University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

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Postdoctoral Fellow I - Data Assimilation

at University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Posted: 12/13/2018
Job Reference #: 218515
Keywords: research

Job Description

Tracking Code
Job Description

Job Title: Postdoctoral Fellow I-Data Assimilation

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Type: Full-time, Exempt

Position Term: Two-years, with possibility of extension

Application Deadline:

This position will be posted until December 14, 2018 or until a sufficient number of applications have been received. Thereafter, applications will be reviewed on an as-needed basis.


Relocation assistance is available for this position.

Work Authorization:

UCAR/NCAR will sponsor a work visa to fill this position.

Where You Will Work:

Located in Boulder, Colorado, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is one of the world’s premier scientific institutions, with an internationally recognized staff and research program dedicated to advancing knowledge, providing community-based resources, and building human capacity in the atmospheric and related sciences. NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

Formed in 2005, the NCAR Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL) is one of the seven laboratories of NCAR, the National Science Foundation’s Federally Funded Research and Development Center. As the successor of NCAR’s Atmospheric Technology Division (ATD), the mission of EOL is to provide leadership in observing facilities, field project support as well as research and data services needed to advance the scientific understanding of the Earth system. EOL manages the majority of NSF’s Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF) and deploys them in support of observational field campaigns, ranging from single investigator projects to large complex campaigns that involve multiple investigators, agencies, and platforms, nationally and internationally. EOL deploys its systems for research by scientists from universities, NCAR, and government agencies, as well as for education. An integral part of EOL’s mission is to develop the next generation of LAOF and to provide management and archiving of data from past supported campaigns. In order to ensure progress in the atmospheric sciences, EOL supports a wide-range of research areas within the Earth system science, ranging from microscale to mesoscale to climate process studies, and employs LAOF platforms and systems that reach from the surface of the Earth to the lower stratosphere and beyond.

See more about EOL. Why join the EOL team?

What You Will Do:

To acquire post-graduate research experience while also advancing the objectives of EOL/RSF data assimilation activities. Research is defined and directed by an EOL/RSF staff member and includes pre-defined research objectives and deliverables.


  • Conduct independent and collaborative research in data assimilation that furthers the goals of EOL/RSF to assimilate moisture profiles from micropulse water vapor differential absorption lidar (MPD). Research will focus on the best practices of assimilation of new and past MPD data into Weather Research and Forecast Data Assimilation (WRFDA), Ensemble Kalman filtering data assimilation via the Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART) or Variational Doppler Radar Assimilation System (VDRAS). Work will include: (1) development of best methods to assimilate MPD water vapor density profiles, (2) performing observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) to investigate the optimal configuration of a network of MPDs to improve high-impact weather forecasting skill and (3) evaluation of MPD data assimilation impact on improving short-term, high-impact weather forecasting skill.
  • Conduct research to determine best practices of assimilating other EOL moisture data, including water vapor density profiles from dual-wavelength radar retrievals from combined S-band and Ka-band; surface refractivity maps from S-band radar refractivity retrievals; and other research data as appropriate. Evaluate impact of these additional moisture retrievals on improving short-term, high-impact weather forecasting skill.
  • Prepare results for publication in peer-reviewed journals and for presentation at meetings and conferences. Prepare and deliver summary reports or project progress reports as needed.
  • Serves as the critical link to facilitate collaboration between MMM data assimilation experts and EOL instrumentation experts.

What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience:

  • Ph.D. within the last 5 years in atmospheric science, oceanography, hydrology, mathematics, statistics or a related area.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of and experience with data assimilation for geophysical systems
  • Knowledge of research instruments, measurements and data quality control procedures
  • Demonstrated skill in the analysis and use of atmospheric observations
  • Experience with numerical weather prediction or other numerical prediction for geophysical flows, particularly WRF and MPAS
  • Knowledge of and advanced skills with programming languages and scripting
  • Ability in working with Linux/Unix operating systems and display tools (NCL, etc.)
  • Skill in oral and written communication
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a diverse, multi-cultural research team

What’s in it for You:

  • Compensation
  • PTO
  • Paid Holidays
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Benefits (Medical, Dental, Vision)
  • Retirement Plan
  • And more!

EEO/AAP Statement:

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer that strives to develop and maintain a diverse workforce. UCAR is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy.

Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization.

Job Location
Boulder, Colorado, United States
Position Type