January 2013
Message 104

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[Met-jobs] PhD position in climate modeling

From Alan Condron <>
Date Wed, 30 Jan 2013 20:25:13 -0500

PhD Studentship: Testing the Northern Route for Younger Dryas Meltwater


Supervisor: Dr Alan Condron (University of Massachusetts Amherst)


The sudden release of meltwater from glacial lakes is thought to be the main trigger for the Younger Dryas – a 1,200 year long cold event in the Earth’s past. Yet it remains unknown as to how this freshwater flood could have cooled Earth’s climate for more than a thousand years. Recent studies have demonstrated that an Arctic meltwater source might hold the key to unraveling this mystery.  


The selected graduate student will develop and run a suite of sophisticated, high-resolution, climate model experiments. Key objectives are to (1) develop a numerical tracer model to map the pathway taken by sediment-laden meltwater plumes entering the Arctic Ocean and North Atlantic, (2) determine the sensitivity of large-scale ocean circulation and climate to Arctic meltwater and sea ice discharge.


The selected student will have the opportunity to participate in a 3-week cruise in August 2013 in the western Arctic Ocean to recover marine evidence for an Arctic drainage at the onset of the Younger Dryas.


The student will be based at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, but will also collaborate with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


The student will be provided with excellent training and mentoring that will include: attending lectures, international workshops and summer schools; running and developing a climate model (MITgcm); and learning data analysis techniques.


Applicants should hold an Undergraduate or Master’s degree in Physics, Mathematics, Oceanography, or Earth Sciences. They should be comfortable working in Linux and using data analysis software such as Matlab and/or IDL. An understanding of FORTRAN would be very advantageous. 


The studentship is expected to last 5 years and start in October 2013. The salary is estimated to be $21,000 per year and covers healthcare and tuition fees.

Applicants should contact Dr Alan Condron ( and include both a cover letter and C.V.

Dr Alan Condron
Climate System Research Center
Department of Geosciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst
MA 01003-9297
Phone 1-413-545-0659

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