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21-10. Integrated water availability modeling


Closing Date: November 1, 2022

This Research Opportunity will be filled depending on the availability of funds. All application materials must be submitted through USAJobs by 11:59 pm, US Eastern Standard Time, on the closing date.

Please communicate with individual Research Advisor(s) on the right to discuss project ideas and answer specific questions about the Research Opportunity.

How to Apply


The scientific challenge of addressing water needs of the 21st century is complex. Better integration of data, knowledge of complex hydrologic systems, and modeling tools across scientific disciplines, programs, and agencies will be required to improve and accelerate the development of water prediction capabilities. To face growing demand on the Nation’s water resources, the Integrated Water Prediction (IWP) Program is developing the capacity to predict water availability (quantity, quality, and use) through integrated models of the complete hydrologic cycle, including both natural and human systems, that traditionally have been modeled separately.  

The IWP Program seeks to advance nationally consistent modeling approaches driven by the best available data representing climatological forcing mechanisms and land use change. The Mendenhall postdoctoral scholar will explore how to improve the forecasting of hydrologic states, fluxes, and outcomes for water availability. Specifically, predictions of water availability at a range of temporal and spatial scales will be improved by modeling water budgets, water use, temperature, constituents, and ecological conditions.

In addition to modeling and improving our understanding of physical hydrologic systems, the Mendenhall postdoctoral scholar will examine the utility of process-based, data-driven, and/or hybrid approaches to study the vulnerability and resilience of human and natural systems at many scales in a flexible, modular way by utilizing software engineering best practices.

Because the behavior of earth systems are not known with certainty, characterizing earth and human systems with data, observations, and models– and ultimately predicting future water availability– has inherent uncertainties. The Mendenhall postdoctoral scholar will explore the implications of these uncertainties on human and earth system dynamics and how they may impact future projections of water availability.

Key questions the research will address include:

  • How do components of water supply and demand vary over time and space? ​
  • Where and when is there an imbalance between supply and demand, and what is the cause?   ​
  • What factors are driving this variability?​
  • What are the relative influences of climate change, land use change, water use and management?  ​
  • What is the potential vulnerability and resilience of human populations and ecosystems to water shortages, surpluses, and degradation of water quality? ​

We seek a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Scholar to investigate water availability and sustainable water management, including human system interactions, through a variety of different modeling approaches in selected basins or at a national scale.

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Research Advisor(s) early in the application process to discuss project ideas.

Proposed Duty Station(s): Remote duty station in the United States

Areas of PhD: Hydrology, geology, Earth sciences or related fields (candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines, but with extensive knowledge and skills relevant to the Research Opportunity may be considered).

Qualifications: Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications:  Research Hydrologist or Research Physical Scientist

(This type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the occupations stated above.  However, other titles may be applicable depending on the applicant's background, education, and research proposal. The final classification of the position will be made by the Human Resources specialist.)

Human Resources Office Contact:  Emanuel Williams, 303-236-0569,

Apply Here