Data Assimilation Scientist

Description of Unit Work:

The position will be with the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State University (CSU) working in conjunction with and located at NOAA’s Global Systems Laboratory (GSL), a federal science and research laboratory under NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, located in Boulder, Colorado. CIRA is a multi-million dollar research organization located on CSU’s Foothills Campus in Fort Collins, Colorado. CIRA is a cooperative institute that is also a research department within CSU’s College of Engineering, in partnership with the Department of Atmospheric Science. Its vision is to conduct interdisciplinary research in the atmospheric sciences by entraining skills beyond the meteorological disciplines, exploiting advances in engineering and computer science, facilitating transitional activity between pure and applied research, leveraging both national and international resources and partnerships, and assisting NOAA, Colorado State University, the State of Colorado, and the Nation through the application of our research to areas of societal benefit. NOAA’s GSL provides the National Weather Service (NWS) and the nation with environmental observing, prediction, computer, visualization, and information systems. These systems deliver data, forecasts, and predictions of weather, including severe weather events, within the next few minutes to weeks away. The Global Systems Lab (GSL) is a leader in the applied research, directed development, and technology transfer of environmental data, models, products, and services that enhance environmental understanding with the outcome of supporting commerce, protecting life and property, and promoting a scientifically literate public.

This is a two-year position with the possibility of extension contingent upon funding and performance. The individual in this position will report to the CIRA Sr Project Manager and work in collaboration with other mathematic model developers in GSL, as well as the broader community, testing and refining mathematical algorithms for assimilation of observations and data impact assessments. The Assimilation Branch conducts innovative research on use of conventional and novel observations for initialization of atmospheric and coupled earth systems models.

Position Summary:

This position will develop mathematical techniques and computer software systems to improve use of satellite-based fire detection and aerosol optical depth products, indicating the onset of wildfires, their emissions and local conditions in areas surrounding wildfires. Aerosols and particulates produced by a wildfire also exert feedback effects on the surrounding weather, and this position will improve modeling of this influence. To improve the accuracy of a high-resolution convection allowing model (CAM), they will implement an assimilation procedure to improve initial distributions of aerosol tracers that influence wildfire-weather feedback. They will assimilate satellite-based aerosol optical depth (AOD) to improve modeling of interactions of aerosol tracers with radiation and microphysics, which should yield improved forecasts of temperature, winds, and moisture. NOAA’s Finite Volume-3 (FV3)-based Unified Forecast System (UFS) is the modeling system that will be used, along with the Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) analysis package, transitioning to the Joint Effort for Data assimilation Integration (JEDI) software. They will work within a data assimilation team, with additional work on complementary projects.
The position title of Research Scientist I will apply to the finalist with a PhD and limited (less than 3 years) research experience. Position title of Research Scientist II will apply to the finalist who possesses a PhD plus more than 3 years of experience testing and evaluating data assimilation systems.

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