Earth System Modeler

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI, USA 🇺🇸


WORKING TITLE: Earth System Modeler

JOB TITLE: Research Lab Specialist Assoc

WORK LOCATION: Ann Arbor Campus, Ann Arbor, MI






POSTING BEGIN/END DATE: 12/14/2022 – 12/21/2022

SALARY: $47,000.00 – $55,000.00

CAREER INTEREST: Primary, Research

How to Apply

Applications are welcomed and encouraged from all qualified individuals regardless of background and identity. To apply, please complete the application on the U-M Careers site. A one page cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline experience that is directly related to this position.


The Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) is seeking  three (3) candidates to join a team of modelers working on development, testing, and deployment of coupled, integrated earth system models of the Great Lakes basin. The purpose of this integrated earth system modeling effort is to support development of a real-time, three-dimensional circulation and flood forecast modeling system in the Great Lakes. The integrated earth system modeling components are designed to simulate physical processes including meteorology, hydrology, hydrodynamics, waves, and ice. Objectives of the project include calibration and verification of an unstructured three-dimensional baroclinic hydrodynamic lake model that includes the flood plains to predict coastal inundation. This lake model will be coupled to operational meteorological  models such as the atmospheric High-Resolution Rapid Refresh model (HRRR), the WAVEWATCH III wave model, and the hydrologic National Water Model (NWM). You will work to explore, develop, and test coupling strategies between three dimensional hydrodynamic models and three-dimensional hydrologic models.

The successful applicant’s appointment will be with CIGLR, which is part of the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. CIGLR’s mission is to lead research, develop applications and products, and engage with stakeholders to achieve environmental, economic, and social sustainability in the Great Lakes. CIGLR is a collaboration between the University of Michigan and NOAA that brings together experts from academia and government research labs to work on pressing problems facing the Great Lakes region. This person will spend their on-site work time at the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

Remote and flexible work agreements may be made to allow for partial off-site work at a remote location.  

Term Limited: This is a one year appointment with the opportunity for extension based on performance, need, and availability of funds.

SEAS is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and equitable environment that respects diverse experiences, promotes generous listening and communications, and discourages and restoratively respond to acts of discrimination, harassment, or injustice. Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is deeply rooted in our values for a sustainable and just society.

Why Work at Michigan?

In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, The University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family and plan for a secure future. Benefits include:

  • Generous time off
  • A retirement plan that provides two-for-one matching contributions with immediate vesting
  • Many choices for comprehensive health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term disability coverage
  • Flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses


  • Work with the project team lead to develop, implement, execute and test coastal hydrodynamic and wave models in a high-performance computing (HPC) environment, including advanced model grid development for coastal inundation predictions.
  • Perform extensive model testing and validation, including post-processing hydrodynamic model data and conducting analysis to assess model skill against observations. 
  • Develop and test model coupling infrastructure as part of an integrated earth system modeling approach.
  • Assist with transition of model parameters and configuration from research to operational environment. Document findings to internal and external audiences in reports, publications, and presentations.

Required Qualifications*

  • A bachelor’s degree in the natural sciences or engineering, with 1-3 years of related experience in hydrodynamic modeling in research projects and/or professional activities. 
  • Experience configuring, running, and evaluating large scale earth system models in a high-performance computing environment.
  • Previous experience in processing large datasets in a variety of different data formats (ASCII, GRIB, or NetCDF).
  • Strong technical skills related to hydrodynamic, wave, or similar model development and high-performance computing.  

Desired Qualifications*

  • Master’s or PhD in the natural sciences or engineering, with some experience working in a research environment.
  • Skill in working with surface meteorological stations, in-situ oceanographic observation, and/or numerical weather prediction data.
  • Experience in coupling earth system models.
  • Experience with FVCOM and/or WAVEWATCH III models. 
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze hydrodynamic model output.
  • Experience with handling data in a Linux/Unix high-performance computing environment and scripting data analysis software such as R, Python, or IDL.
  • Experience working with geospatial data and developing hydrodynamic model grids.

Additional Information

Salary will be determined based on experience.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

Applications will be reviewed as received throughout the posting period and continue until the position is filled.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations, including one booster when eligible, are required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working remotely and temporary workers.   More information on this new policy is available on the U-M Health Response website or the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint websites.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development