Associate Scientist, Earth Sciences

Tracking Code: 907-200

Job Description

In this position, the researcher will conduct research to advance ground validation activities for the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission.  The research will fall into three task areas : (a) characterizing uncertainties in satellite and ground-based (radar, dense gauge networks) rainfall estimates over a broad range of space/time scales; (b) using data from synergistic missions/sensors (e.g. SMOS, SMAP, GRACE, MODIS) to characterize correct detection or false alarms in GPM products; and (c) characterizing uncertainties in hydrologic models and understanding propagation of input uncertainties into model forecasts. The research involves work on retrospective regional analysis, retrospective global analysis, and real-time global analysis. The researcher will leverage existing open source modeling platforms including NASA’s Land Information System (LIS) to conduct these analyses.


Essential Duties/Responsibilities:


  • Uncertainty analysis for satellite and ground-based rainfall estimates
  • Detection of errors and false alarms in satellite rainfall products
  • Quantification of hydrological model uncertainties
  • Presentation of research findings at national/international conferences and in peer-reviewed publications.
  • Other job-related tasks as required by the research


Required Qualifications:




  • Master’s degree in the physical sciences




  • 0-2 years’ experience in the physical sciences area.


Knowledge, Skills & Abilities: 


  • Proficiency in land surface modeling and data assimilation algorithms.
  • Should have knowledge of and have used remote sensing products including satellite precipitation, soil moisture, etc.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in applying the above within a land surface modeling framework
  • Successful record of independent research and publications in remote sensing




  • Strong analytical and problem-solving background.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Willingness to learn and improve.
  • Strong team player.


Working Conditions:


Work will be performed in an office or computer lab environment. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit; talk or hear. Keyboarding for large time spans each day may be a significant part of this position.




Some travel will be required.



Applicants should apply to the posting at and include a letter of interest, resume, or curriculum vita.  Additional information on USRA can be found at


USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer: Minorities / Females / Protected Veterans / Disabled / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity.

Job Location

Greenbelt, Maryland, United States

Position Type



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