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21-7. Advancing co-design of models and data networks


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 program in the USGS Water Mission Area is developing the capacity to accurately predict water availability (quantity, quality, and use) through integrated models of the complete hydrologic cycle that traditionally have been modeled separately. The program seeks to advance nationally consistent modeling approaches driven by the best available data representing climatological forcing mechanisms. We intend 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.

Models that successfully represent interactions among natural-human systems and predict water availability require sufficient supporting data. Coordinated strategies are needed for designing data acquisition plans that support successful model development. These strategies rely on evaluating the explanatory value of data within the context of model performance.

The Mendenhall Postdoctoral scholar will develop and implement processes for co-designing data networks and modeling efforts. A scaling strategy that links data across national, regional, watershed, and local scales will be established to improve the co-design of modeling and observing system experiments. Observation System and Observed System Simulation Experiments (OSEs and OSSEs) will be conducted to guide the collection of new data sets that can improve model testing and calibration.

Key questions the research seeks to address include:

  • How is the existing data network providing critical information to modeling efforts?
  • Where should new monitoring stations be added to improve model accuracy?
  • How does the structure of the experimental or proposed network change with different measured parameters of interest?

We seek a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Scholar to undertake a series of OSE/OSSEs 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, atmospheric sciences, 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