Institute of Marine Sciences: Hydrologic Modeler Specialist

University of California-Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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The Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) working in conjunction with the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA Fisheries), invites applications for the position of Hydrologic Modeler Specialist. Under the direction of the Deputy Director of the UCSC-NOAA Fisheries Collaborative Program at the Institute of Marine Sciences, the Specialist will report to team lead Miles Daniels, who works in close conjunction with NOAA science advisor Eric Danner. The Specialist will work with NOAA science advisors and UCSC researchers to develop and apply models of salmon population dynamics in the Central Valley of California. These models include watersheds, reservoirs, rivers, and the San Francisco Bay-Delta. NOAA Fisheries has developed various salmonid life cycle models to simulate and forecast their population dynamics. These models span the gamut from fully mechanistic to purely statistical approaches, and include a watershed-to-ocean pipeline of nested sub-models, which are used to evaluate the impact of water operations on the population of fish. The discharge into river systems forms a crucial input to these models. The incumbent will initially work on implementing CALSIM II, a multi-objective water resources optimization model to simulate the water utilization in the California Central Valley and will also develop the necessary post-processing and visualization tools to store and disaggregate CALSIM results to be used as the boundary conditions for the hydrologic and hydrodynamic sub-models in the life cycle models. This work will address both scientific and operational aspects of California’s water management.

The ideal candidate must have a strong grasp of hydrology and water resources management, numerical methods and numerical modeling, as well as strong familiarity with the water management systems, infrastructure, and operations in the California Central Valley. The position will require the Specialist to work accurately with close attention to detail; possess strong communication skills (verbal and written); successfully work both independently and as part of a team; and demonstrate strong organizational, time management, and problem-solving skills

Applicants with any of the following areas of expertise are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Master’s or PhD (or equivalent foreign degree) with specialization in Water Resources Engineering and computer simulation modeling;
  • Experience in using CALSIM II and optimization methods;
  • Experience with hydraulic and hydrologic modeling tools such as SCS models, HSPF, BASINS, HEC-RAS, CE-QUAL-W2 or DYRESM or related models;
  • Experience with geographic information systems data and tools;
  • Basic familiarity with SQL and experience with plotting and presenting scientific data; and/or
  • Familiarity with ecology and/or salmon research is beneficial, but is not necessary.

Assistant Specialist, Associate Speacialist or Specialist, determined by qualifications and experience (see rank qualifications)

Commensurate with qualifications and experience.


  • At the time of application, a master’s degree (or equivalent foreign degree) or a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent foreign degree) and a minimum of two years’ post-baccalaureate experience relevant to the advertised position. The degree must be in hydrology, water resources management, civil, mechanical or environmental engineering.
  • Experience with hydrology and numerical analysis, State Water Project (SWP) and Central Valley Project (CVP) system operations, and water resources simulation modeling
  • Working experience with programming languages FORTRAN, Python, Java, MATLAB and visualization tools Excel, PowerPoint;
  • Experience with numerical modeling and dynamics of unsteady systems.

As soon as possible after initial review of the applications.

Initial appointment will be full-time for one year, with the possibility of reappointment. Should the hiring unit propose reappointment; a review to assess performance will be conducted. Reappointment is also contingent upon the availability of funding.

Applications are accepted via the UCSC Academic Recruit online system. All documents and materials must be submitted as PDFs.

Please refer to Position # JPF00726-19T in all correspondence.


  • Letter of application that briefly summarizes your qualifications and interest in the position (required)
  • Curriculum vitae (required)

Reference Requirement
Applicants must provide the names and contact information of their professional references (a minimum of three are required and a maximum of eight will be accepted). The hiring unit will request confidential letters* from the references of those applicants who are under serious consideration. Note that your references, or dossier service, will submit their confidential letters directly to the UC Recruit System.

*All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. For any reference letter provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service, career center), direct the author to UCSC’s confidentiality statement.

Full consideration will be given to applications completed by August 1, 2019. Applications received after this date will be considered only if the position has not been filled.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-3676.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see More information is available at the APO website (see or call (831) 459-4300.

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If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the Academic Personnel Office at (831) 459-4300.

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