Local recruitment: Assoc Scientist III (Hydrometeorological modeler/analyst)

National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)

Boulder, CO, USA 🇺🇸

The new hire will work as part of an NCAR/RAL team of scientists and engineers to support

1) collection, organization, and analysis of hydrometeorological data from radar, numerical models, precipitation gauges, stream gauges and other field instrumentation
2) hydrologic forecast execution, verification and optimization from hydrometeorological (numerical weather prediction, nowcasting and rainfall-runoff) models
3) create novel forecast output products, such as seasonal water supply forecasts and/or flood inundation maps for hydrologic applications based on user-driven requirements.

Where You Will Work:


Program Location: Boulder, CO

Job Location Type: Hybrid (Some presence at the office is required)

Position Type & Term: This position is Full-Time, 2-year term

Hiring Range: Annual Salary Range: $80,758 – $100,948

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

Application Notes:

  • Application Deadline: The position will be posted until September 28, 2022
  • Work Authorization: US Residency is a Requirement.You must reside in the U.S. for this position.UCAR/NCAR will sponsor a work visa to fill this position
  • Relocation assistance is not available for this position
  • Pre-employment screenings are conducted for selected candidates; background checks are also conducted for risk-based positions. Learn more.

Benefits Overview:

UCAR affirms its commitment to employees through competitive benefits. Beyond rich medical, dental, vision, life insurance offerings, employee assistance and back up dependent care UCAR offers:

  • Tuition Assistance and other professional development opportunities
  • Potential for flexible working hours
  • Starting minimum of 20 days of personal time off 
  • 10 paid holidays
  • 10 days of sick leave every year
  • 14 weeks of paid parental leave
  • Company contributes 10% of gross pay into retirement; 100% fully vested on day one
  • EcoPass for local Colorado residents to use the Denver and Boulder-area transit system

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 the passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We can provide on-the-job training for the rest!


Here is a brief outline of what one would expect to be responsible for in this role. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Conducts hydrometeorological analyses of multiple hydrometeorological data products (e.g. radar, satellite, numerical weather prediction models, sounding data, snowpack, soil moisture, inundation, streamflow data) as a basis for quantifying skill and uncertainty in hydrologic predictions
  • Performs basic hydrologic model experiments using the WRF-Hydro/National Water Model system to assess the impact different meteorological forcing datasets and land surface characterization datasets on hydrologic simulation and prediction skill
  • Collects and analyzes radar, satellite, disdrometer and in situ hydrometeorological surface station data for improving the characterization of precipitation phase (solid vs. liquid) and intensity in complex terrain
  • Presents research results with program sponsors at scientific conferences and meetings, and in reports and journal articles
  • Develops and/or assesses physically-based and statistically-based precipitation, temperature, humidity, wind and incoming radiation downscaling methodologies as tools for preparing input data for hydrologic prediction models
  • Works with a diverse academic and federal agency team of hydrometeorologists on the improvement of meteorological forcing data for use in national water resources assessment and forecasting models


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

Education & Experience REQUIRED:

  • Bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science, meteorology, hydrometeorology or closely related discipline plus substantial experience, (e.g., three to five years as an Associate Scientist II or equivalent position) in research directly related to the UCAR program.

Education & Experience Desired:

  • Strongly desired but not required: 3-5 years experience in hydrometeorological research and applications.
  • Advanced degree.


  • Advanced skill in working with radar, surface meteorological station data, streamflow, snowpack, soil moisture, inundation data, hydrologic model data and numerical weather prediction data
  • Advanced skill in processing large datasets in a variety of different data formats (ASCII, GRIB, or NetCDF)
  • Demonstrated skill in analyzing hydrometeorological model output and verification statistics
  • Strong programming skills in data analysis software packages (Python-preferred, R-desired, basic shell scripting)
  • Proficiency in working with hydrologic models such as WRF-Hydro
  • Familiarity with the set up and operate automated hydrometeorological field research instrumentation
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a collaborative environment with scientists and operational hydrometeorological forecasters
  • Strong oral and written communication skills as demonstrated by a record of presenting scientific results, and writing reports and papers.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively on a team of scientists and engineers to complete a complex project goal
  • Demonstrated ability to complete large projects as well as smaller assignments on schedule with minimal supervision

Desired but not required:

  • Skill in analyzing atmospheric sounding data
  • Skill in running the Weather Research and Forecasting model
  • Skill in using the Model Evaluation Toolkit (MET) and/or Rwrfhydro statistical evaluation software packages
  • Remote/cold weather travel and work experience


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.

Employee Well-Being & Vaccines

In support of the health of our employees and their families, as well as visitors and the community, all UCAR employees are required to comply with UCAR’s COVID-19 vaccination policy, which requires staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, subject only to legally required accommodations implemented by HR, prior to their start date.

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

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 requirements.  This position is open to U.S. Citizens and Green Card holders.

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.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer that strives to develop and maintain a diverse workforce. 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 the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization.




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development