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CIRES/NOAA PSL Postdoctoral Associate in Atmospheric River Evaluation

University of Colorado Boulder
Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Jul 17, 2023

Job Summary

This position is for a Postdoctoral Associate at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, and the NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory Hydrometeorology Applications Division. The position requires a comprehensive understanding of synoptic and mesoscale atmospheric dynamics, precipitation physics, forecast verification methods, and numerical weather prediction. The individual will work as part of an interdisciplinary team of scientists from NOAA, CIRES, and other organizations to evaluate the performance of operational and experimental numerical weather prediction models in forecasting atmospheric rivers and associated precipitation events affecting the western United States. The individual will also work with model developers to apply research findings to inform future model improvements.

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

CIRES is an internationally recognized leader in innovative environmental science and research and is a research institute within the University of Colorado Boulder. At CIRES, more than 800 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES has partnered with NOAA since 1967, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, solid Earth sciences, and more. 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

Our mission is to conduct scientific research to observe, understand, model, predict and forecast weather, water and climate extremes and their impacts. Our vision is an informed society that uses science-based environmental intelligence to effectively anticipate and respond to threats and opportunities related to weather, water and climate extremes. Our research goals are as follows:
  • Rigorously characterize and predict weather, water, and climate extremes and their uncertainties to support NOAA's mission.
  • Develop new process understanding, observing, and modeling capabilities to predict conditions associated with too much or too little water for early warning, preparedness, resource management, and adaptation.
  • Improve monitoring and prediction of weather, climate, and water conditions impacting marine resources.
What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be
  • Develop and apply novel verification methods to evaluate model skill in forecasting landfalling atmospheric rivers, heavy precipitation events, and related phenomena.
  • Conduct physical-process-based analysis of output from operational and experimental models to identify and diagnose systematic model errors and quantify forecast skill for precipitation events over the western U.S. linked to landfalling atmospheric rivers.
  • Work with model developers in NOAA, CIRES, and partner organizations to apply model evaluation results to identify model deficiencies and inform model improvements.
  • Participate in NOAA Hydrometeorological Testbed activities to assess the usefulness and usability of model forecasts in informing the forecast process and decision making for atmospheric river-related precipitation events.
  • Collaborate with scientists in NOAA, CIRES, and partner organizations to synthesize research results into meaningful scientific conclusions.
  • Lead and contribute to the publication of research results in the peer-reviewed literature.
  • Present research findings at national and international conferences.
What You Should Know
  • This is a 2-year appointment.
  • Given project deliverables, the targeted start date for this appointment is September 1st, 2023.
  • Visa sponsorship is not provided for this position.
  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder, but will be located at the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO.
  • If you are the selected finalist, you will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access. Non-US citizens without green cards may have limited building access, and require an escort in the building.
  • Normal working hours will be observed except for occasional irregular hours during data collection or conferences/workshops conducted at remote sites.
What We Can Offer
  • CIRES can offer a generous compensation package.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this position is $63,000 - $70,000. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • Some relocation funds are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.
  • This position can accommodate a hybrid work modality.
  • CIRES and the University of Colorado Boulder offer a robust training curriculum, opportunities for professional development and a Mentorship Program.
  • Boulder is a vibrant community with access to mountain parks, dog parks, miles of trails, rivers, lakes, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, theaters, museums, and sports venues. Boulder was recently ranked as one of the top places to live in the U.S. by U.S. News.
  • As an employee at CU Boulder, you receive a pass allowing free access to the regional public transit system , which is an outstanding network of buses and light rail systems that provide service within Boulder and connect to Denver, the Denver airport, and surrounding communities.

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 challenged. Be inventive. Be Boulder.

What We Require
  • Ph.D. in atmospheric science, meteorology, or hydrology.
  • Demonstrated experience with data analysis and visualization using scientific programming languages, such as Python, MATLAB, NCL, and Fortran.
  • Demonstrated experience with high-performance computing environments.
  • Demonstrated experience analyzing and verifying forecasts from numerical weather prediction models using statistical and object-based methods.
  • Experience in publishing technical reports and peer-reviewed journal articles, and presenting research findings at scientific conferences.
What You Will Need
  • Ability to critically interpret and diagnose model output.
  • Ability to manage and manipulate large and complex observational and model datasets.
  • Strong background in synoptic and mesoscale atmospheric dynamics (particularly in relation to midlatitude weather systems, atmospheric rivers, and extreme precipitation events).
  • Ability to work independently and in an inclusive team environment, and to communicate effectively in both verbal and written formats.
What We Would Like You to Have

We invite applicants to apply even if they do not have the preferred skills and experience outlined in this section. If you meet the minimum qualifications and have passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We encourage on-the-job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.
  • Understanding of NOAA's operational modeling enterprise and experience working with operational partners such as National Centers for Environmental Prediction Environmental Modeling Center (NCEP/EMC) and the National Weather Service.
  • Familiarity with the data assimilation.
  • Familiarity with model physics parameterizations.
  • Experience transitioning research to operations.
Special Instructions

Please include the following materials with your application:

  1. CV or resume
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Hiring Committee describing your qualifications and specific interest in this position.
  3. If you are selected as a finalist, we will ask you to contact 5 professional references (including 2 supervisors/professors) and ask them to complete a SkillSurvey questionnaire on your behalf. SkillSurvey is an online automated reference check solution. This information will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee members.

Also, 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.

This position will remain posted until finalists have been identified.

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: Rochelle Worsnop

Posting Contact Email:

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