Postdoctoral Fellow (Ocean Modeling and Climate Dynamics) – UCAR/NCAR

Post-doc with Dan Amrhein at NCAR in collaboration with LuAnne Thompson at UW on North Atlantic Predictability 

  • Application Deadline: This position will be posted until filled.
  • Term: This is a two-year term position.
  • Relocation: Partial relocation assistance is available for this position.

Work Authorization: UCAR/NCAR will sponsor a work visa to fill this position. Due to COVID-19 and US Government policy, UCAR’s sponsorship of a work Visa does not guarantee a candidate’s ability to enter/work in the U.S.

Where You Will Work:

Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory (CGD) is part of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Its mission is to:

  1. Discover the key processes in each component of the Earth’s climate system and the interactions among them;
  2. Represent this understanding in models and thereby provide a basis for prediction of climate; and
  3. Apply this understanding and these models to scientific problems of societal relevance.

What You Will Do:

This position is an opportunity to investigate the behavior and predictability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system using tools from data assimilation, ocean modeling, and data analysis. This work is part of a NASA-funded project focusing on the dynamics of the North Atlantic subpolar gyre and connections to atmospheric variability at multiyear time scales. A key tool will be sensitivities of ocean quantities to atmospheric variables computed using the adjoint of the MITgcm ocean general circulation model. Experience with adjoint approaches is not required, and support will be provided to help the Fellow learn about and implement new tools.

The Fellow will work with team members at NCAR and the University of Washington to; 1) Compute hydrographic and dynamical diagnostics in the ECCO (Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean) state estimate; 2) Design and execute experiments to evaluate dynamics and predictability underlying those diagnostics; 3) Connect ocean sensitivities to patterns of atmospheric variability, and; 4) Ground-truth model results with remote-sensing and in-situ observations.

The position includes conducting scientific, statistical analyses, designing and executing experiments, giving presentations at scientific meetings, and publication of peer-reviewed articles. The incumbent is expected to operate with a significant degree of independence. Priorities will be determined in conjunction with the supervisor.


  • Designing and executing experiments to evaluate sensitivities of subpolar gyre conditions to initial conditions and atmospheric boundary conditions in the MITgcm.
  • Analyzing sensitivities to learn about ocean dynamics, with a focus on which regions are most predictable and why. Exploring novel approaches to connect dynamics and predictability to atmospheric dynamics.
  • Analyzing in situ and remote sensing data and data products. Developing tests for whether dynamics diagnosed by models are consistent with available observations.
  • Taking the lead and participating in writing scientific journal articles. Presenting results at relevant meetings.

What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience

  • A Ph.D. or equivalent experience in ocean/climate sciences; demonstrated understanding of large-scale ocean dynamics; research experience in a relevant field, with contributions to refereed journals.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Expertise in ocean dynamics and ocean-atmosphere interaction.
  • Experience working with large geophysical data sets, including ocean model output and ocean data
  • Expertise in statistical and dynamical analysis and graphical presentation.
  • Familiarity with data assimilation techniques and ocean state estimation.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, especially for scientific publications and presentations.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.

Applicant Notes:

  • Review of applicants will begin September 30, 2020. All applications received by that date will be given full consideration. Application will be open until the position is filled.
  • The anticipated start date for this position is March 1, 2021.
  • A full CV and cover letter emphasizing relevant qualifications and research interests are required.
  • 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.
  • 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).

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