Water Cycle Postdoctoral Scholar via AGU

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Berkeley, CA, US

The Energy Geosciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has an exciting opportunity for a Water Cycle Postdoctoral Scholar with expertise in high performance computer modeling of integrated surface and subsurface hydrologic flow and/or reactive transport in watersheds.  Depending on the expertise and interests of the successful applicant, the position will involve either

  1. The development of frameworks to link interoperable and extensible HPC software packages for flow, transport, and reactions in the Critical Zone at scales up to that of the watershed and river basin

  2. Development of an integrated surface-subsurface water flow simulator that includes capabilities for adaptive mesh refinement and embedded boundaries using the Chombo framework, or both.  

Ultimately the software will be used to consider climate-induced ecosystem responses across spatiotemporal scales, leading to a scale-adaptive modeling capability for the important terrestrial water and biogeochemical cycles.


What You Will Do:

  • Develop a coupled software framework linking different processes operating at the watershed scale within the Critical Zone (the Earth’s surface and shallow subsurface), including integrated surface and subsurface hydrologic flow, nutrient transport, vegetation and other land surface processes, and biogeochemical reactions.

  • Develop an integrated surface-subsurface water flow by combining the Richards equation with the 2D diffusive wave equation using the Chombo AMR and EB capabilities.

  • Collaborate with observational biogeochemists to improve predictive capabilities for water flow and biogeochemical processes.

  • Identify and develop new research areas and proposals.

  • Engage as a member of a large, multidisciplinary research team that includes geochemists, hydrologists, and computational scientists.

  • Author peer-reviewed journal articles and technical reports.


What Is Required:

  • Ph.D. in computer science, civil or environmental engineering, geochemistry, or hydrology, or equivalent discipline.

  • Substantial knowledge and experience in modeling hydrologic flow using high performance computers, including parallel simulation and large dataset analysis and manipulation.

  • Proven knowledge and experience in parallel programming (openMP, MPI) in C/C++ and mixed-language projects.

  • Ability to identify and develop new research areas and proposals.

  • Ability to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of scientists.

  • Excellent written and oral communications skills and a proven track record of publishing in high-impact journals are also required.


Additional Desired Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of modeling approaches for multicomponent reactive transport.


The posting shall remain open until the position is filled.



  • This is a full time, 2 year, postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds and ongoing operational needs. You must have less than 3 years paid postdoctoral experience. Salary for Postdoctoral positions depends on years of experience post-degree.    

  • Full-time, M-F, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.

  • This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.

  • Salary will be predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates.

  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.

  • Work will be primarily performed at: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.