News article

Postdoc/Phd - Urban nature values

Publisert 23.10.2017

The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) seeks a post doc or Ph.D. candidate in mapping and valuation of ecosystem services from green infrastructure in Oslo. 

The position focuses on implementing, testing and developing modelling tools for valuation of urban trees and vegetation, based on the i-Tree Eco modeling suite. We seek a M.Sc./Ph.D. in geomatics with an interest in urban ecosystem services, or a M.Sc./Ph.D. in nature management, landscape architecture, geography, ecological or environmental economics with specialization in spatial analysis and GIS, or persons with similar experience. Main workplace is NINAs offices in Oslo.

Spatial modelling and valuation of ecosystem services from city trees in Oslo
City planners in Norway map areas for different purposes, including property and commercial development, and assess the need for municipal infrastructure and services.  However, the regulating ecosystem services from green infrastructure are currently poorly mapped and valued. This post doc/Ph.D. grant position will work on combining physical inventorying, biophysical, health and economic indicators of the ecosystem services from city trees to be used for plural valuation of green infrastructure that supports urban planning and management. Trade-offs analysis and identification of hotspots where city trees provide the highest level of ecosystem services at the lowest cost to the city is currently not integrated in planning. But it is a research field of rising importance internationally. Economic arguments for city trees have become part of an urban forestry approach. The post doc /Ph.D. aims to fill this gap by developing and IT-platform, mapping and valuation tools that can answer questions about economic benefits of city trees for private and public planners and managers.

The position is initially limited to 3 years. It is a flexible announcement in which the quality and experience of the applicant will determine whether a post doc or Ph.D. position is established.

The Ph.D. position will focus on the implementation and testing of the modelling tool i-Tree Eco ( for Oslo and evaluate the models reliability in relation to different user needs (Oslo municipality, property developers).  For this position we seek an M.Sc. graduate in nature management, urban ecology, landscape architecture, geography, ecological or environmental economics with solid experience in geographical information systems. The Ph.D. will be formally enrolled at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU LANDSAM Faculty) with an academic supervisor.  The main place of work is NINAs Oslo office. Acceptance to the Ph.D. program at the NMBU normally requires a B qualification as a minimum. Persons with other similar qualifications and experience may also apply. 

The Postdoc position will implement and test i-Tree Eco and carry out a comparative study of alternative modelling approaches using QGIS+Python. The Postdoc will also work with the development of database solutions for sharing city tree information with stakeholders concerned with city tree management, as well as interactive map solutions for engagement with the public. For the postdoc position, we seek a Ph.D. graduate in geomatics with an interest in urban ecology and valuation, or Ph.D. graduate in urban nature management, ecology, landscape architecture, geography, ecological economics or environmental economics who can document advanced application of spatial analysis and GIS.

The position assumes documented experience with:
• Geografic Information Systems (GIS) - preferably Open Source (QGIS Desktop/Server, PostGIS, GRASS GIS)
• Analysis and management of spatial data
• Structured Query Language (SQL)
• GIS related programming, preferably Python

It is an advantage that you are also familiar with one or more of the following:
• Economic valuation methods for ecosystem services
• Web design and Django
• Remote sensing (Satellit, Orthofoto, LiDAR)
• Web Processing Services (WPS)

We can offer:
• Salary with Norwegian pay grade ltr 53-56 (Ph.D)  or ltr 66-67 (postdoc)
• Flexible working hours
• Good pension plan and group life insurance
• Varied and exciting working environment in one of Norway’s leading environmental research institutes

NINA encourages female candidates to apply.

Please send an application letter motivating your interest in the position and explaining the relevance of your experience, including your CV with information about educations, work experience and publications list. The application can be sent by e-mail to, or by post to NINA, Personalkontoret, Postboks 5685 Torgarden, 7485 Trondheim.

Selected candidates will be called in to an interview. 

The position will start in the first quarter of 2018.

For additional technical details about the project and valuation of city trees, or other questions about the position, please contact David N. Barton,, tlf 924 42 111 or  Stefan Blumentrath Tlf. 463 41 158.

Application deadline 10 November 2017.


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The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) is Norway’s leading institution for applied ecological research.

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