Research Physical Scientist (Coupled Model Developer)

Modeling and Data Assimilation Division

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Physical Sciences Laboratory (PSL) has an opening for a Research Physical Scientist (Coupled Model Developer) in the Modeling and Data Assimilation (MDA) Division in Boulder, Colorado.

The MDA Division advances understanding and predictions of climate and weather using NOAA’s Unified Forecast System (UFS) across a wide range of timescales, working with the community of UFS developers to improve the forecast model and data assimilation system, as well as developing diagnostic tools and supporting reanalysis/reforecast datasets.

MDA has a strong focus on “Research to Operations” and works closely with the National Weather Service's National Centers for Environmental Prediction to transition research innovations into operational forecast systems.

About the Position

This Research Physical Scientist position is responsible for developing and testing regional coupled applications of NOAA’s Unified Forecast System , and in collaboration with other scientists, integrating cutting-edge research on the representation of physical processes into these applications.

The initial focus will be on developing a high-resolution regional application over the Arctic focused on coupled sea-ice/ocean/atmosphere forecast applications. Other applications include high-resolution coupled ocean/atmosphere predictions of atmospheric rivers for West Coast precipitation and boundary layer winds for offshore wind energy.

The PSL MDA Research Physical Scientist is expected to:

  • Configure and extend the UFS coupled model software infrastructure to create regional coupled applications that can be applied to specific prediction research problems.
  • Work with other PSL researchers to apply knowledge of coupled earth system modeling to improve the representation of coupled processes involving the atmospheric planetary boundary layer, the ocean mixed layer and sea-ice in the UFS.
  • Execute workflows on high-performance computing systems to generate retrospective forecasts using these new regional coupled UFS applications, and evaluate their potential to improve operational predictions.
  • Integrate these advancements into the authoritative UFS code repository that is used for NOAA operational prediction applications.

The official duties as included on the job announcement are:

  • Apply knowledge of the theories, principles, and methods of Earth System Sciences to independently or as a member of a team design, develop, test, and evaluate new applications of the UFS coupled Earth System model, including sea-ice prediction in the Arctic and atmospheric river prediction along the west coast of the U.S.
  • Perform research focused on improving prediction of the Earth System involving multiple components (including atmosphere, land, ocean, and sea-ice) using the NOAA UFS.
  • Apply knowledge of coupled earth system modeling to improve the representation of coupled processes involving the atmospheric planetary boundary layer, the ocean mixed layer and sea-ice in the NOAA UFS.
  • Contribute to research findings that may be shared at the National and International level meetings and documented in published articles and reports. Participate in forums focused on improving the use of observations of the coupled climate system to improve predictions.

The salary for the position is ZP-3 ($80,665 - $125,685 per year) in the Department of Commerce Alternative Personnel System (CAPS ) and is equivalent to the GS-11/12 grade in the Federal GS pay plan and structure.

Eligibility requirements such as education and specialized experience apply. Please see the official job announcement on USAJOBS for more information.

How to Apply

Applications accepted through USAJOBS from June 05 to June 20, 2024.

You can also search “Research Physical Scientist” in Boulder, Colorado, on USAJOBS to find the announcement.

Go to USA Jobs post

To learn more about applying via USAJOBS, visit the USAJOBS FAQ on the federal application process. The US Forest Service has also created a series of informational videos on the USAJOBS process.

Please note: This page is for promotional purposes only. It is not meant to replace any information or requirements in the official job announcement.

More About PSL

PSL conducts research to advance the prediction of water availability and extremes, advancing NOAA’s mission capabilities related to hydrologic science and its impact. Through research, PSL also improves predictions of weather and climate processes influencing water availability and extremes through Earth system research, observations, and modeling. PSL is based out of the David Skaggs Research Center in Boulder, Colorado.

More information about PSL, including our research divisions, strategic plan, and more is available on the About PSL page.