The Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), UCSD, is looking for a postdoctoral scholar to work on a project aiming to improve our understanding and develop predictions of coastal water quality. The postdoctoral scholar will be responsible for building upon an existing realistic regional numerical model to help transition the model into a predictive tool. A strong background in oceanography is required and preference will be given to those with significant expertise in numerical modeling and coastal hydrodynamics. The existing regional numerical model uses the COAWST framework (ROMS + SWAN), thus experience within this framework is desirable. The position will be located at SIO working with Dr. Falk Feddersen, Dr. Sarah Giddings, Dr. Matt Spydell, Dr. Ganesh Gopalakrishanan, and Dr. Bruce Cornuelle. The postdoctoral scholar will help develop the real-time modeling capabilities (reading in real-time forcing fields, automating outputs, etc). The postdoctoral scholar will also examine model performance and potential improvements to model performance using data assimilation. The postdoctoral scholar will have the opportunity to work on scientific analyses of model output on topics ranging from applied (the modeling tool development and applications) to basic (the interaction between outflows and breaking surface gravity waves, internal tides, etc.). Moreover, there will be opportunities for interaction with scientists in other fields related to the project as well as graduate and undergraduate students working in the PI’s labs. This particular position and project is entirely focused on numerical modeling and comparisons to observations, however, there will likely be opportunities to participate in field work. Finally, if desired, the postdoctoral researcher will have the ability to participate in stakeholder engagement and outreach. Additional information about postdoctoral positions at UCSD, professional development and career training opportunities, and benefits can be found on the UCSD Office of Postdoctoral Scholar Affairs website.

Minimum Qualifications

  • PhD in coastal oceanography, physical oceanography, hydrodynamics, fluid dynamics or a related field from an accredited university. This Postdoctoral Scholar position is contingent upon evidence of a doctoral degree, stated research qualifications, and documentation of employment eligibility in compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
  • Hydrodynamic modeling expertise
  • Ability to collaborate effectively in a team environment
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to pursue research independently
  • Excellent organizational skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with ROMS, or the COAWST modeling framework
  • Experience with data assimilation
  • Experience using multiple coding languages (particularly Fortran90, MATLAB, python) both for hydrodynamic simulations, and for data analysis
  • Research focus in nearshore, estuarine, plume, or coastal shelf dynamics a plus

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Help develop the existing hindcast simulations into a real-time system
  • Perform model validation against existing hydrodynamic and beach water quality data
  • Investigate and implement data assimilation to improve the model accuracy
  • Contribute to dynamical understanding of surfzone/inner-shelf dispersion of coastal pollution sources
  • Publish research in peer-reviewed journals and present results at national and international conference

Research Advisor: The position will be located at SIO with lead advisor Dr. Falk Feddersen and significant interaction with Drs. Giddings, Spydell, Gopalakrishan, and Cornuelle.

Funding & Timeline: The Position is for 2 years with the possibility of extension. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. The ideal start date is January 2024 but the position can begin as soon as December 2023 and no later than March 2024. This position will be eligible to participate in the UC Postdoctoral Scholars Benefits Plan (PSBP), which includes medical, dental, vision, life, accidental death and dismemberment, disability insurance, and workers’ compensation, and which satisfies U.S. visa requirements. Eligible dependents may also participate in the medical, vision and dental plans.

To Apply: email Sarah (sgiddings at a SINGLE PDF with a cover letter, CV, and contact information for 3 references with the subject: “Real-time coastal ocean modeling postdoctoral position”. Screening of applicants will begin 15 October 2023 and will continue until the position is filled.

Additional information about UCSD employment:  Becoming a member of the UC San Diego community, you will be responsible for reviewing, understanding and following campus policies, guidelines, appointment expectations, collective bargaining agreement and research regulations. The university is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and is committed to maintaining an atmosphere that is free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, and exploitation. The university has a strong institutional commitment to excellence and diversity

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs – With Updated Interim Amendments. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine Primary Series or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, Religious Objection, and/or Deferral based on pregnancy or recent COVID-19 diagnosis and/or treatment) no later than the applicable deadline. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of receiving the most recent CDC-recommended COVID-19 booster or properly decline such booster no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Exhibit 2, Section II.C. of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Attachment for applicable deadlines. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of being Up-To-Date on seasonal influenza vaccination or properly decline such vaccination no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program Attachment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.