Associate Scientist II
Boulder, CO 
Posted Today
Job Description
Location: Silver Spring, MD.

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

Relocation Assistance: Relocation assistance is not available for this position.

Work Authorization: UCAR/NCAR will not sponsor a work visa to fill this position.

Hiring Salary Range: $63,113 - $78,891
Full Salary Range: $63,113 - $102,558

Benefits: UCAR affirms its continuing commitment to developing, providing, and administering its employee benefit programs with due consideration for equal employment opportunity and diversity guidelines.
UCAR's rich package of employee benefits includes medical, dental, vision, education assistance, retirement, and life insurance. UCAR offers a variety of programs designed to assist with work-life balance including flexible work alternatives, paid time off and 14 weeks of paid parental leave.

Where You Will Work:

The Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS), under the UCP, provides an extensive portfolio of placement, management, and organizational services for the broad Earth System Science community. CPAESS develops innovative solutions to complex scientific challenges, advances research capacity, and fosters community collaborations.

CPAESS provides professional development, training, and research opportunities for early career to expert scientists. The CPAESS community includes placements at prestigious postdoctoral fellowships, short- and long-term appointments at US Federal research labs and institutions, research internships, and summer school opportunities for graduates and postdoctoral scientists. These research and training opportunities provide mentoring and career advancement; lifelong collaboration through program alumni networks; and the advancement of science worldwide through university, federal, state, municipal level, and private sector partnerships. CPAESS employees and sponsors collectively work toward advancing scientific research for the benefit of society.

What You Will Do:

This position is suggested for physical scientists, statisticians, coastal engineers, geomatics engineers and GIS scientists with research interests and experience in methods for sensitivity analysis, uncertainty quantification, data assimilation and probabilistic computational methods.

Operational Forecasting Systems (OFS) are coastal hydrodynamic models in which errors that develop due to bathymetry (bottom topography) data deficiencies will propagate and affect results elsewhere in the model domain. While information such as bathymetry in navigation channels is critical to mariners, OFS guidance (e.g. for surface current velocity, water level, salinity and temperature) predictions will also be degraded by the poor bathymetry representation in modeling systems.

This position will work as a part of the Coastal Marine Modeling Branch at the Office of Coast Survey, NOS/NOAA, and will have a central role in assessing coastal models' sensitivity to uncertainties and errors in bathymetric information. The bathymetry inputs to models are interpolated on the model grids from the best available bathymetry data acquired by OCS and other sources. The candidate will work to quantify how gaps or significant uncertainty in the data (e.g. older bathymetry data collection dates, etc.) would result in degradation of the coastal model results.

This will involve collaborating with field experts and modeling scientists in order to understand sources and types of uncertainties in bathymetric data.

This position is located in the Coast Survey Development Laboratory of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey in Silver Spring, MD.

  • Develop and implement methodologies for quantifying model errors in relation with bathymetric data and approaches for improving bottom coverage that can reduce model uncertainties.
  • Identify GIS tools and algorithms that can be used to inform and prioritize future bathymetric surveys (hydrography) in order to reduce current model uncertainties. Implement tools/applications that can be used for future survey planning.
  • Relate types of bathymetric data quality (and uncertainty attributed to the dataset) to the errors/uncertainties of the coastal model results using these bathymetric datasets.
  • Author and prepare visuals, reports (e.g. NOAA technical memorandum) and presentations for meetings.

What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience

  • Bachelor of Science with two to three years of experience as an Associate Scientist I (or equivalent position) in Oceanography, Geography, Meteorology, Civil Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science, or Physics.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Experience in compiling and processing hydrographic surveys.
  • Ability to assess quality and uncertainty of sounding and the overall survey.


  • Knowledge and experience in sensitivity analysis, uncertainty quantification, or machine learning, or a closely related focus area.
  • Knowledge and experience in Geographical Information systems and cartography
  • Strong programming skills in Fortran, C++ and/or Python. Alternately, experience programming in Matlab or R may be substituted.
  • Skill working within the Linux environment and with high performance computing platforms.
  • Skill in development, maintenance and documentation of scientific codes.
  • Modeling experience with coastal inundation, ocean circulation, wave or atmospheric models.
  • Demonstrated ability for oral and written communications (papers, reports, conference presentation), skill in communicating research to an interdisciplinary audience and working on an interdisciplinary team.
  • Skill in developing solutions to a wide range of difficult problems.

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 requirements.
  • A pre-employment screening is conducted in conjunction with an offer for employment. This screening may involve verifying or reviewing any of the following relevant information: restricted parties screening, employment verification, performance records of internal candidates, education verification, reference checks, verification of professional licenses, certifications, and Motor Vehicle Records. UCAR complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
  • Please note that while the position description details both minimum requirements as well as desired skills and experience, we want to remind applicants that you do not need to have all the desired skills and experience to be considered for this role. If you have the passion for the work along with experience in a related field, you are encouraged to apply. We can provide on-the-job training for the rest.

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.


Job Summary
Start Date
As soon as possible
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Required Education
Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience
2 to 3 years
Email this Job to Yourself or a Friend
Indicates required fields