Hyper-resolution, large ensemble, continental-scale hydrologic modeling

Opportunities and responsibilities

A full-time, 2-year postdoctoral research associate position is available immediately within the UW Hydro | Computational Hydrology group headed by Bart Nijssen at the University of Washington. The postdoc will conduct research on a project to develop the necessary modeling infrastructure to use the Structure for Unifying Multiple Modeling Alternatives (SUMMA) to produce and refine hyper-resolution large-ensemble hydrologic model simulations for the contiguous USA. The work will be undertaken in collaboration with researchers at the University of Washington and NCAR’s Research Application Laboratory (RAL). Responsibilities include SUMMA model development and application; analysis, visualization, presentation and publication of research findings; and participation in interdisciplinary research teams. Because of the strong computational focus of this project, a strong background in hydrologic modeling and / or software development will be important.

About us

The UW Hydro | Computational Hydrology group in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington builds tools to simulate and investigate the terrestrial hydrological cycle and uses these tools for a wide range of hydrologic research projects. We investigate the effects of climate change on the hydrologic cycle, perform near real-time monitoring and forecasting studies for drought and streamflow, simulate the interactions between the various components of the climate system in coupled regional climate models, develop and analyze large datasets, and along the way we write a lot of code that we are happy to share with others.

As the name of our group implies, our work heavily relies on computation and computers and their application to hydrology. That means that we are first and foremost hydrologists and that we use computers to advance our understanding of that field. In practice, this means that you need to have a strong interest in hydrology and that you also need to have a real desire to acquire the necessary skills to become adept and proficient at using the tools of our trade. If you join our group, you will need to learn about hydrological models, how to handle and analyze large datasets using languages such as python or R and tools such as CDO and nco, version control, and maybe some compiled languages such as C and Fortran, which are still widely used in scientific programming. Even better if you want to help develop the next generation of computational tools that hydrologists in our group and elsewhere can use as part of their research. But as you will also notice in our list of publications, in the end our research focuses on the application of these tools in hydrology. In practice, this means that if you are only interested in computers and not in hydrology, we are probably not the right fit for you. Similarly, if you have a great interest in hydrology, but would rather not spend a lot of time in front of a computer, our group may not be a good fit for your career aspirations.

Generally, we expect you to be well-versed in at least one area of hydrology and/or computing and interested in developing additional skills in both fields. In addition, I expect you to have excellent spoken and written communication skills and to take a lead in developing new areas of research and publishing on that work in the scientific literature.

Qualifications

  • Recent Ph.D. degree (0-3 years of postdoctoral experience) in hydrology, civil engineering, earth science or a related discipline.

  • Demonstrated record of research and publication (at least one first author publication nearing publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal).

  • In-depth knowledge of hydrological and water resources modeling

  • Experience handling large and heterogeneous geophysical datasets

  • Strong competence in computer programming with C or Fortran preferred

  • Strong competence in programming with python, R, or matlab or a similar scripting and visualization language

  • Competence in Unix environments preferred

  • Competence in modern version control systems, such as git, preferred

  • Competence in large-scale, distributed computation preferred

  • Ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and effectively in both spoken and written English is required.

  • Sharp analytical abilities and problem solving skills

  • Demonstrated leadership abilities and record of positive contributions within a collaborative environment

  • Ability to work independently, multi-task and prioritize workload

How to apply

Please apply through the University of Washington HR web site and include a cover letter, a Curriculum Vitae, and a list of at least three references. Applicant review will continue until the position is filled. For more information, please contact Bart Nijssen (nijssen at uw.edu).

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Hyper-resolution, large ensemble, continental-scale hydrologic modeling

About

UW Hydro builds tools to simulate and investigate the terrestrial hydrological cycle.

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Wilson Ceramics Laboratory
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Box 352700
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-2700