CIRES/ NOAA PSL Coupled Data Assimilation Research Scientist

University of Colorado Boulder
Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Apr 21, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colorado is seeking a research scientist with significant programming experience to work in the Forecast & Modeling Development Team of the NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory (PSL). The candidate will work on the development of strongly coupled data assimilation methods that allow observations of the ocean/land (atmosphere) to impact the atmosphere (ocean/land) using ensemble-based estimates of error covariances. Part of this work will also focus on assimilation and bias correction of remotely-sensed soil moisture observations. The research and development will be done using the JCSDA Joint Effort for Data Assimilation Integration ( JEDI ) data assimilation framework and the NOAA Unified Forecast System ( UFS ).
The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

At CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, more than 800 environmental scientists work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at the Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, and solid Earth sciences. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

Physical Sciences Laboratory:

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be
  • Enhance the coupled data assimilation capability of the JEDI Local Ensemble Kalman Filter, by enabling the use of cross-component covariances to update the coupled UFS model states.
  • Test the Local Ensemble Kalman Filter coupled data assimilation developed above in multi-year experiments with a prototype system assimilating a subset of the full global observing system to update the atmosphere and ocean states.
  • Complete additional experiments testing the benefit on weather forecasts of assimilating satellite soil moisture from the Soil Moisture Active Passive mission into the UFS.
  • Work with other PSL scientists to document and present the results in the form of journal articles, seminars, and conference presentations.
  • Work with scientists at PSL and the Environmental Modeling Center at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP/EMC) to further develop the coupled data assimilation for use in operational global prediction.

What You Should Know

  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder but will be physically situated in the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305. If you are the selected finalist you will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access.

What We Can Offer
  • We can offer a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this Research Associate position is $68,000- $85,000.
  • Relocation funds are available for this position following CIRES's and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits , including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder .

Be Statements
Be Driven. Be Innovative. Be Boulder.

What We Require
  • A Ph.D. degree in atmospheric, oceanic, or related sciences is required.
  • Experience with the development of data assimilation systems.
  • Demonstrated experience developing software.

What You Will Need
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment.
  • Ability to help write journal articles and prepare presentations for conferences and seminars.
  • The applicant should be able to communicate their work well.
  • Some travel may be required, at the level of 1-3 trips/year.

What We Would Like You To Have
  • Experience with ensemble-based data assimilation methods is desirable but not essential.
  • Experience in C++, Python, and Fortran is desirable.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume or CV.
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. List of contact information for 3 references. You don’t need to include letters of recommendation with your initial application. The search committee will request letters of recommendation at a later time if you are identified as a finalist for this role.
    • If you are selected as the finalist, we will contact you through email and request that you submit 1 name and email of a reference who will be asked to submit a letter of recommendation (can be one of the 3 noted above). This information will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee.

If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version (if applicable) as an optional attachment.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Position will remain posted until filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs .

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Laura Slivinski

Posting Contact Email:

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