Postdoc/Research Scientist Position in Aerosol Modeling

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 field of atmospheric science. 

The Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) is NASA’s leading Earth system modeling organization that uses computer models and data assimilation techniques to maximize the impact of NASA’s program of Earth Observations. GMAO members perform research, develop Earth system models and assimilation systems, and produce quasi-operational products in support of NASA’s missions. The “Goddard Earth Observing System” (GEOS) family of models is used for applications across a wide range of spatial scales, from kilometers to many tens of kilometers. The modular structure of the models allows the inclusion of a range of physical, chemical, and biological processes, which are chosen according to the application.

The Earth System Observatory (ESO) is NASA’s response to the recommendations of the 2017 Earth Sciences Decadal Survey conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The ESO is being conceived as a set of fully integrated missions addressing 4 main Earth science focus areas including aerosols, clouds, convection and precipitation (jointly referred to as AOS, the Atmosphere Observing System). ESO ground breaking observations will provide critical measurements to address societally relevant problems in climate change, natural hazard mitigation, fighting forest fires, and improving real-time agricultural processes. 

We are seeking a postdoc/research scientist to engage in the development of aerosol components integrating the GEOS Earth System Model. Emphasis is given to the interaction of aerosols with clouds and precipitation in support of NASA’s Atmosphere Observing System (AOS) mission. Activities will include the development of microphysically based removal processes, advancing the bulk GOCART aerosol scheme as well as microphysical schemes such as the Modal Aerosol Module (MAM), and the tight coupling of these components with cloud/precipitation processes in the GEOS model. The successful candidate will work closely with data assimilation scientists for maximizing the impact of NASA spaceborne measurements on air-quality reanalyzes and forecasts. Activities will include algorithm and code development, preparation of ancillary datasets, designing and running experiments, and testing/scientific validation of the resulting software and data products. 

All development will take place using an open-source science approach based on modern configuration management practices, on GitHub. The successful candidate will be a self-starter who is energetic and outgoing and works well in a team environment with scientists, software developers, and operations analysts. We are seeking candidates with potential for being leaders in the field who could eventually lead the aerosol modeling activities at GMAO.

Required Qualifications:

The successful candidate must have a solid knowledge of aerosol science and previous exposure to the implementation of aerosol schemes in earth system models. 

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

  • PhD in Atmospheric Sciences Earth Science, Computer Science, Physics, or related fields 
  • A strong background in scientific software development in High Performance Computing (HPC) environment is required, including the development of parallel applications. 
  • Scientific programming experience in Fortran and/or C++, as well as working knowledge of Python for computational science and machine learning.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Previous experience with GitHub/GitLab or similar git-based environment
  • Familiarity with the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF)
  • Familiarity with data assimilation techniques, especially when applied to aerosol data
  • 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.

The successful candidate will join the GESTAR II Consortium which supports over 120 researchers based primarily at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. 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.

The nominal starting date is Spring 2023, but alternate dates are possible depending on availability. 

Candidates should provide 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: Task 176: Researcher Position to: Halley Thompson (


Completed applications received by March 3, 2023 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 research community and encourages applications from women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans. All GESTAR II institutions are Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employers.

For more information about the proposed research, contact Dr. Arlindo da Silva (