Jobs at Western

Assistant Professor, Geology - Marine and Coastal Science

Apply now Work type: TT Faculty
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: College of Science & Engineering

Position Title Assistant Professor, Geology - Marine and Coastal Science
About the University Western Washington University (WWU), with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 83,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the Cascade mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. WWU’s Shannon Point Marine Center is a teaching and research facility located in Anacortes, WA, which is 45 miles southwest of the main campus.
About the Department

The Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) program, the College of Science and Engineering, and the Shannon Point Marine Center support WWU’s mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

About the Geology Department: We presently have 14 faculty members with teaching and research fields that include igneous and metamorphic processes, tectonics and structural geology, geophysics, surficial processes and geomorphology, hydrogeology and engineering geology, science education, paleontology, stable isotope geochemistry, sedimentology and stratigraphy, and planetary geoscience. Our department includes a large (150 majors) undergraduate program, and a vibrant MS program with 30 graduate students. The goal of the program is to help students develop into confident, thoughtful, ethical scientists ready to address the growing challenges affecting our planet through the study of the geosciences.

About the MACS Program: Marine and Coastal Science (MACS; is an interdisciplinary program with permanent and affiliated faculty in units across the university, drawing together the wealth of marine expertise in the Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences departments and at the Shannon Point Marine Center. The mission of MACS is to promote the study of marine systems with an emphasis on place-based learning, early exposure to research, and cohort-based, immersive educational experiences. The goal of the program is to help students develop into confident, thoughtful, ethical scientists ready to address the growing challenges affecting our marine and coastal environments.

About the Position

The Geology Department and the MACS program at WWU invite applications for two tenure-track, assistant professor positions with specialties in one of three fields: Coastal Geomorphology/Coastal Geohazards, Paleoceanography /Paleoclimatology, or Marine Geology. These positions will begin Sept 16, 2020. As members of the group of initial faculty hires into the MACS program, the successful applicant will foster an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research in geology and marine science. We seek individuals who are enthusiastic about teaching and who will establish a vigorous research program, and are particularly interested in those who will combine field, experimental, and/or modeling approaches in their research program, and who will involve undergraduate and Masters-level students in their research.

Details for each of the fields we seek to hire include:

Coastal Geomorphology/Coastal Geohazards

The ideal candidate will enhance our existing strengths in geoscience teaching and research by developing new courses and research avenues in coastal geomorphology, coastal tectonics and geo-hazards. Broad areas of interest include, but are not limited to, coastal erosion and sediment transport, delta evolution, beach/tidal morphodynamics, marine geohazards, and tectonic processes that impact coastal zones, including uplift, subsidence, and tsunami generation and impacts.


The ideal candidate will enhance our existing strengths in geoscience teaching and research by developing new courses and research avenues in paleoceanography/paleoclimatology. Broad areas of interest include, but are not limited to, oceanic circulation and heat transport, micropaleontology/paleoecology, the carbon cycle, and geochemical processes that are related to climate variations on geological timescales. Tools and techniques used to address these problems can include geochemical or sedimentological proxies of climate variations, paleontological proxies/indicators of climate variations, physical oceanographic data, or other appropriate techniques.

Marine Geologist

The ideal candidate will enhance our existing strengths in geoscience teaching and research by developing new courses and research avenues in marine geology with a focus on crustal/lithospheric evolution and/or tectonic processes. Broad areas of interest include, but are not limited to, formation of the oceanic lithosphere and crustal evolution, geodynamics of the ocean basins, hydrothermal circulation at mid-ocean ridges, geochemistry of rock-water interactions, submarine volcanic systems, or tectonic processes associated with oceanic plate boundaries. Tools and techniques used to address these problems can include geochemical analyses, geophysical methods, geospatial analysis, textural rock analysis, numerical models, or other appropriate techniques.

As a member of the MACS core faculty, the successful applicant will teach in MACS and the Geology Department, with teaching assignments split evenly between the two units. The selected candidates must be able to contribute to the curriculum of the Geology Department through teaching Geol 211 (Physical Geology), Geol 340 (Geological Oceanography) and upper division courses in their specialty, and to the MACS program through teaching courses including MACS 302 (Marine Geological Processes), and contribute to MACS courses for 1st and 2nd year students, an interdisciplinary course-based research capstone, and/or a marine science elective suitable for students with broad interests and backgrounds.

Position Responsibilities: 

  • Teach Physical Geology (Geol 211) and Geological Oceanography (Geol 340)
  • Teach advanced courses in faculty specialty
  • Teach interdisciplinary marine science courses potentially including the 1st and 2nd year seminar series, Marine Science and Society, Marine Geological Processes, a research capstone, and/or an elective in the applicant’s area of expertise. 
  • Contribute to the development of the curriculum for both Geology and MACS, fostering a culture of collaboration between departments in research and teaching. 
  • Participate in service activities for both the Geology Department and the MACS program. 
  • Fulfill teaching and mentoring responsibilities in ways that provide equitable and inclusive learning environments for all students
  • Establish an active research program that can be sustained at a primarily undergraduate institution
  • Mentor undergraduate and graduate (Master’s) students’ research projects
  • Seek extramural research funding
Required Qualifications
  • PhD in geological sciences, oceanography, or a closely related field, completed at the time of application.
  • Evidence of the ability to effectively teach Physical Geology and Geological Oceanography.
  • Evidence of the ability to develop and teach interdisciplinary marine science courses suitable for students with broad interests and backgrounds. 
  • Demonstrated record of, or commitment to, mentoring early-stage students in course-based research or skills acquisition
  • Demonstrated record of, or commitment to, cultivating learning environments that are equitable and inclusive of students with diverse social identities and backgrounds
  • Demonstrated record of, or commitment to, establishing a research program in geology that includes involvement of undergraduate and graduate students
Preferred Qualifications
  • Postdoctoral experience and strong research record in geoscience/oceanography fields
  • Teaching experience using student-centered approaches to foster active learning
  • Evidence of the ability to teach upper-division and graduate courses in Geology
  • Demonstrated ability of engaging in research that traverses different scientific disciplines
  • Potential for mentoring students in graduate research as part of the Geology MS program


 Commensurate with experience and qualifications

Bargaining Unit

 United Faculty of Western Washington

Application Instructions

Interested candidates must apply online.

For application information and instructions, go to the WWU Employment website

Attach (1) a cover letter indicating which specialty field you are applying for, addressing the required and preferred qualifications for the position, (2) curriculum vitae, (3) a statement of teaching philosophy and interests, (4) a detailed statement of research plans, (5) a statement detailing how your teaching, service and/or scholarship has prepared you to support the success of students with backgrounds or identities that are underrepresented in STEM fields and (6) names and contact information for three individuals to provide recommendation letters.

Closing Date Notes

Review of applications begins October 14, 2019 and continues until the positions are filled.

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 497185
Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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