1+ months


University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98104


Req #: 173986
Department: EARTHLAB
Job Location: Seattle Campus
Posting Date: 11/12/2019 
Closing Info: Open Until Filled 
Salary: Salary is commensurate with education and experience. 
Shift: First Shift 

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a Great College to Work For for six consecutive years. 

The Climate Impacts Group (CIG) seeks a CIG Research Scientist to expand the CIG's capabilities for coproducing high-quality information about climate change, climate change impacts, and adaptation with our local, state, and tribal partners. Candidates who are passionate about our organizational mission and our co-production model are a must. We are seeking a candidate with the technical capabilities to use climate model output and the ability to critically think about how to use our existing or new data sets to address a variety of research questions.

The Climate Impacts Group is a fast-paced, dynamic, and deadline driven environment, which requires the Research Scientist to bring strong organizational and project management skills as well as problem-solving and priority-setting abilities. The Research Scientist will demonstrate initiative and demonstrate critical thinking and good judgment.

The Climate Impacts Group is dedicated to building the climate resilience of communities and natural systems. We are an interdisciplinary research group studying the impacts of natural climate variability and global climate change. Research at the CIG considers climate impacts at spatial scales ranging from local communities to the entire western U.S. region, with most of the work focused on the Pacific Northwest (http://cig.uw.edu).  The Climate Impacts Group is a member group of EarthLab.

EarthLab is a new initiative at the University of Washington seeking to link and apply the amazing environmental research happening at the UW with decision makers working on solutions to environmental challenges. Stewarded by the College of the Environment, EarthLab supports application-focused interdisciplinary collaboration across and beyond the University of Washington. EarthLab focuses on addressing our worlds most pressing environmental challenges catalyzing collaborations with partners across the private, public, and non-profit sectors. By linking knowledge and action to accomplish meaningful change, EarthLab will help develop lasting solutions that are scientifically sound, technically feasible, and economically viable, while promoting equity and justice.

The College of the Environment promotes diversity and inclusivity among our students, faculty, staff, and public. Thus, we are strongly seeking candidates whose experiences have prepared them to fulfill our commitment to inclusion and have given them the confidence to fully engage audiences from a wide spectrum of backgrounds. The University of Washington (UW) is located in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, with a dynamic, multicultural community of 3.7 million people and a range of ecosystems from mountains to ocean. The UW serves a diverse population of 80,000 students, faculty and staff, including 25% first-generation college students, over 25% Pell Grant students, and faculty from over 70 countries. The UW is a recipient of a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award to increase the advancement of women faculty in science, engineering, and math(see http://advance.washington.edu/).

We are looking for a candidate who has some experience with the data types we use most frequently, such as climate model output, hydrologic models, and meteorological data sets. But more importantly, we are looking for a critical thinker who can independently deal with a variety of data types and processes and proactively learn technical skills consistent with the needs of the full CIG research team as we co-produce knowledge with our partners. We hope to attract a candidate who is passionate about our use-inspired mission of co-producing science and the topic of climate change impacts and adaptation. This is a full-time research position with no teaching expectations and no path to University tenure.


The research scientist will independently work with climate model data, physical process models, and data visualization techniques to answer research questions. This person will be responsible for critically thinking about the creative application of existing or new data sets with guidance from the CIGs senior research scientists. They will independently evaluate project needs and identify key questions or issues, seeking out assistance from colleagues and peers when necessary. While we may ask for assistance in proposal development, this position will not be responsible for developing their own line of climate change, impacts, and adaptation work. This position will assist in the preparation of reports, papers, and presentations. They also may be asked to learn new technical skills such as unfamiliar physical process models (e.g., specific hydrologic models) or data visualization techniques (e.g., Washington Tracking Network, Tableau).

Manipulating and interpreting climate data to support CIG research objectives;
Manipulating and interpreting hydrological and meteorological data to support CIG research objectives;
Tailoring and running physical process models;
Downscaling global climate model projections;
Drawing from and manipulating data from regional climate models.

Data Visualization
Developing data visualizations in support of CIGs senior researcher scientists and our partners.

Grant writing and proposal development
Collaborate with CIGs senior research scientists to identify grant opportunities that further the CIGs mission;
Write grant or proposal sections as needed.

As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs.  For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.


Bachelors degree in computer science, mathematics, engineering, earth sciences or a related field and at least 2 years of experience;
Programming experience associated with scientific data analysis, physical modeling, or both (i.e., ability to implement, modify, and optimize physical model simulations, with an emphasis on weather, climate, and hydrological models);
Familiarity with manipulating and managing large geophysical data sets (millions of individual files, some up to several GB in size, managing a total archive of about 100 TB) in a variety of formats (e.g., ascii, unformatted binary, and formatted binary such as netCDF, HDF, etc.);
Ability to develop technical documentation and guidance for using these datasets;
Experience should include python, either FORTRAN or C, and a high level of expertise with shell scripting and UNIX/Linux environments;
Strong problem-solving skills and an ability to quickly adapt to new topics and challenges (e.g., research areas, legacy code, new software tools);
Strategic and critical thinker; an energetic self-starter;
Attention to detail and insistence on technical accuracy;
Strong team member/team approach.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except where there are legal requirements such as license/certification/registration.

Masters degree or PhD in computer science, mathematics, engineering, earth sciences or related field;
Data visualization experience using GIS, Tableau, or other data visualization platforms;
Experience with co-production and use-inspired research;
Experience with applied climate impacts and adaptation research;
Superior writing and oral communication skills; demonstrated ability to communicate complex scientific information in clear and concise language appropriate for diverse audiences (e.g., scientists, business people, policy makers, university students, mass media, etc.).

Culture of the Climate Impacts Group

We are looking for an individual who will complement the strengths of our team and be able to build on our strong existing relationships with a wide range of stakeholders and partners. Qualities and attributes that are part of our culture and highly valued include:
Taking leadership and initiative;
Being willing to pitch in as needed to ensure success of team;
Being timely and professional in all interactions;
Treating others with dignity and respect;
Holding sensitive information in confidence;
Maintaining a sense of humor;
Seeking continuous improvement.

Application Process:
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select Apply to this position. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your My Jobs page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

The University of Washington is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 / 206-543-6452 (tty) or dso@uw.edu.


Posted: 2019-12-05 Expires: 2020-02-02

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University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98104
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