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Lidar Research Scientist -- Atmospheric Science

University of Wyoming
University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming
69,000 to 100,000 per year, depending on experience
Closing date
Sep 24, 2023

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Atmospheric Sciences
Career Level
Early Career (up to 10 years past degree)
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
Sector Type

Job Details


The world-class UWKA Facility is owned and operated by the University of Wyoming and funded through the National Science Foundation’s Facilities for Atmospheric Research and Education (NSF-FARE) Program. The successful applicant will help transform the Next Generation Wyoming King Air 350 Research Aircraft into a mission-ready observational platform to serve the atmospheric science research community as the pre-eminent small aircraft for atmospheric research and education.

This full-time onsite position will be responsible for supporting all aspects of the Facility’s Wyoming Cloud Lidars (WCL), including hardware, optics, instrument alignment, data acquisition and data processing workflows. This scientist will also participate in airborne science missions as an aircraft scientific crew member. Experience with airborne research and/or in-situ instrument measurements is highly desired but not required.



The successful applicant will join a team of more than a dozen scientists, engineers and operations personnel to support the Facility’s tropospheric observation and process study mission. They will lead the preparation, deployment, operation, and future development of the Facility lidars. This position will create lidar data products, improve WCL calibration techniques and serve as the Facility’s lidar subject matter expert (SME) for lidar selection, application and data analysis.

The lidar scientist will be responsible for performing data quality assurance checks and delivering high-quality scientific lidar data to Facility users. They will be responsible for improving the WCL remote sensing algorithms and associated data analysis techniques to investigate atmospheric processes. They will also provide guidance in the use of the lidars to support science objectives through extensive interaction with PIs and potential facility users.

Facility scientists have the opportunity to use measurements from instruments on the aircraft, including lidar, to develop an independent research program and advance their own scientific interests. Close collaboration with lidar Faculty in the Department of Atmospheric Science is anticipated.

This position will be filled at either the Associate or Senior Research Scientist Level, depending upon experience. Relocation expenses are negotiable.



M.S. or Ph.D. degree in meteorology, atmospheric physics, engineering, optics, geoscience, or closely related field. At least two years of relevant work experience beyond an M.S. degree may substitute for a Ph.D.; • Comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of atmospheric elastic backscatter, Raman, DIAL and/or Doppler lidar;

• Experience developing lidar software (overlap corrections, depolarization ratios and profiles) and hardware (lasers, optics, detectors and data acquisition);

• Ability and willingness to function as a lidar scientist during research flights, including deployments (domestic and international) away from Laramie, typically for 3-4 weeks, 1-2 times per year;

• Demonstrated experience with instrument/observational data analysis, data processing to develop derived quantities, data quality assurance and control (QA/QC), signal processing and standard scientific data formats.;

• Experience in lidar meteorology, use of lidar for aerosol/cloud properties and/or lidar remote sensing;

• Demonstrated ability to work as a contributing member of a diverse team;

• Strong oral and written communication skills; • Valid driver's license with a motor vehicle record (MVR) that is compliant with the University’s Vehicle Use Policy.



• Hands on experience with airborne atmospheric research, and/or participation as scientific crew member on research aircraft;

• Experience with lasers, laser safety, optical design and detection;

• Proficiency in a programming language (such as IDL, MATLAB, Python, C, etc.) for data processing and/or end-user scientific application software;

• Demonstrated knowledge of atmospheric processes and airborne instrument measurements with a fundamental understanding of atmospheric state variables, platform motion/attitude corrections and georeferencing;

• Experience in leading or managing field research projects;

• Desire to participate in the scientific enterprise, i.e., prepare or contribute to peer-reviewed papers, proposals, and conference presentations;

• Willingness to collaborate with faculty and researchers on the development and use of advanced instruments and data products to study the atmosphere;

• Basic weather analysis skills including experience in interpreting model outputs and forecast products;

• Knowledge of aviation weather and aircraft operations. 



Complete the online application and provide (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) a narrative discussion (three pages maximum) of the applicant’s specific experience, knowledge and abilities in meeting the requirements of the position, and (3) contact information for at least three references.  

Review of applications will begin on 09/18/2023 and will continue until filled.



The University of Wyoming is located in Laramie, a town of 30,000 in the heart of the Rocky Mountain West. The state of Wyoming continues to invest in its university, helping to make it a leader in academics, research and outreach. The university has state-of-the-art facilities in many areas and the community provides the advantages of a major university.

Located in a high mountain valley near the Colorado border, Laramie offers both outstanding recreational opportunities and close proximity to Colorado’s Front Range, a bustling group of metropolitan cities including Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins. This beautiful mountain landscape offers outdoor enjoyment in all seasons, with over 300 days of sunshine annually. For more information about the region, please visit


The Department of Atmospheric Science (, one of six in the UW College of Engineering and Applied Science, concentrates principally on research and graduate education. We have 9 faculty members, 25 graduate students, and a staff which is relatively large compared to other departments at UW. The origins of the department can be traced to the college's Natural Resources Research Institute in the 1960s, and its transformation to the Department of Atmospheric Science in the early 1970s. We evolved around faculty interest in observations, developing facilities which now include the King Air research aircraft, the Stratospheric Balloon Facility, the Keck Aerosol Laboratory, Elk Mountain Observatory, and most our most recent addition, the Mobile Air Quality Laboratory. Our King Air has been funded as a national facility under a cooperative agreements between UW and NSF since 1988, and our cloud radar was added in 1999 and cloud lidar system in 2010 to that agreement. Since its origins, the department has broadened in its scientific scope with current strengths in cloud and aerosol physics, stratospheric aerosols and gases, boundary layer meteorology, and mesoscale cloud interactions. Our external funding level is about $4M/year, one of the largest on campus.
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