JCSDA Project Scientist II- Global Navigation Satellite System Radio Occultation (GNSSRO)

The Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA) mission is to improve and accelerate the uses of research and operational satellite data in numerical weather prediction (NWP) models among its partner agencies - NASA, NOAA, and the DoD. Global Navigation Satellite System Radio Occultation (GNSSRO) atmospheric sounding sensors continue to become available to the NWP community, with comparatively large numbers of new sensors scheduled to be deployed on US government, international, and commercial platforms to provide sounding data that has been shown to complement and that obtained from scanning passive radiometric sounders.

GNSSRO provides quasi-vertical soundings of atmospheric properties related to pressure, temperature, and humidity that may be assimilated into numerical weather prediction (NWP) models as aggregate observables (radio refractivity or bending angles, etc.)  The candidate who successfully fills this position will provide science support to verify and validate new-source GNSSRO observations, determine their error characteristics, develop and refine effective data quality control, and quantitatively test the impact of adding these data to NOAA’s operational NWP modeling systems.

Where You Will Work

This position will be located either in College Park, MD or Boulder, CO. Relocation Assistance is available.

What You Will Do

The individual in this position will lead major research activities:

  • Lead the development, testing, documentation, and preparation for implementation of improved techniques and methodologies for the assimilation of GNSSRO data, including refined calibration, quality control, data selection and weighting, and forward modeling relevant for all sources of data but prioritizing the evaluation of commercially provided observations;
  • Lead JCSDA efforts to quantitatively characterize the quality attributes of all available GNSSRO observations of lower stratospheric and tropospheric bending angle profiles;
  • Participate with the appropriate JCSDA project team to quantitatively evaluate the impact of GNSSRO observations in relevant NWP modeling systems using standard performance metrics;
  • Quarterly reports to the JCSDA are expected and daily interaction with government scientists and contractors, and other members of the CWDP, COSMIC-2, and related projects.
  • May author scientific reports and refereed publications and give presentations at scientific meetings.

The above statements describe the primary work being performed. Additional tasks may be assigned from time to time.

Decision Making & Problem Solving

In consultation with peers, develop innovative and ingenious solutions to a wide range of difficult technical problems. Operates under general guidance within project structure.

What You Need

  • PhD in a quantitative field of research (e.g., Atmospheric Science/Meteorology/Remote Sensing/Math/ Physics/Statistics);
  • At least 3 years of research experience in data assimilation and numerical weather modeling;
  • Proven list of deliverables in NWP modeling (peer-reviewed publications, derived products, etc.)
  • At least 2 years of experience working with GNSSRO systems, sensors, and atmospheric data processing or products
  • Advanced skill in planning and managing project goals and objectives.
  • Proficiency with Fortran 90 (and higher) and Unix scripts programming as well as familiarity with visualization tools such as Python, IDL, Matlab, or NCL.
  • Ability to communicate effectively (verbal and written skills) with researchers and other staff members
  • Demonstrated ability to be a productive member of a research team with good interpersonal skills.
  • Strong ability to organize, prioritize, and coordinate multiple tasks within projects

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.

Desired Skills

  • Experience in working with NWP model and data assimilation codes, and assessing data assimilation approaches and data quality control. Expertise in the following specific areas is desirable:  Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI), Observing System Experiments (OSEs) or Observing System Sensitivity Experiments (OSSEs)
  • An understanding of the functioning of GNSSRO satellite systems, including the assumptions (and associated limitations) implicit in retrieving bending angles and higher order products from the raw measurements.
  • Background in the ability to work with Forward Modeling operators for GNSSRO observations.
  • Interest in/knowledge of other satellite remote sensing systems that provide complementary observations for NWP modeling.
  • Working knowledge of Python and/or MATLAB will be a plus.

How to Apply

Please visit UCAR Silkroad to apply.

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.


CPAESS CAMP Proposal Website

To submit a proposal to the UCAR Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program (CAMP), please visit the CAMP website

CPAESS Contact Information


Shipping Address:
3090 Center Green Dr.
Boulder, CO 80301