Postdoc research position in data assimilation and remote sensing

Description of Responsibilities

The Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research II (GESTAR II) consortium at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) invites applications for a postdoctoral research position in the fields of atmospheric science, earth science, machine learning, or related fields in the Global Modeling and Assimilation office, NASA Code 610.1. The lab works to maximize the impact of satellite observations in climate, weather and atmospheric composition prediction using comprehensive global models and data assimilation. To achieve this goal, the GMAO develops models and assimilation systems, generates products to support NASA instrument teams and the NASA Earth science program, and undertakes scientific research to inform system development pathways.

The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission is an important pathfinder mission for aerosol data assimilation in the Global Modelling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The hyperspectral OCI instrument, as well as the two multi-angle polarimeters (HARP-2 and SPEX-One) that comprise PACE are significant enhancements in aerosol remote sensing capabilities that require new developments in the GEOS aerosol data assimilation system. The goal of this postdoctoral research position is to conduct theoretical research on the impact of PACE observations on GEOS aerosol forecasts. GMAO’s proxy datasets of simulated observations of polarimeters and radiometers will be used to prototype a machine learning based aerosol retrieval algorithm suitable for aerosol data assimilation, which includes prognostic error prediction. The impacts of these data will be investigated with GEOS data assimilation experiments.

Responsibilities also include contributing to the publication of articles in peer-reviewed journals describing the research results and the contributing to writing proposals to support research. This an early career position.

Required Qualifications

  • PhD in Atmospheric Sciences Earth Science, Computer Science, Physics, or related fields, experience in data assimilation and/or aerosol remote sensing is required
  • Scientific programming experience in Fortran and/or C++ is required, as well as working knowledge of Python for computational science and machine learning.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Familiarly with aerosol models and their parameterizations is a plus.
  • A demonstrated ability to contribute to team-focused developments of large, complex computational systems.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to think critically and innovatively with an interest in interdisciplinary studies.

Position Location

Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.


The successful candidate will join the GESTAR II Consortium which supports over 120 researchers based primarily at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). GESTAR II researchers work to create extensive opportunities for breakthroughs in earth and atmospheric science research, carrying out observational, experimental and theoretical research in support of NASA strategic Earth Science mission objectives.

Goddard’s Earth Science Division is home to about 200 civil servants and over 1200 collaborating researchers and support personnel., dedicated to studying the Earth as an integrated system that includes the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere, cryosphere, and geosphere. The Division operates as a component of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate that collaborate on interdisciplinary research with the Astrophysics Science, Heliophysics Science, and Solar System Exploration Divisions.

How to Apply

Candidates should provide three (3) items for a complete application: a cover letter, CV (including publication list) and a 3-page statement of research interests. Short-listed candidates will be asked to supply three letters of reference at a later date. All materials and inquiries should be sent by email Subject line: Subject line: Task 157: Researcher Position to: Halley Thompson (

The nominal starting date is in mid-October 2022, but alternate dates are possible depending on availability.

Completed applications received by December 16 will receive full consideration; however, the posting will remain open until the position is filled.

Salary and benefits are competitive, commensurate with experience and qualifications. The GESTAR II consortium and NASA/GSFC are committed to building a diverse group and encourage applications from women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans. All GESTAR II institutions are Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employers.

GESTAR II employees work in a federal facility. Due to rules imposed by NASA, GESTAR II will not accept applications from citizens of designated countries or those born in a designated country unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S. or have other protected status under 8. U.S.C.1324b(a)(3). The Designated Countries List is available here.

For more information about the proposed research, contact Dr. Patricia Castellanos (