Local recruitment: Hydroclimate/Moisture Transport Postdoctoral Fellow I

National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Broomfield, CO, USA 🇺🇸

UCAR is excited to announce the job opening for a Postdoctoral Fellow I.

As climate warms, the distance moisture travels between evaporative source regions and precipitation sink regions is expected to increase, shifting hydrologic dependencies between places.

The candidate selected for this position will help evaluate these changes in atmospheric moisture transport by:

– Developing and comparing metrics for quantifying moisture’s length scale;

– Evaluating the roles of precipitation and evaporation in altering moisture transport;

– Identifying the synoptic events most influential in setting the length scale; and

– Simulating changes in atmospheric moisture transport with future warming.

The selected candidate will be expected to work with climate model output from the Community Earth System Model (CESM) and the NASA GISS model and with data products derived from satellite retrievals. They will also disseminate results from this work through conference proceedings and scientific publications. This position will have substantial flexibility for creative, exploratory research and opportunities!

Where You Will Work:

The Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL) is one of the seven laboratories of NCAR, the National Science Foundation’s Federally Funded Research and Development Center. The mission of EOL is to provide leadership in observing facilities, field project support, observational research and data services needed to advance the scientific understanding of the Earth system. 

EOL manages the majority of NSF’s Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF) and deploys them in support of observational field campaigns, ranging from single investigator projects to large complex campaigns that involve multiple investigators, agencies, and platforms, nationally and internationally. EOL deploys its systems for research by scientists from universities, NCAR, and government agencies. An integral part of EOL’s mission is to develop the next generation of LAOF and to provide management and archive of data from past supported campaigns.

To ensure progress in the atmospheric sciences, EOL supports a wide range of research areas within the Earth system science, ranging from microscale to mesoscale to climate process studies, and deploys LAOF platforms and systems that reach from the surface of the Earth to the lower stratosphere and beyond.

Job Location: Broomfield, CO

Job Location Type: In-Person, or Hybrid (combination of Remote and Onsite presence)

*Some or all of the work in this position description may need to be performed on-site at UCAR campuses and/or remote field sites that are domestic and/or international.

Position Type & Term: 1-year term with the possibility of extension.

Hiring Range: $73,000

Application Notes:

  • Application Deadline: The position will be posted until April 16, 2023.
  • Required application materials:
    • Resume
    • Cover Letter
    • References: The candidate will be asked to share 3 references at the Interview stage
  • Work Authorization: You must reside in the U.S. for this position. UCAR/NCAR will sponsor a work visa to fill this position but there are restrictions based on funding provided by NASA
  • VISA Restrictions: Law 112-55 restricts NASA from providing funding to participate, collaborate or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or any Chinese-owned company, at the prime or sub-recipient level, whether the bilateral involvement is funded or performed under a no-exchange of funds agreement. The law is interpreted by NASA to prohibit participation (funded or unfunded) by any individual, regardless of nationality, who is affiliated with the Chinese Government or a Chinese-owned Company. NASA does not consider this a prohibition of Chinese nationals.
  • Relocation Assistance: 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. 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 each year
  • 10 days of paid sick leave each year
  • 14 weeks of paid parental leave
  • Backup childcare
  • 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!


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

Key Responsibilities

Scientific Research

  • Conducts independent research to evaluate variations in atmospheric moisture transport in response to large-scale climate variability and change.
  • Disseminates results through conference presentations and scientific publications.
  • Works collaboratively with other scientists, postdocs, and staff across NCAR and at collaborating universities.

Support of education, outreach, DEI, and similar efforts

  • Contributes to NCAR’s institutional commitment to create a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive environment; develops an informal learning community with other NCAR postdocs and staff members; and/or participates in NCAR-sponsored education and outreach activities.


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

Education & Experience

  • Ph.D. in atmospheric science, Earth science, physics, applied math, or a related science or engineering discipline.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities REQUIRED:

  • Demonstrated ability and desire to conduct independent research related to water and climate.
  • Understanding of complex geophysical processes demonstrated through published or academic work.
  • Demonstrated skill in reading, manipulating, graphing, and analyzing large datasets using a programming language such as Python, R, or similar.
  •  Demonstrated ability to navigate Unix environments.
  •  Demonstrated skill in oral and written communications, as demonstrated by thesis, conference presentations, scientific publications, or equivalent.
  • Demonstrated organizational, prioritization, and time management skills.
  •  Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.

Desired but not required:

  • Proficiency in working with large satellite datasets (Level 2 or 3) and creating derived data products.
  • Proficiency in working with climate model output and the ability to run experimental simulations in GCMs.
  •  Knowledge of stable water isotope physics.


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 pre-employment background and national security checks.  This position is open to U.S. Citizens, U.S. Green Card holders, and those eligible to obtain a U.S. Work Visa subject to U.S. export requirements.

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 MSc in Water and Sustainable Development