Postdoctoral Research Associate I, Earth System Modeling (Multiple Positions) at University of Arizona


Department: Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences (0469)

Location: Main Campus

Position Summary

The University of Arizona’s Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences is seeking two full-time postdoctoral researchers in the field of Earth system modeling. One position will focus on global atmospheric processes, and the other will focus on land processes. Both positions are in the Land-Atmosphere-Ocean Interactions group, led by Prof. Xubin Zeng ( Over three decades, this group has addressed many aspects of surface interface processes and has developed widely-adopted parameterizations and global observational datasets. To build on this experience, therefore, the ideal candidates will be passionate, flexible, and curious. The selected candidates will have exciting opportunities to interact with scientists in various institutions through our existing projects. Besides contributing to existing projects, candidates are also encouraged to pursue curiosity-driven research that is loosely related to existing diverse projects.

Initial appointment is for 12 months, with possibility of extension for a further 2 years, depending on performance and funding.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, vision, and life insurance; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

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Duties & Responsibilities

The successful candidates will use one or more of the following approaches:

  • Analyze Earth system model output to aid in model development and improve process understanding;
  • Run model simulation experiments to test model sensitivity;
  • Develop physical parameterizations for weather and climate models;
  • Use and create (where needed) value-added observational datasets to assess Earth system models;
  • Improve subseasonal-to-seasonal prediction through model improvement and post-processing (including using physics in combination with artificial intelligence).

In addition, they are expected to:

  • Publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals;
  • Present research at national and international conferences and project meetings;
  • Assist in writing research proposals and progress reports;
  • Train and mentor graduate and undergraduate students.

Examples of research areas for the atmosphere processes position:

  • Aerosol-cloud-meteorology interactions;
  • Dynamics-physics (cloud microphysics, shallow convection, and atmospheric boundary layer) coupling;
  • Subseasonal-to-seasonal forecasting improvement

Examples of research areas for the land processes position:

  • Hybrid 3-D hydrological modeling for Earth system models;
  • Role of soil moisture and temperature as well as vegetation in land-atmosphere interaction;
  • Land model improvement (including snowpack modeling).

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

  • Ability in analyzing output from Earth system models, including comparison with multiple observational datasets
  • Coding skills for model analysis (e.g., Python, R, NCL) and/or development (e.g., Fortran, C++)
  • Organization and project management skills
  • Strong communication and teamwork skills, for collaboration with colleagues in the department and elsewhere
  • Effective presentation skills, in both written and spoken forms
  • Ability to work independently and efficiently

Minimum Qualifications

  • PhD in Atmospheric Sciences or a related discipline
  • Ability to perform high quality work both individually and with the project team

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in running state-of-the-art Earth system models on leadership class supercomputer facilities at NCAR, DOE, and NASA
  • Experience in modifying, developing and testing new routines in complex multi-component Earth system models
  • Good knowledge of satellite measurements
    Strong publication record
  • Passionate, flexible, and curious

Number of Hours Worked per Week: 40

Job Category: Postdoctoral Research

Benefits Eligible: Yes – Full Benefits

Posted Rate of Pay: $48,500+ Annually

Type of criminal background check required: Name-based criminal background check (non-security sensitive)

Posting Number: P20819

Desired Start Date: 06/17/2019

Contact Information for Candidates

Xubin Zeng

Open Until Filled: Yes

Review Begins On: 06/03/2019

Special Instructions to Applicant

Please note: You will be required to provide contact information for a minimum of three professional references within your application. Should you be selected as a finalist for this position, for your convenience, your references may receive an automatic email. This email will ask your references to complete a brief questionnaire in regard to your suitability for the position as well as request the attachment of a letter of recommendation. These letters of recommendation must be uploaded directly via the website by your reference provider. is not compatible with any “dossier aggregate” system (e.g., Interfolio, Intellimedia).

Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As an Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.