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    The Closing Date has been updated to February 19, 2019.

    What General Information Do I Need to Know About This Position? 

    Salary: $88,582 (Step 01) to $115,157 (Step 10); NOTE: First time hires to the Federal Government are typically hired at the Step 01.

    There is one vacancy; however, this announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies if they become available.

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    Mendenhall Research Fellowship - Research Opportunity # 17-9. Geology of deep-ocean marine minerals 

    Marine minerals occur in every ocean basin, on both continental and oceanic crust; they are forming today, and some began forming 70 million years ago. The most well-known deposits are ferromanganese crusts and nodules (Hein and Koschinsky, 2014; Mizell and Hein, 2016) composed mainly of iron and manganese oxides that accumulate trace metals sourced from seawater and porewaters over millions of years, and hydrothermal deposits composed mainly of sulfide minerals (Gartman et al., 2014) that accumulate over thousands of years at tectonic boundaries. These deposits exhibit significant variability in extent and element composition across both timescales of formation, as well as spatially on local and global scales (e.g., Petersen et al., 2016). In addition to ferromanganese nodules, crusts, and hydrothermal sulfides, other marine minerals that have generated interest include phosphorite deposits (Altschuler, 1980; Hein et al., 2016), found in open-ocean environments and continental margins, and rare-earth element rich marine muds (e.g. Takaya et al., 2018) that may form from a variety of processes in the deep ocean.

    As well as containing elements that may be valuable or critical to societal needs, these minerals may be used to study the paleoceanographic conditions that influenced their formation (Koschinsky and Hein, 2017) or provide insight into the formation of ancient marine mineral deposits now emplaced on land such as Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide (VMS) deposits. The deep-oceans are difficult to access and many challenges remain for this research, including deposit mapping and characterization and the development of technology for oceanographic mineral exploration.

    We seek a postdoctoral scholar who can make a fundamental contribution to marine minerals research. Proposed work may use either archival samples from the USGS global crust database, archival hydrothermal chimneys, or other existing sample sets; alternatively, the proposal could reference samples to be collected on upcoming research expeditions although such opportunities should be identified. We are also interested in proposals that are experimental in nature or focus on developing geophysical techniques to detect or study marine minerals from ship-based platforms. The scale of possible topics ranges from local influences on mineral formation to more global processes such as isotopic fractionation, paleo-proxy development, or influences on deposit location and composition. In particular, we welcome applications that can cross disciplinary boundaries between marine science and geology.

    Proposed Duty Station: Santa Cruz, CA

    Areas of Ph.D.: Geology, earth science, marine geology, oceanography, or related fields (candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines but with knowledge and skills relevant to the Research Opportunity may be considered).

    Qualifications: Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications: Research Geologist, Research Oceanographer, Research Geophysicist

    (This type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the occupations stated above. However, other titles may be applicable depending on the applicant's background, education, and research proposal. The final classification of the position will be made by the Human Resources Specialist.)


    Physical/Environmental Demands: Work is usually performed in an office setting. The work area:

      • Normally involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of offices or meeting and training rooms;
      • Depending on the nature of the proposal submitted, the work area may involve frequent exposure to a laboratory that involves risks and hazards that require safety precautions. Should this occur, training will be required prior to the commencement of laboratory work.

    Travel Required

    Not required

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/515816300. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.