JCSDA Project Scientist I - CRTM IR (19166)

This position will be posted until a sufficient number of applications have been received.

Where You Will Work

The Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA) is a multi-agency research center committed to improving and accelerating the quantitative use of research and operational satellite data in weather, ocean, climate, and environmental analysis and prediction systems. In close collaboration with NOAA, NASA, the Air Force, and the Navy, the JCSDA strives to be a center of excellence for data assimilation through the transition of state-of-the-art research to operational applications for the benefit of society. JCSDA employees operate in a fast-paced, agile, and collaborative environment.

JCSDA is hosted by the Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS—pronounced: see-pass) within University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in service of advancing knowledge, providing community-based resources, and building human capacity in atmospheric and related sciences.


Partial relocation assistance is offered for this position.

Work Authorization

UCAR/NCAR will sponsor a work visa to fill this position.

What You Will Do

This position is under the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA) and provides support for the enhancement of the Community Radiative Transfer Model (CRTM). This position is intended to improve shortwave radiative transfer (visible and infrared) and the interaction with atmospheric constituents (aerosols and gases) using the CRTM.

The CRTM represents the connection between the satellite radiance observations and the atmosphere. This connection is used to allow the satellite radiance observations to be incorporated into data assimilation systems and the information in these observations to be extracted and used for numerical weather prediction, aerosol and trace gas prediction and many other applications. The CRTM represents the cornerstone of the JCSDA and is used by many groups including NOAA/NESDIS, NASA/GMAO, NOAA/NCEP/EMC, U.S. Navy FNMOC, and others.

An initial focus of the work will be on coordinating efforts across JCSDA partners to identify deficiencies in CRTM’s simulation capabilities for shortwave radiative transfer in the visible and near-infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly in the presence of aerosols and other gaseous constituents. This will extend into extending CRTM to new aerosol and gaseous specifications in support of JCSDA partner requirements for operations and research.  

The project will eventually transition into a comprehensive expansion of the physical constituents of the atmospheric parameters and a validation of the associated radiance calculations. This work will be coordinated specifically with researchers in NOAA, NASA, NRL, and other key partner agencies / research groups. 

Responsibilities Include

  • Provide scientific expertise and code modifications to CRTM that directly support efficient and accurate computations of satellite-observed radiances in the presence of various atmospheric aerosols and gaseous species, with a particular emphasis on expanding the CRTM simulation capabilities and improving overall accuracy across the shortwave spectral region.
  • In coordination with the CRTM Project Manager, establish and maintain collaborations with other JCSDA partners and researchers in the broader community. Responsible for generating quarterly reports to the JCSDA and will have daily interaction with government scientists and contractors, and other members of the CRTM project.
  • Authoring scientific/resource publications and attending/giving presentations at national or international scientific conferences is expected.


What You Need

Education and Years of Experience:

Ph.D. in a relevant science; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.  

Applicants should have expertise in radiative transfer theory and fast radiative transfer modeling, particularly in the visible to infrared. Knowledge of inversion techniques (e.g. data assimilation, atmospheric retrievals) is desirable, but not required. Technical skills include proficiency in programming on high-performance computers and familiarity with operational-quality data systems.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Strong programming (particularly Fortran 90+) and scripting skills are a necessity. Knowledge of Python 2.7 or higher is desirable for scripting / visualization.  
  • Knowledge of line-by-line radiative transfer models, such as LBLRTM, would be a valuable addition to the team.  
  • Ability to work as a part of a larger group using a modern code management framework (Git, Continuous Integration / Agile programming methods, etc.)
  • Highly collaborative, organized, and detail-oriented.   Able to work independently, requiring minimal supervision.
  • Coordinate scientific developments across JCSDA partners.     Expected to direct efforts for IR radiative transfer and aerosol impacted radiance improvements in close coordination with federal partners and operational center personnel.

Applicant Notes:

This position is subject to work location requirements for obtaining access to facilities and research systems. These requirements may include a combination of national security checks, credit checks, fingerprinting, or other security clearance or work authorization requirements.

What’s in it for You:

  • Compensation
  • PTO
  • Paid Holidays
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Benefits (Medical, Dental, Vision)
  • Retirement Plan
  • And more!


How Apply

Please visit the UCAR Silkroad to apply

Visit the main Silkroad site

EEO/AAP Statement

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.

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