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CGD Oceanography Scientist II/III

National Center for Atmospheric Research
De Beque, CO
Closing date
Feb 14, 2024

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Job Description Summary:
NCAR's Climate and Global Dynamics (CGD) Laboratory is excited to announce the job opening for a Scientist II/III. The level you are hired will depend on your experience and qualifications. Both positions will conduct original, independent and collaborative research through a combination of theory, modeling across scales and observations. The successful candidate will further CGD and NCAR missions to discover key processes of the ocean, their interactions, and their role in the Earth system. They will also lead activities addressing the fundamental processes within the CGD Oceanography Section (OS), utilizing a hierarchy of models including Earth system models, process models, simple models, and large eddy simulation (LES). The successful candidate will also lead and/or participate in the development of the ocean component of the Community Earth System Model (CESM), Modular Ocean Model version 6 (MOM6), including both resolved scale dynamics (dynamical core) and subgrid-scale processes (parameterizations) for a range of model resolutions and target applications. This position contributes to the larger CESM modeling activity through leadership within and collaborative research with the CESM Ocean Model Working Group (OMWG) community. Collaborates with complimentary ocean and climate model development efforts at other national labs and universities and through coordinated model development activities such as Climate Process Teams.

Although broad research priorities will be determined in consultation with scientific staff working within CGD, the candidate is expected to operate with a high degree of independence, leading long- term projects in collaboration with other scientists at NCAR and other research partners and applies leadership skills to establishing the overall research strategy of CGD, CESM, and NCAR.

This position is within the Oceanography Section of CGD at NCAR's Mesa Laboratory in Boulder, CO. It will also involve collaboration with external researchers and agencies. More information about CGD can be found online at

Position Details:

Visa Sponsored Job:

Relocation Assistance Eligible:

Job Location:
Boulder, Colorado

Position Type & Term:
Full time, Regular

Compensation Range:

Compensation Range:

Scientist II Salary Range: $103,336-$129,169

Scientist III Salary Range: $119,418-$149,272

*Final salary and rates are based on education, experience, skills relevant to the role.*

Application Notes

Application Deadline:
  • This position will be posted until filled with priority given to applications submitted by February 9th, 2024.
Required Application Materials:
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter - Please address how your skills and experience meet the needs of this position (for more information, please refer to the Key Responsibilities and Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities sections of this job posting).
  • Professional References with contact information (email and phone).
  • Statement of Interest that includes research priorities.
Background Checks: Conducted for candidates selected for hire. Learn more.
Work Location: Regardless of flexible work arrangements, UCAR requires ALL positions to be performed within the U.S., excluding U.S. Territories.

What You Will Do

Here is a brief summary of what one would expect to be generally responsible for in this role.
  • Conducts original research into ocean processes, addressing NCAR and CGD's Earth system modeling priorities. Improves and augments existing parameterizations of physical processes for MOM6 and other modeling systems. Builds new scale-adaptive parameterizations. Investigates uncertainty in physical processes and associated impacts on predictions of the ocean's role in climate variability and change.
  • Builds, establishes, and maintains novel model hierarchies and experimental frameworks for validation and development of parameterizations. Undertakes novel research into techniques for evaluating parameterizations with observations and/or large eddy simulations.
  • Organizes code and data documentation, management, and distribution using advanced analytics and curation approaches. Develops tools to analyze large data volumes with parallel functionality.
  • Supervises and mentors staff scientists, software engineers, graduate students, and/or postdoctoral fellows within the context of a personal research program and broader CGD activities using CESM.
  • Fosters a national and international reputation by writing scientific papers describing research results and publishing them in refereed scientific journals. Communicates research findings within NCAR and at national and international scientific meetings. Serves on national and international panels, working groups, etc..
  • Determines forward thinking science directions in modeling and ocean research in OS and OMWG and across NCAR. Develops research plans and writes proposals, particularity for MOM6 parameterizations development and analysis Communicates science activities and goals, all in support of the CGD and NCAR modeling activity.
Who We'd Love To Join Our Team

Successful candidates will ensure their application materials speak to the following criteria:

Education and Experience:

Scientist II: Ph.D. in oceanography, atmospheric science, Earth system science, fluid dynamics, physics, or a related physical science. 3 to 6 years of relevant research experience in at least one of these areas.

Scientist III: Ph.D. in oceanography, atmospheric science, Earth system science, fluid dynamics, physics, or a related physical science. 6 to 10 years of relevant research experience in at least one of these areas.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (Required/Desired)

Scientist II Level
  • Ability to conduct nationally recognized, high-quality, impactful, independent research in ocean and Earth system science.
  • Excellent publication record, including first author, demonstrating depth and breadth of research.
  • Technical ability to work with and develop elements of complex geophysical models; preferably experience with CESM and MOM6; experience with high-performance computing, writing complex codes, and designing and executing simulation experiments.
  • Experience managing high volumes of research data using modern data analytics.
  • Ability to lead a team equivalent to a small group of scientists and software engineers.
  • Skill in building effective collaborations inside and outside of NCAR.
  • Advanced project-management skills. Ability to develop project goals and work independently to ensure timely completion of project requirements.
  • Skill in directing the work of supporting scientists and software engineers, including leading teams of scientists to meet project objectives.
  • Ability to lead and contribute to successful proposal development.
  • Demonstrated contributions to departmental level committees or advisory mechanisms.
Scientist III Level
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct nationally and internationally recognized, high-quality, impactful, independent research in ocean and Earth system science.
  • Demonstrated experience leading aspects of complex geophysical model development; preferably experience with CESM and MOM6; experience with high-performance computing, writing complex codes, and designing and executing simulation experiments.
  • Excellent publication record, including multiple first author manuscripts, demonstrating depth and breadth of research.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead and collaborate with multidisciplinary teams of scientists and software engineers to meet project objectives. Demonstrated advanced project-management skills.
  • Ability to establish and maintain professional relationships both within and outside immediate organization.
  • Demonstrated experience mentoring early career scientists.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and leading collaborative research proposals.
  • Demonstrated service on professional society committees, review or steering committees, advisory boards, or national or international committees that advance scientific policy or research agendas.
Benefits Overview

UCAR affirms its commitment to employees through competitive benefits. In addition to medical, dental, vision, retirement, and life insurance, UCAR offers a variety of programs focused on work-life balance and professional, and personal development. These include:
  • Tuition Assistance, time off allowance to attend classes, and other professional development opportunities
  • UCAR contributes 10% of your eligible pay into your retirement account; 100% fully vested on day one
  • Starting minimum accrual of 20 days of personal time off each year (prorated for less than full-time positions)
  • 10 paid holidays
  • 10 days of sick leave each year
  • 14 weeks of paid parental leave
  • Short-term medical leave paid at 100% of your regular salary
  • EcoPass for local Colorado residents to use the Denver and Boulder-area transit system at no cost

Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Our organization is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment and fostering a culture where everyone feels welcome and supported. To learn more about these efforts, visit the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan and our Diversity & Inclusion: A Welcoming Workplace site.

Research shows that women and people of color are less likely to apply for a position if they do not meet almost 100% of the desired skills and experience. Please note this is not necessary! If you meet the minimum requirements and have a passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We can provide on-the-job training for the rest!

Some Final Considerations

At UCAR|NCAR|UCP, you will work alongside a dedicated team of professionals conducting critical research and community outreach to solve complex Earth system science problems including climate change, air pollution, extreme weather, floods, drought, wildfires, and space weather, all with the goal of improving human life and reducing economic loss. Each of us, from scientists to the professionals who support their work, serves the public and a collaborative community of scientists in our mission to understand the complex processes that make up the Earth system, from the ocean floor to the Sun's core.

Flexible Work

At UCAR, we are committed to supporting our mission by giving staff the flexibility to find the schedule and location that works best to maintain their own work-life circumstances and reach their full potential as professionals. Many positions within our organization are eligible for fully on-site, hybrid, fully-remote and/or flexible work schedules.

Equal Opportunity Employer

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 UCAR.

Export Control

All positions are required to comply with U.S. export compliance regulations work location requirements regarding access to facilities and research systems.

Visa Wait Times

Please consider the length of visa procurement when applying for this posting, understanding that you will not be able to begin employment until you are able to get a visa and enter the U.S.

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