Postdoctoral position, working in El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) prediction – University of Maryland, Baltimore County

The Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research II (GESTAR II) consortium at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) invites applications for a postdoctoral research position in the fields of oceanography, or related disciplines. This project will perform ocean Observing System Evaluation (OSE) experiments to examine the impact of different observing systems on El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) prediction.

The researcher will work on data analysis, data assimilation, forced and coupled modelling aspects of the project using the GMAO coupled system. The researcher will also interact with the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) Model Team and run various reanalyses/forecasts and provide support for ocean mixing, heat, freshwater and momentum budget and observational error calculations.

Applicants should have extensive knowledge of ENSO dynamics as demonstrated by relevant publication(s), knowledge of tropical observing systems including in situ (e.g., Argo and tropical moorings) and satellite observations (e.g., Jason 3 satellite altimetry and SMAP sea surface salinity), experience running/evaluating coupled and/or global ocean models, execution, analysis, and validation of ocean model forecasts, understanding of ocean dynamics and thermodynamics, knowledge of principles of data assimilation in a global modeling context, deep understanding and practical knowledge of observing system evaluation (OSE) experiment design and evaluation, familiarity with basic metrics to assess model performance and forecast skills.

Required qualifications:  Ability to work in a high-end computer UNIX environment and to handle large data sets in NetCDF or other standard formats, extensive knowledge of graphical packages and advanced visualization techniques for ocean and atmospheric data sets, two or more years of experience at the postdoctoral level or above, proficiency with Fortran, Python, and Unix. The individual will be expected to present results in peer-reviewed publications and scientific presentations and writing and reviewing technical reports.

Other desired skills:  Experience with the GMAO coupled model and/or ECCO ocean model, Heat, freshwater, and momentum budget analysis.

The successful candidate will join the GESTAR II Consortium which supports over 120 researchers based primarily at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). GESTAR II researchers work to create extensive opportunities for breakthroughs in earth and atmospheric science research, carrying out observational, experimental and theoretical research in support of NASA strategic Earth Science mission objectives.

Goddard’s Earth Science Division is home to about 200 civil servants and over 1200 collaborating researchers and support personnel., dedicated to studying the Earth as an integrated system that includes the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere, cryosphere, and geosphere. The Division operates as a component of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate that collaborate on interdisciplinary research with the Astrophysics Science, Heliophysics Science, and Solar System Exploration Divisions.

The nominal starting date is in spring 2022, but alternate dates are possible depending on availability. Candidates must have a Ph.D. in oceanography or related discipline by the date of appointment.

Candidates should provide a cover letter, CV (including publication list) and a 3-page statement of research interests. Short-listed candidates will be asked to supply three letters of reference at a later date. All materials and inquiries should be sent by email Subject line: Task 91: Postdoctoral Position to: Halley Thompson

Completed applications received by January 15, 2022 will receive full consideration, however the posting will remain open until the position is filled.

Salary and benefits are competitive, commensurate with experience and qualifications. The GESTAR II consortium and NASA/GSFC are committed to building a diverse group and encourage applications from women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans. All GESTAR II institutions are Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employers.

For more information about the proposed research, contact Dr. Eric Hackert  (

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