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S39. Research computing for the advancement of Earth science


Closing Date: September 20, 2019

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.


As advanced computing architectures become increasingly more powerful and readily available, scientists can harness this computational power to increase the scope, complexity, and timeliness of their scientific research for greater impact on addressing societal issues.  Traditional desktop computers are no longer powerful enough to handle large, complex, data-intensive scientific problems in a reasonable amount of time, pushing scientists to navigate advanced computing paradigms without traditional computer science training.  The Core Science Systems' Core Science Analytics, Synthesis, and Libraries Advanced Research Computing (ARC) group helps scientists harness the power of advanced computing resources by offering access to supercomputing systems, along with training and consulting, to help advance the science mission of the USGS.

USGS Earth science projects that currently require high-performance computing include, but are not limited to: Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) geophysics; bioinformatics analysis; debris flow and landslide modeling and simulation; earthquake simulation and modeling; Landsat imagery analysis; National and regional scale watershed modeling; species distribution and demography; and volcanic ash plume and lava flow simulation and modeling. The bulk of code run on our current system is developed “in-house” in the following languages: Fortran, C / C++, Python, R, and Matlab. Commonly used libraries include: OpenMPI, MPICH/IMPI/Mvapich2, Hierarchical Data Format (HDF5), Network Common Data Form (NetCDF), Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL), Geometry Engine, Open Source (GEOS), Portable, Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation (PETSc), Boost, and Model Coupling Toolkit. Representative scientific applications include: Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model, OpenFOAM, NASA Ames StereoPipeline, AgiSoft Photoscan and bioinformatics applications such as Mothur, QIIME, and Stacks.

The ARC group is seeking a postdoctoral fellow to research and apply new, advanced scientific computing tools, methodologies, and architectures for the benefit of USGS earth science research.  Areas of focus could include, but are not limited to: High Performance Computing; parallel programming and model optimization; scientific visualization techniques; machine learning methods; GPU optimized code development; high-performance data analytics and “big data” architectures; and large data management and storage tools.

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

Proposed Duty Station: Lakewood, CO

Areas of PhD: Computer science, earth sciences related disciplines (geology, biology, hydrology, geophysics, etc.), applied mathematics, 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 the qualifications for: Research Computer Scientist, Research MathematicianResearch Geophysicist, Research Biologist, Research HydrologistResearch Geologist

(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: Audrey Tsujita, 916-278-9395,