Air Quality Specialist (Air Quality Modeling/Emissions Inventory Unit)

South Coast AQMD

We are recruiting for an Air Quality Specialist in Air Quality (AQ) Modeling and Emissions Inventory unit of our Planning, Rule Development, and Implementation (PRDI) division, a major branch of South Coast AQMD. An eligible list of candidates established with this recruitment can be used to fill a current and future Air Quality Specialist vacancies in our PRDI Division.
Activities within the AQ Modeling/Emissions Inventory unit include air quality analysis and numerical modeling of meteorology and photochemistry, emissions inventory development, performing complex analyses of large measured meteorological and air quality data sets from ground level and satellite-based measurement platforms, image processing, air quality evaluation and preparing reports and presentations related to air quality and meteorology, graphical information system analysis, and conducting air quality research to assist air quality policy development.
Air Quality Specialist is required to have advanced experience and knowledge in one or more of the specialties listed above.
Specialized duties for the current vacancies include:

  • Conduct comprehensive three-dimensional chemical transport modeling to assist in policy decisions, air quality management plans, rulemaking activities and other special studies
  • Prepare spatially and temporally allocated emissions inventories as input for photochemical transport modeling
  • Perform complex air quality and meteorological data analysis
  • Perform geographical data analysis using geographical information systems (GIS) tools
  • Prepare written documents such as technical reports and scientific publications, briefing papers based on air quality modeling, analysis and monitoring studies
  • Develop and/or administer maintenance and upgrades of Linux-based parallel computing systems
  • Prepare and/or perform presentations to convey complex air quality concepts to technical and/or general-public audiences
  • Collaborate with other government agencies, academic institutions and other professional communities
  • Analyze information and data leading to the preparation of written documents such as findings and recommendations, exceptional event analyses, rule drafts and supporting documents including, graphs, and statistical summaries
  • Conduct policy relevant air quality research to improve air quality of the South Coast Air Basin
  • Review research publications and technical reports of other agencies and write a summary report and/or comment letter


AIR QUALITY SPECIALIST is the experienced, journey-level class in the professional air pollution control series.  Incumbents perform the more responsible, varied, and complex work.  Air Quality Specialist is distinguished from the next higher class of Program Supervisor in that the incumbents of the latter class either supervise a unit of professional and technical employees or are responsible for the development and oversight of specific programs involving more independent and complex professional work

Works with engineers, planners, other environmental professionals, Information Management staff, and other personnel to develop and implement methods and techniques for the analysis and evaluation of air quality studies and plans.

Applies mathematical, statistical, and engineering modeling and analytical techniques to the analysis of research and survey data; prepares graphs, charts, and statistical summaries from derived data; determines appropriate data collection methods for use in research projects; and may assist in determining methods for more complex studies.

Assists in developing or develops recommendations concerning air quality management programs, plans, and rules and prepares related reports and correspondence.

Assists in preparing technical analyses and recommended positions on proposed and pending legislation relating to air quality management.

Reviews and analyzes a wide variety of environmental documents; conducts air quality impact analyses and assessments; and writes or coordinates the writing of Environmental Impact Reports.

Evaluates economic impacts of air quality regulations and develops economic incentives to achieve designated air quality standards.

May assist in organizing and participating in workshops and meetings, and provide consultation and advice to individuals and businesses in matters related to area of expertise.

May assist in preparing and making presentations on proposed rules, rule amendments and other air quality-related projects and studies.




In addition to the Minimum Qualifications which follow, the most competitively qualified candidates will possess:

  • A bachelor’s degree (or higher) in the field of atmospheric science, environmental/chemical/mechanical engineering, chemistry, physics, meteorology, environmental science, and/or a related quantitative field.
  • An advanced degree in atmospheric science, environmental engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, physics, meteorology, environmental science, or related field
  • Extensive experience conducting numerical modeling with three-dimensional photochemical transport models (e.g., CMAQ, WRF-Chem, CAM-chem), mesoscale meteorological models such as WRF,MPAS and FV3, and grid-based emission preparation using SMOKE (Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions) or equivalent tools.
  • Extensive experience with Fortran, C, Linux shell programming, and database management (MYSQL) in Linux/Unix environment
  • Experience with handling dataset formatted in Linux machine specific binary, netCDF, and GRIB.
  • Experience using advanced graphical packages such as VERDI (Visualization Environmental for Rich Data Interpretation), Vis-5d, MET (Model Evaluation Tool), IDV (Integrated Data Viewer), NCL (NCAR Command Language), MATLAB, etc.
  • Experience in the analysis and research of air quality data and other technical issues.
  • Extensive experience in writing technical documents such as reports, publications, recommendations, technical papers, presentations, talking points, and correspondence.
  • Experience with the planning and development, application, and/or execution of comprehensive modelling and/or measurement air quality studies.
  • Experience with the technical evaluation of emissions inventories, air quality models, air quality measurements, stationary or mobile source control technologies, health risk assessments, or other environmental issues.
  • Experience in reviewing complex technical documents, making related recommendations, and communicating key issues, orally and in writing, to superiors, teammates, special interest groups, the public, and other audiences.


Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, environmental science, planning, or the physical, social, or biological sciences, depending upon the functions of the assigned unit.


Two years of technical air quality or professional analytical experience that would demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities of the position to which assigned.

One or more professional disciplines, such as chemistry, toxics, statistics, economics, environmental planning, or engineering, with emphasis on its relationship to planning, rule development, or engineering activities; principles, methods, and procedures of environmental review, planning, rule development, or air quality monitoring, including related instrumentation; air quality regulations and review process; air quality modeling; emissions calculations; PC software applications commonly used in the field; research methods and techniques, including statistical and computer applications for data analysis; professional report writing; and State, federal, and local programs, guidelines, and code regulations related to air quality management.

Compile, analyze, and interpret technical air quality data; learn and apply District air quality regulations to stationary and mobile source monitoring; monitor and evaluate the performance of consultants; oversee stationary and mobile source monitoring projects under minimum supervision; maintain accurate records of air quality planning, research, monitoring, or rule development projects and prepare clear and persuasive reports and recommendations; represent SCAQMD interests at public, professional, and internal meetings and communicate with a variety of technical and professional air quality and legal staff; maintain current knowledge of applicable federal, State, and local regulations and technical or scientific developments; provide expert testimony, advice, and counsel in a specialized field; apply appropriate computer-based analytical techniques to complex air pollution control problems; develop new techniques and approaches to the solution of complex air pollution control problems; proficiently use PC and mainframe software applications common to the field and to the general business environment of the SCAQMD; read, understand, and follow verbal and written directions; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; and establish and maintain effective relationships with all those contacted in the course of work.


  1. A completed employment application covering at least the past 10 years of employment history (or longer if you have other relevant experience), and your entire South Coast AQMD employment history if you are a South Coast AQMD employee.
  2. Up to four references which include the names and phone numbers of your present and past supervisors or managers, and/or college professors or persons for whom you have directly provided services, not peers.
  3. Responses to the Supplemental Questionnaire (SQ).  The SQ is a form of written test and will be evaluated as such.  Your responses should be well written, clear, concise, and directly responsive to the question.
  4. An unofficial copy of your transcripts (or equivalency evaluation if your education was obtained outside the U.S.), documenting all qualifying education claimed, submitted as an attachment to your online application*.

*You MUST submit acceptable documentation for all education claimed on your application.  Acceptable documentation consists of an unofficial copy of your transcripts/equivalency evaluation attached to your application.  At a later date, candidates under final consideration will be required to arrange for original, official transcripts (or equivalency evaluation, if applicable) to be mailed directly from their college/university to South Coast AQMD, documenting all education claimed on their application.

Job applications must be completely filled out.  A resume cannot be substituted for the required information.  Please do not say “See resume” as a response to the Supplemental Questions.  Be sure to detail any education, training or other relevant coursework that would make you a particularly strong candidate.


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