University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Project Scientist I in Boulder, Colorado

Project Scientist I

Tracking Code


Job Description

Job Title:Project Scientist I

Location: Boulder, CO

Type:Full-time, Exempt


No relocation package is offered for this position.

Work Authorization:

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

Where You Will Work:

Located in Boulder, Colorado, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is one of the world’s premier scientific institutions, with an internationally recognized staff and research program dedicated to advancing knowledge, providing community-based resources, and building human capacity in the atmospheric and related sciences. NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

What You Will Do:

This is a professional scientific position with responsibilities for identifying, leading, and conducting research in the field of high-resolution modeling of the atmospheric boundary layer using numerical weather prediction models and turbulence-resolving large-eddy simulation techniques. Specific duties include diagnosing and forecasting of low-level wind and turbulence for aviation purposes, especially in support of emerging modes of manned and unmanned aerial transportation, and developing and evaluating turbulence algorithms applicable for rural and urban environments using high-resolution numerical simulations. The incumbent is expected to write proposals and communicate scientific results in both oral and written form by giving talks at national and international scientific meetings and by publishing papers in scientific journals.


  • Conducts high-quality, independent and collaborative research related to the broad scope and functions of the job, specifically focused on developing and evaluating advanced methods and modeling strategies for forecasting low-level aviation-scale wind and turbulence in potentially complex natural and man-made landscapes.

  • Conducts fundamental research into the nature and causes of aviation-scale turbulence, mainly by combining high-resolution multi-scale weather modeling and field observations for relevant case studies. Then exploits the results of such studies to develop novel diagnostics for use in reduced-order forecasting turbulence models and to improve higher-fidelity modeling strategies and feasibility for operational implementation.

  • Maintains knowledge of current developments in topics of relevance to the research projects.

  • Publishes results in peer-reviewed journals and participates in national and international meetings on a regular basis.

  • Investigates new opportunities for funding and engages in preparation of proposals; may serve as Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on funded proposals.

What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience:

  • Ph.D. in atmospheric or physical science, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of atmospheric boundary layer dynamics and free atmosphere turbulence.

  • Understanding of mesoscale (including gravity wave production, propagation, and breaking) and microscale meteorological processes conducive to the formation of aviation-scale turbulence gained through numerical modeling and observational analyses, with an emphasis on the atmospheric boundary layer.

  • Understanding of varied urban effects on boundary layer and ingenuity on how to capture that in numerical models.

  • Comprehensive knowledge of numerical modeling for simulation of regional weather. Experience using the WRF model is required.

  • Comprehensive knowledge of numerical modeling using turbulence-resolving large-eddy simulation techniques.

  • Demonstrated skill in conducting and analyzing high-resolution simulations of mesoscale to microscale environments, preferably of atmospheric phenomena in complex natural or man-made landscapes.

  • Knowledge of Unix and/or Linux computing environments using parallelized Fortran codes.

  • Demonstrated skill in manipulating and analyzing large datasets (both observations and model output).

  • Demonstrated ability to conduct high-quality, independent scientific and collaborative research, as evidenced by publications in refereed scientific journals.

  • Excellent oral and written communicating skills appropriately directed at varied audiences, including the scientific or technical research community, program sponsors, or industry representatives.

  • Ability to work with a team of scientists and establish and maintain professional relationships within and outside the organization.

  • Ability to prioritize, organize, and follow through on tasks with little supervision.

  • Ability to apply independent decision-making and initiative within the scope of assigned tasks.

Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Experience with development and implementation of algorithms within atmospheric models.

  • Experience with operational weather prediction models like GFS, RAP, HRRR, UK Met Office, or ECMWF.

  • Familiarity with large-eddy simulation WRF-LES model.

  • Familiarity with utilization of message passing interface (MPI) libraries for parallelization purposes.

  • Familiarity with common data formats such as Netcdf.

  • Familiarity and experience using ensemble techniques to produce probabilistic forecasts.

  • Knowledge of Matlab and Python programming languages.

What’s in it for You:

  • Compensation

  • PTO

  • Paid Holidays

  • Tuition Reimbursement

  • Benefits (Medical, Dental, Vision)

  • Retirement Plan

  • And more!

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.

Job Location

Boulder, Colorado, United States

Position Type


Appointment Type

Regular, Full-Time (R1)