Postdoctoral position -University of Rhode Island

Postdoc opportunity to work collaboratively with oceanographers at the University of Rhode Island
(URI) and at the US Naval Research Laboratory- Stennis Spaceflight Center (NRL-SSC) to improve
numerical forecasting of the Gulf of Mexico and its Loop Current System.

Opportunity / background. Processes in the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current and Loop Current Eddies,
interacting with sea floor topography, drive essentially all strong subtidal current variability from
sea surface to sea floor in the deep Gulf of Mexico. Close dynamical analogies exist to atmospheric
jet stream meanders and storm systems, interacting with Earth’s topography, and our forecasting
developments build upon these similarities.

A key gap exists in forecasting of ocean currents and thermal structure: Almost all input data for
model assimilation are from near-surface measurements. This arises because until recently in the
ocean only surface data have been available in near real time. In contrast in the atmosphere,
barometric pressure and observational profiles of temperature, density, and wind vectors are
available through the full air column on a suitable grid of sites to forecast the weather.

Cost-effective ways now exist to report subsurface ocean observations in near real time, and the
methods are particularly applicable in marginal seas such as the Gulf of Mexico. Subsurface ocean
observations assimilated into predictive numerical models offer fundamental advancements in
forecasting skill for ocean currents and thermal structure.

Objective: Develop methods to use deep current and bottom pressure observations to extend
forecasts of the strongly varying deep current systems in the Gulf.
Science collaborators: Prof. Randolph Watts and Prof. Kathleen Donohue at URI; Dr. Clark Rowley
and Dr. Prasad Thoppil at NRL-SSC.

Requirements and Preferences: Candidates should have a PhD, and a broad range of experience
will be considered, such as physics, mathematics, engineering, meteorology, physical oceanography.
Some preference will be given for a background in mesoscale/synoptic scale processes in the
ocean/atmosphere, and for data assimilation in ocean/atmosphere modeling. There is a strong
preference for candidates who are US citizens or permanent resident (green card), to have access to
NRL computer systems.

Application Instructions: send to, using “Post Doc Position” as subject line:

• Cover Letter & Research Interests (2 pages max)

• CV

• Contact information for two professional references

Evaluation of applications will begin on March 19th, 2024. The position’s anticipated start date is
June 1, 2024, and will remain open until filled. The position is initially for a one‐year appointment,
and is renewable with 2 years funding in hand. Funded by the National Academy of Sciences,
Engineering, and Medicine under the Understanding Gulf Ocean Systems program.

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