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Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University
Palisades, New York
Closing date
Nov 18, 2021

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Ocean Science
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No Relocation
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Job Details

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Scientist (PDRS) position in Physical Oceanography within the Climate Data Science Lab, under the supervision of Prof. Ryan Abernathey.

The PDRS will conduct research as part of the NASA Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Science Team. The SWOT mission, launching in 2022, will provide new swath-based observations of sea level. Our project team includes PI Shafer Smith at NYU and other collaborators there. The overall goal of our project is to develop new data-driven methods, leveraging ocean dynamics together with machine learning, for inferring ocean transport from SWOT observations of sea surface height. The postdoctoral scientist will use high-resolution global numerical simulations (MITgcm LLC4320) to develop and test methods for reconstructing lateral and vertical transport from SSH, and then apply these methods to the real SWOT data post launch.

The Climate Data Science Lab is a group within Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory devoted to developing cutting-edge computational and data science tools together side-by-side with ambitious science research. The postdoctoral scientist will be embedded within a group that includes students, postdocs and research scientists, as well as software engineers, data scientists. This group values reproducibility, open collaboration, and kindness, providing a supportive environment for career development.


Candidates should have completed or be nearing completion of a PhD in Physical Oceanography or a closely related discipline, with a record of relevant publications in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Experience analyzing data from high-resolution numerical simulations and satellites is strongly preferred. Candidates must also be fluent in scientific python; experience with Xarray and Dask is preferred.

Initial appointment will be for 1 year, with eligibility for renewal for up to 2 additional years contingent on performance and funding.

This search will remain open for at least 30 days after the ad appears and will continue until the positions are filled.

Columbia University benefits offered with this Officer of Research appointment.

For further information about this position and to submit your application and other required documents, please visit our application site at

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer - Race - Gender - Disability - Veteran

The Lamont campus values diversity and inclusion, and encourages applications from members of underrepresented minority groups.

We accept online applications only.


Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory seeks fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world. Its scientists study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean, providing a rational basis for the difficult choices facing humanity.

Lamont is a core component of the Earth Institute, Columbia University. Nearly 200 Ph.D. level researchers work and teach there, and 80-90 graduate students are involved in research. Lamont also operates a federally funded research ship, the Marcus G. Langseth, which uses seismic data to map the sub-seafloor, highlighting hidden faults and other earthquake hazards.

Since its founding in 1949, Lamont-Doherty has been a leader in the earth sciences. Its scientists were the first to map the seafloor and develop a computer model that could predict an El Nino weather event, the first to provide concrete proof for the theory of plate tectonics and to reveal the oceans’ role in triggering abrupt climate change. With each year, our understanding of earth improves. Yet, new discoveries await us!

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