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CIRES/PSD Software Engineer in Ensemble-Based Data Assimilation for Coupled Models

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Job Summary

NOAA is developing a next-generation, community-based, coupled prediction system for weather and short-term climate prediction (the Unified Forecast System or UFS). The Joint Effort for Data Assimilation Integration (JEDI) is the data assimilation framework for the UFS.  The University of Colorado’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and the Physics Sciences Division (PSD) at the NOAA Earth System Research Lab in Boulder, Colorado, seeks a research scientist with software engineering skills to help develop and ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) solver for JEDI and then use it to perform research on coupled ocean/atmosphere/sea-ice data assimilation to inform the development of NOAA’s next generation operational coupled ensemble prediction system for sub-seasonal to seasonal time scales.

The applicant will work with both the JEDI core development team and scientists at NOAA/PSD to transition the capabilities in the current operational NOAA EnKF system into JEDI, and then use the new system to investigate outstanding research questions related to coupled data assimilation. These questions include how to efficiently initialize the UFS ensemble, using the cross-covariances between the model state components to improve the coupled state estimate while respecting the differing space and time scales of the coupled state variability (and in the sampling error of the ensemble-based covariance estimate).

We are seeking a Master’s level or Ph.D scientist with data assimilation experience and modern software-engineering skills. We expect candidates to be comfortable working in Python, Fortran 2003, and C++, be well-versed in ensemble data assimilation concepts, and competent in using high-performance computing systems.

Appointment will be made at the Professional Research Assistant or Researcher Associate level depending on degree, qualifications and experience.  

Who We Are

At CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, more than 800 environmental scientists work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at the Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, and solid Earth sciences. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

Physical Sciences Division Website:

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

The researcher will work with NOAA and CIRES scientists at PSD to develop an ensemble-based coupled data assimilation capability in NOAA’s operational global prediction system. 
Tasks will include: 
  1. Help to develop and test a EnKF solver in JEDI that is able to reproduce the current operational capability for global weather prediction.
  2. Use the new system to perform coupled atmosphere/ocean/sea-ice data assimilation experiments to inform the development of an operational coupled ensemble prediction system.

What You Should Know

CIRES commits to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder, but will be physically situated in the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305.  If you are the selected finalist you will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access.

What We Can Offer

We can offer a competitive salary, commensurate with experience, along with a generous benefits package.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be Collaborative. Be Impactful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

A Master’s or PhD in an applicable science, mathematics, or engineering field.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Demonstrated knowledge of data assimilation for geophysical systems and issues related to coupled prediction for the Earth system.
  • Familiarity with modern object-oriented software development, preferably in C++ with some knowledge of Fortran.
  • Experience with Python.
  • The ability to work both within a team environment and conduct research independently.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume or CV.
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position. In your cover letter, please describe your experience with web development. 
  3. List of 3 references: the names, professional titles, and contact information of those who are familiar with your qualifications and work history.
    • If you are selected as the finalist, we will contact you through email and request that you submit 1 name and email of a reference who will be asked to submit a letter of recommendation. This information will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee.
This position will remain open until filled. 

Questions may be directed to Jeff Whitaker and/or Tom Hamill 

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Name: Jeff Whitaker

Posting Contact Email:

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.