Scheduled Downtime
On Friday 21 April 2023 @ 5pm MT, this website will be down for maintenance and expected to return online the morning of 24 April 2023 at the latest

Project Scientist I / II (Boulder, CO or College Park, MD)

This post was from a previous version of the WRF&MPAS-A Support Forum. New replies have been disabled and if you have follow up questions related to this post, then please start a new thread from the forum home page.


New member
Location: Boulder, CO or College Park, MD.

Type: Full-time, exempt.

Position Term: No term, regular.

Application Deadline:
This position will be posted until May 22. Thereafter, applications will be reviewed on as needed-basis.

Relocation: Relocation assistance is available for this position.

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

Project Scientist I
Hiring Range: $84,287 - $105,358
Full Salary Range: $84,287 - $105,358 - $136,966

Project Scientist II
Hiring Range: $97,404 - $121,754
Full Salary Range: $97,404 - $121,754 - $158,282

Benefits: UCAR affirms its continuing commitment to developing, providing, and administering its employee benefit programs with due consideration for equal employment opportunity and diversity guidelines. UCAR's rich package of employee benefits includes medical, dental, vision, education assistance, retirement, and life insurance. UCAR offers a variety of programs designed to assist with work-life balance including flexible work alternatives, paid time off and 14 weeks of paid parental leave.

Where You Will Work:
Located in Boulder, Colorado, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) serves and participates in a collaborative community of researchers and educators who are dedicated to understanding the atmosphere -- the air around us -- and the complex processes that make up the Earth system, from the ocean floor to the Sun’s core. UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on behalf of the National Science Foundation and the university community.
Where You Will Work:

The JCSDA is a multi-agency research center, hosted by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and UCAR Community Programs (UCP), committed to improving and accelerating the quantitative use of research and operational satellite data in weather, ocean, climate and environmental analysis and prediction systems. The interagency partnership assimilates many types of data from conventional and satellite sources by creating integrated modeling systems. The JCSDA transitions this research to operational and university communities through a robust data infrastructure and open-source software.

What You Will Do:

This position is under the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA) and provides support for the Joint Effort for Data assimilation Integration (JEDI). The JEDI project is an inter-agency effort aimed at developing a unified community Data Assimilation (DA) system providing initial conditions for research and operational models in Earth system prediction. This position in the model interfaces team within the JEDI project is to work in liaison with NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center (EMC). The JEDI system will be used in the initialization of the next operational version of NOAA’s Unified Forecast System (UFS) weather model and this role will provide critical interaction between JCSDA and EMC to see a timely delivery and testing of a JEDI-initialized UFS.

The JEDI project, shared between the JCSDA and partner agencies, is a unique collaborative endeavor in the field of numerical weather prediction. It requires coordination between developments of the generic parts of the system and developments for adoption within each agency. The employee will facilitate collaborative developments related to the use of JEDI as part of the UFS weather model. The role will involve scientific developments and management of the collaboration between JCSDA and EMC. Scientific developments will be focused around using the observation operators with the fields coming from the atmospheric component of UFS, the FV3-GFS. This will include ensuring interpolation is of operational grade in terms of efficiency and accuracy. The observed regions of weather satellites are often complex geometrical ‘slices’ of the atmosphere and have fields of view over heterogeneous surface characteristics. A significant component of this role will be in modeling these aspects of the observing system to provide more accurate representation of what the satellite sees and in-turn improve forecast skill. It will also involve streamlining transforms of variables and ensuring consistency of physical parameters across the system. With EMC, the JCSDA is working to build applications for assessing the validity of the JEDI-initialized UFS weather model. This role will help facilitate the collaborative process by which these applications are assessed. Finally the role will ensure collaboration by helping prepare documentation, delivering training courses and maintaining the software required to use JEDI on NOAA’s high performance computing environments.


Develop an efficient variable transform library and software infrastructure for transforming between the FV3-GFS model fields and the variables needed by the observation operators.
Develop efficient interpolation and transforms from the FV3-GFS model grid and variables for satellite instruments. A particular focus will be on specialized viewing areas such as slant path and field of view.
Liaise with NOAA EMC to build JEDI-based applications for NOAA’s Unified Forecast System (UFS) weather model.
Undertake code reviews, write documentation and provide user support.
Ensure portability of the JEDI systems on NOAA high performance computing platforms.

Gather an understanding of the requirements needed to match NOAA’s current operational model in terms of the scientific developments outlined in the job description.
Make decisions about scientific code design and implementation.
Choose appropriate testing frameworks and rigorously demonstrate operational quality of software.
Build relationships that will foster effective collaboration between JCSDA and EMC.
Education and Years of Experience:


Project Scientist I requires a Ph.D. in a relevant science; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Project Scientist II requires a Ph.D. in a relevant science, and at least three years of experience in the scientific field of specialization; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Project Scientist I

Required knowledge, skills, abilities:

Knowledge of numerical weather forecasting systems, particularly data assimilation and the global observing system.
Excellent programming skills in Fortran and familiarity with C++.
Experience using high performance computing systems.
Experience writing and assessing scientific code.
Knowledge of modern software engineering practices (source code management, continuous integration, issue tracking, agile software development).
Good English language communication skills, ability to communicate with software engineers and scientists.
Ability to work well within a diverse, international, and multidisciplinary team.
Desired knowledge, skills, abilities:

Comprehensive knowledge of data assimilation, weather forecasting or a related field.
Comprehensive knowledge of the observing system and satellite radiances.
Comprehensive knowledge of operational weather forecasting.
Knowledge of Python.
Project Scientist II

In addition to the requirements for a Project Scientist I

Required knowledge, skills, abilities:

Experience contributing to a large scientific code such as an operational weather forecast model.
Knowledge of UFS/FV3 or other next generation weather forecast models.
Extensive experience writing and assessing scientific code.
Experience independently managing a scientific project.
Excellent communication skills. Adept at communicating scientific findings to people with a range of technical backgrounds.
Desire to actively promote good software development practices.
Advanced knowledge of data assimilation, weather forecasting or related field.
Advanced knowledge of the observing system and satellite radiances.
Advanced knowledge of operation weather forecasting.
Desired knowledge, skills, abilities:

Knowledge of interpolation routines.
Knowledge of grids used in next generation weather forecast models.
Knowledge of code optimization tools such as openMP.
Applicant Notes:

The position will require

Travel to conferences, code sprints and JCSDA partner organizations (pending Covid-19 related restrictions).
An Inclusion Statement will be required for all applicants advancing to an in-person interview. If requested, this statement should address past efforts, as well as future vision and plans to advocate for and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization and/or field of work.
This position is subject to work location requirements for obtaining access to facilities and research systems. These requirements may include a combination of national security checks, credit checks, fingerprinting, or other security clearance or work authorization requirements.
A pre-employment screening is conducted in conjunction with an offer for employment. This screening may involve verifying or reviewing any of the following relevant information: restricted parties screening, employment verification, performance records of internal candidates, education verification, reference checks, verification of professional licenses, certifications, and Motor Vehicle Records. UCAR complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Please note that while the position description details both minimum requirements as well as desired skills and experience, we want to remind applicants that you do not need to have all the desired skills and experience to be considered for this role. If you have the passion for the work along with experience in a related field, you are encouraged to apply. We can provide on-the-job training for the rest.