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CIRES/NOAA GSL Postdoctoral Associate in Sub-Seasonal to Seasonal Prediction Studies

University of Colorado Boulder
Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Aug 18, 2023

Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colorado and the NOAA Global System Laboratory (GSL) have an immediate opening for a motivated Postdoctoral research associate with experience in atmospheric sciences, numerical weather prediction, and atmospheric composition modeling to apply and perform state-of-the-art coupled atmospheric composition models developed at NOAA/GSL for medium-range and subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) forecast. The Postdoctoral research associate will have an appointment within the Earth Prediction Advancement Division (EPAD) of NOAA GSL to perform the S2S experimental predictions, evaluate the results, and compare them against those of additional models and configurations developed by GSL and other NOAA Research laboratories.

EPAD has been leading the development of regional and global aerosol and atmospheric composition forecast models in collaboration with other NOAA Research laboratories and the National Weather Service (NWS) over many years. One of the global forecast systems, Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS)-Aerosols v12, based on the Unified Forecast System (UFS,, has been in operations at NWS since 2020 ( ). A second-generation coupled aerosol system (UFS-Aerosols) has been collaboratively developed for the UFS by NOAA and NASA since 2021, and is planned to be implemented into the GEFS v13.0 in the coming years. Meanwhile, an innovative community model for Configurable ATmospheric Chemistry (CATChem), to be coupled online with the UFS, is under development. CATChem, developed under a wide collaborative effort between NOAA Research laboratories and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), is able to utilize the Common Community Physics Package (CCPP) infrastructure to link the gas and aerosol chemistry modules to the rest of the model. In addition, EPAD has been leading the improvement of aerosol forecast systems by including aerosols direct and semi-direct radiative feedback for scales ranging from a few hours to S2S. The successful candidate will conduct retrospective and real-time S2S simulations using an ensemble of fire emissions, validate the predictions with an emphasis on aerosol optical depth (AOD), and assess the direct and indirect impacts of aerosols in the meteorological predictions.

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 located at 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.

The Global Systems Laboratory (GSL) is one of ten NOAA Research laboratories and is located in Boulder, Colorado. The GSL researchers develop the-state-of-the-art weather and air quality models, state-of-the-science decision support tools and visualization systems, and use high-performance computing technology to support a Weather-Ready Nation. GSL strives to advance its workforce scientifically, technically, and professionally. We are also committed to increased diversity equity, inclusion and accessibility as well as a strong foundation for career growth.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be
  • Evaluate retrospective and real-time S2S meteorological predictions that incorporate an ensemble of fire emissions in UFS-Aerosols and CATChem, with a primary focus on AOD assessment.
  • Quantify the impact of fire emissions on S2S prediction.
  • Investigate aerosol-weather interactions by evaluating the sensitivity of the direct and semi-direct radiative effect when using different fire emission products.
  • Present research findings in conferences and peer-reviewed publications.
What You Should Know
  • This is a 12-month appointment, with the possibility of extension up to 2 years, contingent upon performance and the availability of funding.
  • 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 may 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.
What We Can Offer
  • CIRES offers a generous compensation package.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this position is $64,000 to $69,000. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • Relocation funds are available following CIRES and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.
  • This position offers a hybrid work environment with both on-site and remote work hours.
  • 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 ambitious. Be groundbreaking. Be Boulder.

What We Require
  • PhD degree in atmospheric, oceanic, earth science, or related fields of meteorology, physics, or mathematics.
  • Experience in data analysis of model prediction and observation data.
  • Experience with shell scripting skills in Linux or UNIX operating systems.
What You Will Need
  • Excellent programming and data analysis ability using languages (such as Fortran, C++ or Python etc.), and plotting tools.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team environment.
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.
  • Experience in performing model experiments using coupled meteorology-chemistry models or similar earth system modeling.
  • Experience in S2S model prediction modeling systems and aerosol radiative forcing.
  • Experience with the UFS model.
  • Experience with diagnostics and verification of meteorological and air quality forecasts.
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. Although not required at the time of application, please be ready to submit information for 3 professional references (must include at least 1 supervisor). If you are identified as a finalist for this role, you will be asked to invite your references to complete a SkillSurvey questionnaire on your behalf. SkillSurvey is an online reference check solution. All information is kept confidential and shared only with the search committee members.

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 as an optional attachment.

This position will remain open 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: Li Zhang

Posting Contact Email:

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