Project Scientist I (19081)

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


Princeton, New Jersey - This position will be located at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, NJ.


No relocation package is offered for this position.

Work Authorization

U.S. Citizenship, Permanent Residency, or other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3) is required for this position.  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, UCAR Community Programs (UCP) offers a suite of innovative resources, tools, and services for the atmospheric and Earth science community.  UCP was created in 1992 to manage a number of unique programs requested by the UCAR community.

This position will be located at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, NJ.

NOAA/GFDL studies the earth system primarily using numerical models. It is a mission-oriented laboratory with a wide range of objectives including model development and furthering the scientific understanding of the earth system.

What You Will Do

The Project Scientist will work within the Seasonal to Decadal Variability and Predictability Division of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). The incumbent will conduct fundamental research on the mechanisms and predictability of the Earth’s climate system on decadal and multidecadal time scales. This research will include observational diagnostics, advances in theoretical understanding, and conducting and analyzing numerical simulations using a suite of climate models. 

One potential focus of the position could be decadal to centennial time scale variability of the Southern Ocean and its role in the climate system. The incumbent will use models, theory and observations to improve our understanding of the characteristics, mechanisms, and predictability of decadal to centennial variability of the Southern Ocean. This will likely involve experimental decadal predictions of the Southern Ocean. This work will also include the impact of Southern Ocean decadal to multidecadal variability on the rest of the global climate system.

The incumbent may also conduct research on decadal and multidecadal variability of the climate system in other parts of the globe. This could include (a) variability in the Atlantic Ocean, such as associated with Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV), (b) variability in the Pacific, such as associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), (c) as well as other types of decadal scale variability, including decadal hydroclimate variability over continental regions. An overriding emphasis will be on better characterizing observed variability, improving our understanding of the underlying mechanisms, and exploring potential decadal-scale predictability. An additional important focus will be on how such variability interacts with changing radiative forcing associated with anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols.

As part of conducting the above research, the incumbent may design and execute climate model simulations, as appropriate, to better understand the sources and mechanisms of the variability, predictability and associated impacts.

This position will be located at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, NJ.

Responsibilities Include

Research on climate variability and impacts on decadal to multidecadal timescales

  • The incumbent will conduct fundamental research on climate variability on decadal to multidecadal scales. This work will include detailed analyses of the characteristics of variability as simulated in suites of GFDL coupled models, comparison of simulated variability to existing observations, the formulation of hypotheses to explain the mechanisms of the variability, and the design and execution of additional numerical simulations to test the validity of the hypotheses. The research will include estimates of potential predictability and underlying mechanisms.
  • One area of emphasis could be the Southern Ocean and its interactions with the rest of the global climate system, such as on ocean heat and carbon uptake and their impacts on climate sensitivity and global ocean heat storage. Other areas of emphasis could be decadal scale variability in the Atlantic and associated climate impacts as assessed through detailed diagnostics of observations and simulations, as well as the design and execution of new simulations to probe potential mechanisms. Other areas of emphasis could include the Pacific, as well as regional hydroclimate and extremes.
  • The incumbent will present research findings through (i) internal meetings and documents, (ii) presentations at national and international scientific meetings, and (iii) publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Research on climate predictability on decadal to multidecadal timescales

  • The incumbent will contribute to decadal prediction research at GFDL through analysis of the skill in decadal prediction systems, and analysis of the underlying mechanisms of such skill. One area of emphasis will be decadal predictability and predictions of the Southern Ocean. Other work could include decadal prediction research on the North Atlantic and North Pacific, as well as the interaction of such predictability with radiatively forced climate change. The work may involve interactions with external partners, including through sharing decadal prediction output.

Contribute to efforts to develop new climate models to study climate variability and predictability

  • As part of a larger team the incumbent will contribute to ongoing efforts to continue to develop successive generations of climate models for use in research on decadal scale variability and predictability. This work may include conducting simulations with prototype models, analyzing their output to assess strengths and weaknesses, and designing new versions of such models in an attempt to improve their performance and fidelity.

What You Need

Education and Years of Experience:

  • PhD in meteorology, oceanography, or a closely related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Expertise in advanced statistical methods for the analysis of large and complex climate data sets.
  • The incumbent should be experienced in working with modern supercomputers and data analysis systems, along with experience in a variety of software packages for diagnostic analyses, potentially including python, mat lab, grads, ferret, ncl, and Fortran.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, as demonstrated both by extensive experience in presenting work at national and international meetings, as well as a strong publication record.

Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • The incumbent should be an expert in the field of decadal variability and predictability.
  • This expertise should be demonstrated by an outstanding record of publications in the peer-reviewed literature.
  • At least 3 years of Postdoctoral experience

Notes to Applicants:

  • 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 requirements.
  • Starting Salary: $88,000 - $98,000 per year.

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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