USGS in Santa Cruz, CA (USA) seeking postdoctoral researcher in coastal flood modeling

Through a partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, the USGS is seeking to hire a postdoctoral researcher to support its coastal flood modeling efforts in San Francisco Bay, with an emphasis on the impacts due to storms, sea level rise, and coastal adaptation measures. The employee will also support, as needed, the development of an operational flood model in San Francisco Bay, and the continued build out of climate change impacts modeling across the California coast and beyond. Major duties include developing more sophisticated and efficient coastal flood modeling approaches, methods for rapid, accurate flood assessments, and new approaches for integrating coastal adaptation measures into model infrastructure. Strong programming skills are essential, particularly coding in languages such as XML and Python for visualizations, data synthesis, data interpolation and transfer between Matlab and GIS-based platforms, and generating metadata.

This position is in the Coastal and Marine Geology Program at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California. The Program conducts geological, geophysical and related oceanographic studies of the coastal zones and continental margin of the Pacific coastal states, Hawaii and Alaska. The position to be filled is a Postdoctoral Researcher within our Coastal Processes Team. This is one of the leading research groups of high-energy coasts and climate impacts in the nation. We have developed the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS:, a modeling train that downscales from Global Climate Model forcing to parcel scale coastal impacts, designed to assess the joint impact of severe storms and sea-level rise for high-energy coastal settings and estuaries. We also perform extensive beach and nearshore mapping, and design complex field experiments to gain a more fundamental understanding of physical processes and test numerical models, as well as collaborate with other leading research institutions nationally and internationally.


  • Support the implementation and further development of the CoSMoS modeling system. This duty involves developing XML scripts for communication between web-based products and stand-alone numerical models, running several integrated algorithms and models (e.g., XBeach, WaveWatchIII, RFSM, and Delft3D) via a series of Matlab and Python codes, ensuring model stability, and managing large volumes of data.
  • Performs post-processing of large model data sets, field data, model-measurement comparisons.
  • Prepares written reports or parts of reports describing data collection, analysis techniques and interpretation.
  • Presents project results at meetings and conferences in collaboration with the supervisor.
  • Prepares data, illustrations, and maps for publication of reports and peer-reviewed journal articles, and for presentations at scientific meetings.


  • Extensive experience with Matlab, XML, and Python.
  • Strong knowledge or familiarity with several of the following numerical models: Delft3D, XBeach, WaveWatch3, RDHM, 3Di, and/or RFSM.
  • Coding skills for visualization, synthesis, and interpolation of time-series and three-dimensional data, for generating metadata, and transfer between Matlab and GIS-based platforms.
  • Knowledge of times-series and statistical analyses methods.
  • Knowledge of techniques used in collecting oceanographic data.
  • Skill and knowledge to evaluate quality and interpret modeling and oceanographic data.

Position: Postdoctoral Researcher

Topic: Coastal Flooding in San Francisco Bay

Agency: United States Geological Survey (hire through University of California, Berkeley)

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Length of position: 2 years

Salary: $72,000/yr

Start Date: Negotiable, but preferably by September 1, 2016

*U.S. Citizenship NOT required

Primary Advisor: Patrick Barnard (USGS)

Co-Advisors: Li Erikson (USGS), Liv Herdman (USGS), and Mark Stacey (UC Berkeley)

To apply: Email your CV and 3 professional references to Patrick Barnard ( by April 29, 2016