Postdoctoral Fellow I – Land Surface Modeler

Boulder, Colorado
Oct 12, 2020
Nov 11, 2020
Career Level
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation

What You Will Do:

This is a new, full-time, 1-year term position with possibility of extension.  The new hire will conduct research on understanding land-atmosphere interactions and developing land-surface and hydrology models. This research will involve scientific investigations of impacts of fine-scale hydrology-land-atmosphere interactions on regional weather and hydroclimate, and vice versa, development of the community land-surface Noah-MP model, and enhancements to other related models.


Conduct research aimed at improving community land-surface and hydrology models. The work will include:

  • understand land-surface processes at various scales using field observations;
  • improve the Noah-MP land model and related models; improve modularity and flexibility of these models in WRF and WRF-Hydro;
  • engage with collaborators at the USGS and their relevant models and tools including but not limited to GSFLOW, PRMS and SNOMODEL;
  • work on integrating models into coupled Earth system modeling frameworks;
  • maintain and document the enhanced models in the GitHub repository;
  • conduct multi-year offline land-surface/hydrology model simulations; and
  • benchmark performance of the new modeling capabilities using various evaluation metrics.

Conduct research aimed at improving understanding of the cross-scale impacts of hydrology-land-atmosphere interactions, across a range of landscapes and over regional weather and hydroclimate.

Communicate research results through publication in peer-reviewed journals, meeting proceedings, and presentations at scientific meetings.

Participate in research development with internal and external collaborators across disciplines.

What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience:

  • Ph.D. degree in atmospheric sciences or hydrology with expertise in land-surface and hydrology modeling and physical parameterization studies.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:


  • Ability to develop or modify land/hydrology parameterization schemes in a version control environment; conduct and manage large simulations.
  • Demonstrated skill in quantifying land-surface model uncertainty and parameter optimization.
  • In-depth knowledge of issues surrounding land-surface interactions, land/hydrology processes, and modeling.
  • Demonstrated ability to publish research results in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Ability to effectively participate in and interact productively with model developers at NCAR and the USGS, and in the external numerical weather and water prediction community.
  • Strong skills in written and oral communication of research results, including in an interdisciplinary context. 
  • Familiarity with UNIX, Fortran, NetCDF, Git and Python/R/NCL or other data visualization and management languages.

Preferred Experience:

  • Experience in conducting and analyzing Noah-MP and WRF-Hydro simulations, particularly evaluation of simulated water cycle components against observations; and/or, demonstrated skill with similar models, especially USGS PRMS, GSFLOW, and SNOMODEL.
  • Experience with one or more coupled/Earth system modeling frameworks (e.g. the Earth System Modeling Framework, ESMF, or the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System, CSDMS) would be preferred.

Applicant Notes:

  • A pre-employment screening is conducted in conjunction with an offer for employment. This screening may involve verifying or reviewing any of the following relevant information: restricted parties screening, employment verification, performance records of internal candidates, education verification, reference checks, verification of professional licenses, certifications, and Motor Vehicle Records.  UCAR complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). 
  • An Inclusion Statement will be required for all applicants advancing to an in-person interview. If requested, this statement should address past efforts, as well as future vision and plans to advocate for and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization and/or field of work.
  • Please note that while the position description details both minimum requirements as well as desired skills and experience, we want to remind applicants that you do not need to have all the desired skills and experience to be considered for this role. If you have the passion for the work along with experience in a related field, you are encouraged to apply. We can provide on-the-job training for the rest.
  • 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.