Postdoctoral Fellow Position is available in Physical Oceanography – University of Rhode Island

The Postdoc will work collaboratively with Professors Kathleen Donohue and Randolph Wattsat the Graduate School of Oceanography – URI, and Drs. Clark Rowley and Prasad Thoppil at the US Naval Research Laboratory – Stennis Spaceflight Center.

A key gap exists in forecasting of ocean circulation: Almost all inputs for data assimilation are from near-surface measurements. This arises because until recently in the ocean only surface data have been available in near real time.

The broad goal is to improve ocean forecast accuracy and to extend the useful forecast lead time. The specific goal for this Postdoc is to develop and extend numerical forecast models for the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current System, including the separation of Loop Current Eddies and associated strong deep currents. The focus will be upon assimilating state-of-the-art near-real-time observations of deep currents and bottom pressure variability — in particular to tailor data assimilation methods to subsurface observations and to apply observing system simulation experiment studies to quantify the influence of these observations toward improving forecasts to 60+days. We envision broad application to other regions and to user communities such as fisheries, ship-routing, energy industry operations, and weather forecasting.

This Postdoc is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Gulf Research Program, “Understanding Gulf Ocean Systems” (UGOS). This third phase of UGOS brings together a team of scientists from top national and international oceanographic institutions with the shared goal to increase our understanding of the Gulf and to advance forecasting skill. There is opportunity to collaborate with experts across all consortia.

Candidates should have experience with numerical models of physical processes, and we have a preference for physical oceanography or meteorology, especially in forecasting mesoscale/ synoptic scale processes in the ocean/atmosphere. Some preference will be given to US citizens or holders of a GreenCard.

Interested candidates can respond to Randy Watts (

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