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Environmental Artificial Intelligence Faculty Cluster

The Environmental AI cluster will strengthen and expand UGA’s position as a global leader in atmospheric, terrestrial, and oceanic processes across wide-ranging spatial and temporal scales. UGA is seeking to build on its existing core strengths in big data analyses and multi-scale modeling of earth and marine systems, paleoclimate, and human-environmental change and organizational complexity by developing innovative computational and statistical methodologies to advance understanding of ecosystem resilience and to support climate science and sustainability. 

"The hiring initiative spurs an important continuation in expanding intellectual capacity at the university," said Alan Dorsey, dean of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.


Dean Dorsey

"The opportunity to bring great faculty to our campus to work across disciplines will help unlock major advances. Combined with deep, departmental expertise and a collaborative atmosphere, the stage is set for exciting, new breakthroughs in creative research and development."

Alan Dorsey, dean of the Franklin College


The University of Georgia (UGA) is hiring a cluster of seven tenure-track or tenured faculty in Environmental Artificial Intelligence (AI) through a Presidential Faculty Hiring Initiative over two years with four positions that are starting in the 2022-2023 academic year, and three positions starting August 2024. The faculty positions are distributed over the following four departments within Franklin College of Arts and Sciences: Department of Geography, Department of Marine Sciences, Department of Statistics and Department of Anthropology.

This hiring cluster is aimed at 

  1. advancing machine learning capabilities in sensor networks and remotely sensed data; 
  2. simulating and evaluating environmental responses at multiple scales and planning for resource management strategies; and 
  3. evaluating relationships between environmental forcing mechanisms and responses.

We are pleased to welcome our new faculty members in Environmental AI so far:

Dr. Adrienne Hoarfrost

Dr. Adrienne Hoarfrost

The Department of Marine Sciences is pleased to welcome Dr. Saunders and Dr. Hoarfrost as new Assistant Professors in Marine Microbial Ecology with expertise in computational approaches to investigate the effects that marine microbial ecosystems have on climate, community structure, and ecosystem function.
Dr. Jacly Saunders

Dr. Jaclyn Saunders

Dr. Brita Lorentzen

Dr. Brita Lorentzen

The Department of Anthropology is pleased to welcome Dr. Lorentzen as a new Assistant Professor in Paleoclimatology and Dendrochronology who specializes in tree-ring analysis in archaeology and the use of deep learning methods to reconstruct past climate signals and variations.
Dr. Gengchen Mai

Dr. Gengchen Mai

The Department of Geography is pleased to welcome Dr. Mai as a new Assistant Professor in Geospatial Artificial Intelligence applied to hydrological and ecosystem science with expertise in sensor networks, data mining, machine learning including deep learning, and high-performance computing, as well as strengths in big data visualization.


Collectively, these new faculty members will contribute to the understanding of ecosystem resiliency in the face of sea-level rise, increasingly extreme weather events, ocean warming and acidification, and how these climate patterns have changed through time. These are the most challenging and pressing research problems of our time with vast implications for decision-makers and the public for adapting to and mitigating environmental change. To facilitate interaction among these researchers, each faculty member will join the existing Environmental AI working group and be encouraged to collaborate with faculty in related research centers or institutes across campus. 

Inclusiveness and diversity are academic imperatives and thus university goals, and the University is particularly interested in candidates with experience working with students from diverse backgrounds and who have a demonstrated commitment to improving access to higher education for students from underrepresented groups. Applicants will be asked to provide a statement on commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity and statements of teaching and research philosophy that highlights their interest in data science and artificial intelligence, and contributions to understanding the area specific to the current position postings:

  1. Geography: Artificial Intelligence for Earth System Modeling
  2. Marine Sciences: Data Driven Marine Conservation and Sustainability
  3. Statistics: Deep Learning in Microbiome Research

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