Inverse Modeling/Data Assimilation Project Scientist I


NCAR – Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) – National Security Applications Program (NSAP)


Partial relocation costs paid per UCAR’s relocation policy.


UCAR/NCAR will sponsor a work visa to fill this position.


Overview – “Where You Will Work”

Located in Boulder, Colorado, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is one of the world’s premier scientific institutions, with an internationally recognized staff and research program dedicated to advancing knowledge, providing community-based resources, and building human capacity in the atmospheric and related sciences.


Position Details – “What You Will Do”

NCAR is searching for a Project Scientist I who will be involved with both independent and collaborative research related to source term estimation (STE) methods and atmospheric transport and dispersion (AT&D) models for selected emission scenarios.  The candidate will compile meteorological input datasets, run simulations with the specified STE methods and AT&D models, and perform statistical analysis of the output.  Measurement requirements for satisfactory performance of each simulation will also be investigated to quantify the accuracy, uncertainty, and applicability of each STE/AT&D combination for the given emission scenarios. The scientist will also conduct research and development in a team environment in weather and chemical data assimilation, modeling, and forecasting at regional and finer scales.


  • Performs high-quality research on the comparison of STE methods and AT&D models for selected emission scenarios.  This work includes the following:
    • Compiling observational datasets and working with the project team on development of synthetic datasets for emission scenarios
    • Running simulations with various STE methods and AT&D models
    • Statistical analysis of the STE/AT&D output to determine applicability of each method and observational requirements for satisfactory results
  • Publishes results in conference proceedings and peer-reviewed journals and participates in national and international meetings on a regular basis.
    Participates in meetings with sponsors (in-person and remote) as needed.  Writes project reports as required by research contracts.
  • May investigate new opportunities for funding and contribute to the preparation of proposals; may serve as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on funded proposals.
  • Maintains knowledge of current developments in topics of relevance to research projects, conducts reviews of papers for scientific journals, and may serve
    on professional committees.


Decision Making & Problem Solving

  • In close consultation with a research team, candidate helps define the specific research tasks to be conducted as part of the project.  Provides input/makes recommendations for project leaders’ decisions in areas such as project design, major purchases, and new hires. Makes some independent decisions on staffing allocations.
  • Solve problems that may arise in the course of completing research plan. Work independently to solve these problems; establish schedules to meet deadlines as needed by supervisor. Obtain guidance when she/he cannot make a decision or solve a problem independently.


Minimum Job Requirements – “What You Need”

  • PhD degree in Meteorology, Atmospheric Science, or closely related disciplines
  • Well-developed experience in STE, AT&D, and atmospheric composition modeling
  • Demonstrated record of research and publication
  • Advanced knowledge and skill in solving inverse problems and source term estimation methods and in one or more of the following areas:
    • Variational approaches
    • Ensemble-based algorithms
    • Hybrid variational-ensemble methods
    • Bayesian inference and stochastic sampling procedures
    • Artificial Neural networks
    • Genetic Algorithms
  • Demonstrated skill and familiarity in weather or chemical data assimilation
  • Demonstrated skill and familiarity with one or more of the following atmospheric transport and dispersion models:
    • AERMOD
    • Lagrangian particle models
  • Skill and familiarity in air quality modeling (WRF-Chem or similar)
  • Demonstrated skill and familiarity with satellite data assimilation
  • Skill in, and familiarity with, the planning, design, and execution of field campaigns
  • Demonstrated skills in statistical analysis
  • Demonstrated skills in scientific programming
  • Familiarity with the atmospheric boundary layer physical and chemical processes
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to prioritize, organize, and follow through on tasks


Desired Skills

  • Post-doctoral experience is highly desirable



The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer that strives to develop and maintain a diverse workforce. UCAR is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy.


Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization.