August 2017
Message 18

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[Met-jobs] Postdoctoral Research Position, Seattle, Washington, USA - Air Quality Modeler with Satellite Expertise

From Roger Brugge <>
To "" <>
Date Fri, 4 Aug 2017 08:21:42 +0000

Title: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Air Quality Modeler with Satellite 
Expertise, Full Time, 100% FTE
Location: Seattle,WA
Duration: Initial appointment is for one year and renewable up to three years 
depending on performance.
Salary: Commensurate with experience

We are seeking a postdoctoral research scientist with expertise in air quality 
models and satellite data to support innovative research improving smoke 
forecasting tools that support wildfire incidents throughout the United States. 
The successful applicant will be expected to do atmospheric and air quality 
modeling and to develop systems and analyses using satellite data to improve 
model performance in modeling smoke from wildland fires. The position is with 
the University of Washington (UW) School of Environmental and Forest Sciences 
and supports research done collaboratively with the US Forest Service (USFS).

Wildland fires emit a wide variety of trace gases and aerosol into the 
atmosphere which continue to undergo many chemical and physical transformations 
as well as interacting with atmospheric processes. The Postdoc will lead an 
effort applying satellite information to improve the simulation of wildland 
fire smoke in atmospheric and air quality (AQ) models such as the Community 
multi-scale air quality (CMAQ) modeling system, or Weather Research Forecasting 
(WRF)-Chem model, or WRF-SFire model on scales ranging from sub-kilometer to 
12-km (regional to continental) scales. These models are being developed for 
use in a suite of air quality tools being used by fire incident command to 
support decisions on the fire as well as discussions with air regulatory and 
public health officials in the areas affected by smoke including influencing 
public health notifications. The postdoc will work on improving these air 
quality modeling systems and use satellite information (e.g. AOD, FRP, etc... 
from platforms such as GOES, VIIRS, and MODIS) to improve model initialization 
and model evaluation, as well as to develop fundamental scientific improvements 
to various model components.

The work will be conducted as part of multidisciplinary team, integrating data 
from many sources and disciplines such as fire ecology, atmospheric chemistry, 
fire weather, fire behavior and combustion, and field campaigns of land and 
airborne measurements. The basic existing modeling system is the BlueSky smoke 
modeling framework, which links together fire activity, mapped fuel loadings, 
fuel consumption and emission models, and algorithms for fire spread and 
vertical allocation emissions into dispersion and atmospheric chemistry models 
to produce smoke forecasts. BlueSky is applied to a variety of scales and 
regions to support wildfire incident command teams. The goal with this position 
is to use satellite information to improve the fundamental science and delivery 
of these forecast products – implementing them operationally, evaluating the 
system, doing case study analysis and improving individual components of the 
system such as plume rise, time allocation of emissions, or model 
initialization or nudging. The successful candidate will be adept at installing 
and setting up air quality modeling systems such as WRF-CHEM and CMAQ in a 
LINUX environment, processing emission inventory data, and analyzing large 
atmospheric and air quality datasets. This position also provides the 
opportunity to work with a wide user community involved in smoke and fire, 
nationally and internationally.

The position will provide an outstanding opportunity to apply a variety of 
field and analytical skills to perform original and applied research, present 
the results at scientific meetings and trainings, and publish first-author 
papers in peer-reviewed journals. The appointment is for one year renewable up 
to three years conditional upon performance. The stipend is negotiable 
depending upon experience and includes benefits. The position is located at the 
Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory in Seattle, Washington, USA.

• Ph.D. in atmospheric science, geography, engineering, or similar field
• Experience installing and running atmospheric and air quality models such as
CMAQ, WRF-Chem, WRF-SFire, and perhaps GEOS-Chem
• Experience working with satellite datasets such as AOD, FRP, CO, NOX, and O3 
platforms and instruments such as AQUA, TERRA, VIIRS, GOES, CALIPSO, CATS,
• Experience processing emission inventory data for air quality models
• Experience evaluating atmospheric and air quality modeling systems
• Experience with manipulating and analyzing large spatial datasets
• High-level R and/or Python programming skills
• Comfort in working in UNIX/LINUX environment
• Data and workflow management skills
• Strong writing and presentation skills, including a track record of 
publications and scientific conference presentations
• Ability to work in a collaborative environment across many disciplines

Application Instructions:

For information about the position, contact Dr. Susan O’Neill,,, 206-732-7851

Interested individuals should send a CV, brief statement of qualifications, and 
contact information for 3 references to:
Dr. Ernesto Alvarado
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences University of Washington
Box 352100
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-616-6920

The incumbent will have opportunities for professional development through the 
University of Washington Office of Postdoctoral Affairs 
( and-post-docs/post-doctoral-affairs/).

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity 
employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment 
without regard to, among other things, race, religion, color, national origin, 
sex, age, status as protected veterans, or status as qualified individuals with 
disabilities. University of Washington faculty engage in teaching, research, 
and service.

Attachment: PostDocResearchAssociate_AtmModeler_SatelliteData_FINAL_20170622.pdf
Description: PostDocResearchAssociate_AtmModeler_SatelliteData_FINAL_20170622.pdf

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