Computational Ecologist/Coastal Ocean Modeler – CSS-Dynamac

CSS-Dynamac seeks a full-time computational ecologist with expertise in computer programming, hydrodynamic modeling (especially the Regional Ocean Modeling System, ROMS), ecological modeling, and familiarity with high-performance computing systems. The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary team supporting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and lead the transition of a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) model for the Gulf of Maine to an Operational Forecast System (OFS).

The goal of this work is to test and evaluate HAB/ROMS codes to ensure accurate prediction of HAB conditions in the Gulf of Maine. The project will involve close coordination with project partners, including NOAA’s Coast Survey Development Laboratory (CSDL) and the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS), to develop plans for incorporating the HAB model into the operational computing environment and coupling with the Operational Forecast System hydrodynamic forecasting procedures.


  • Verify the software implementation of the HAB module inside the ROMS numerical code through hindcast simulations and comparisons with previous modeling results. Collaborate with the Rutgers ROMS community developers on providing recommendations of incorporating the HAB model into the ROMS trunk code based on the validation results.
  • Work with NOAA and the academic team that developed the Alexandrium fundyense HAB model in the Gulf of Maine to finalize skill assessment criteria. This may require developing a peer reviewed technical report establishing the criteria.
  • Complete a skill assessment of HAB model hindcast results.
  • Coordinate with the CO-OPS model team to identify changes needed to the Coastal Ocean Modeling Framework to incorporate HAB forecasting capabilities, accounting for HAB variables in the initial conditions, restart conditions, and output formats.
  • Complete a skill assessment report on the performance of the HAB model during the hindcast.
  • If the model meets skill assessment criteria and is approved, assist with the transition of the model into the NOAA operational environment.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in oceanography, physics, mathematics, or related areas with 2 or more years of work experience in ocean modeling.
  • At least 1 year of experience using High Performance Computing Systems.
  • Understanding of biological and hydrodynamic modeling and coupled bio/physical models.
  • Understanding of ecological forecasting, notably HAB forecasting.
  • Hands-on experience using the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS).

Minimum Qualifications:

  • M.S. Degree in oceanography, physics, mathematics, or related field, with work experience in ocean modeling.
  • Demonstrated experience in setting up and running computer models.
  • At least 1 year of experience working in both LINUX and Windows operating system environments.
  • At least 1 year of experience in using Matlab.
  • Knowledge of FORTRAN 95, 2003, and 2008.
  • Familiarity with science data formats, in particular NetCDF.
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills.
  • Demonstrated strong ability to work independently in a self-directed environment.
  • Ability to pass a National Agency Check (NACI) is required in order to access NOAA high-performance computing systems.

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