to push/pull up to 25lbs up to 10 times/day

Application review will be ongoing

Desired Start Date: February 1, 2024

Classification and Compensation: This is a full-time, salaried, exempt position, the annual salary range starting at $69,000.00 dependent on qualifications/experience. Woodwell offers a generous benefits package and work life balance.

Location: Falmouth, Massachusetts

Application Instructions: To apply, please send your cover letter addressing your experience and qualifications in relation to the responsibilities of this position, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references as a single PDF to our career’s portal. 

Located on a 10-acre campus near the village of Woods Hole, Woodwell Climate Research Center is a private, non-profit research center. Woodwell is a leading source of climate science that drives the urgent action needed to solve climate change. Woodwell has 80+ staff members and is excited to welcome new employees to this work.

Woodwell is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, mental, or physical disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, familial status, veteran status, or genetic information. Woodwell  is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for all individuals in employment practices, services, programs, and activities.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Woodwell


Climate change is the greatest challenge of our lifetimes. Woodwell Climate Research Center (Woodwell) understands that the climate crisis—from causes to consequences—is inextricably linked with persistent social injustice. Effectively addressing either requires addressing both. The climate crisis demands that we bring to bear all of the knowledge, expertise, innovation, and creativity that we can collectively muster, and those who have been marginalized and disproportionately impacted must be heard.

The work Woodwell Climate does—the questions we ask, the ways we seek answers, and the strategies we put forward—is stronger when shaped by a diversity of knowledge, perspectives, and experiences. We strive to welcome, respect, and amplify differing voices. We value individuals as they are, with all their differences in race, age, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, language, and mental and physical abilities.

Woodwell Climate acknowledges that our organization, and the scientific community more broadly, have a long way to go in living up to these ideals. We approach the work of improving our organization with the same ambition and commitment to systemic change that we bring to addressing climate change.

We will inevitably make mistakes, but we will continue to listen, learn, and do this critical work. We understand that this work requires an ongoing commitment from each and every one of us. We are actively engaged in building and sustaining an equitable and inclusive culture within our organization, and in fostering greater diversity in climate science.


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