Local recruitment: Associate Scientist I/II (Hydrologic Modeling and Analysis)

National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
Boulder, CO, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
0-2 Years
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Location: Boulder, Colorado. Note: In light of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and restricted access to UCAR facilities, UCAR will allow temporary remote work arrangements for newly hired employees. (This position will allow for initial remote work, but may require relocation to Boulder, Colorado in the near future).

Type: Full-time, Exempt

Application Deadline: This position will be posted until Tuesday December 8th, 2020. Thereafter, applications will be reviewed on an as-needed basis.

Relocation: No relocation package is offered for this position.

Work Authorization: UCAR/NCAR will not sponsor a work visa (e.g., J-1, H1-B, etc.) for this position.
Where You Will Work:

Located in Boulder, Colorado, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is one of the world’s premier scientific institutions, with an internationally recognized staff and research program dedicated to advancing knowledge, providing community-based resources, and building human capacity in the atmospheric and related sciences.  NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

The structure of NCAR and UCAR—unique among the nation’s science disciplines—paves the way for innovation to bring impact to everyday life. NCAR’s research is unusually wide-ranging, from the flow of magnetism within the Sun to the flow of heat in the ocean. Much of NCAR’s work is carried out with collaborators at universities and labs across the nation and beyond, which further expands the breadth of the science.

The Research Applications Laboratory is one of seven laboratories within NCAR.  Its mission is to conduct directed research that contributes to fundamental understanding of the atmosphere and related physical, biological, and social systems; to support, enhance, and extend the capabilities of the scientific community; and to develop and transfer knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth.

The main goal of the Hydrometeorological Applications Program is to provide relevant information to high-impact weather, flood warning, and water resource decision makers through directed and basic research and development in hydrometeorology, aerosol-precipitation interactions, very short term precipitation nowcasting, cloud microphysical modeling, and winter weather.

Applications focused on water resources, flood warnings and control, winter weather precipitation events, and weather modification are growing at a rapid rate. Earth’s water supply, when considered on a regional basis, may not be sustainable relative to agricultural and industrial practices of the last century. RAL is motivated to building this research area to meet the needs of national (federal, state, county and municipal) and international organizations in the public and private sectors and to make a significant contribution to the science of hydrometeorology.

What You Will Do: This is a new full-time position.  The new hire will work with RAL scientists to study hydrologic model applications in water forecasting and water resource management.  Work will include running model simulations, analyzing / managing / visualizing data. The new hire will have the opportunity to work on the NCAR supercomputer, engage with scientists and stakeholders, and work as part of a supportive and enthusiastic team. In addition, the position will include collaboration with researchers at universities, local and national agencies, and potential international collaborations.  Model development, including source code testing and improvements, may also be involved.  We feel strongly that a diverse and inclusive workplace is very important, and encourage applicants to look through relevant sections of the NCAR Strategic Plan, as well as the UCAR Diversity Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. Additionally, we encourage applicants to include a cover letter describing why they are interested in this job and what they feel they will bring to it.

The position is offered for one year with continuation based on performance and availability of funds, and is based in Boulder, Colorado at the NCAR Foothills Laboratory.  Relocation expenses are not supported.  Tentative start date for this position will be the end of January 2021.                                                                                                                                   


  • Implements and tests large domain hydrologic model simulations. Analyzes results and diagnoses errors, including performing model debugging if needed.
  • Prepares input and evaluation datasets. Creates and maintains evaluation scripts.  Creates and validates alternative configurations of the models for different experiments.
  • Assists in the development of workflows/scripts to run models in different applications. 
  • Assists with or presents research results to sponsors and at meetings, through project reports, oral presentations, posters, and journal articles. 

What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience:

This position is offered at both an ASI and ASII level, depending on the qualifications and experience of the candidate.


Associate Scientist I - Bachelor’s degree in physical science, computer science/engineering, or other closely related field with an interest in geoscience, and clear familiarity and initial experience in the desired area.

Associate Scientist II - Bachelor’s degree in physical science, computer science/engineering, or other closely related field with an interest in geoscience, and at least 2 years of experience as an Associate Scientist I or equivalent position, in geoscientific research/applications or scientific programming, after college; or other evidence of notable strength and experience in the desired areas.

Desired but not required:

  • Master’s Degree in related field.
  • Prior experience in hydrologic modeling with distributed hydrologic models (e.g. WRF-Hydro, tRIBS, GHSSA, ParFlow)

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Associate Scientist I:

  • Familiarity with geosciences and geoscientific models and datasets.
  • Programming experience and knowledge of Python and/or R.
  • Ability to work effectively in a collaborative environment with scientists and engineers
  • Strong oral communication skills
  • Ability to problem-solve and complete tasks efficiently with help from supervisor

Associate Scientist II

  • Familiarity with geosciences and geoscientific models and datasets.
  • Programming experience and knowledge of Python and/or R.
  • Ability to work effectively in a collaborative environment with scientists and engineers
  • Strong oral communication skills
  • Ability to problem-solve and complete tasks efficiently with help from supervisor
  • Knowledge and skills from prior project work with geosciences and geoscientific models and datasets.
  • Scientific programming experience, ideally including Linux cluster-based computing.
  • Demonstrated ability to problem-solve independently and to complete tasks efficiently with moderate supervision

Applicant Notes:

  • A pre-employment screening is conducted in conjunction with an offer for employment. This screening may involve verifying or reviewing any of the following relevant information: restricted parties screening, employment verification, performance records of internal candidates, education verification, reference checks, verification of professional licenses, certifications, and Motor Vehicle Records.  UCAR complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). 
  • An Inclusion Statement will be required for all candidates to submit in this job application. This statement should address past efforts, as well as future vision and plans to advocate for and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization and/or field of work.
  • A cover letter will be required for all applicants.
  • Please note that while the position description details both minimum requirements as well as desired skills and experience, we want to remind applicants that you do not need to have all the desired skills and experience to be considered for this role. If you have the passion for the work along with experience in a related field, you are encouraged to apply. We can provide on-the-job training for the rest.

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.