Postdoctoral Researcher in Ultra Violet Radiation
Description of Work Unit
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), steward of agriculture for the nation, has long been concerned about the impacts of environmental variability and weather extremes. Changes in the environmental and weather patterns can lead to unprecedented changes in the Ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface, raising the concern of direct and indirect effects to crops, ecosystems and humans.
The UV-B Monitoring and Research Program (UVMRP) is guided by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) mission to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges and create a vision to catalyze transformative discoveries, education, and engagement to address agricultural challenges. Specifically, the UVMRP addresses NIFA’s Strategic Plan goal to advance the development and delivery of science for agricultural, forest, and range systems adapted to climate variability and to mitigate climate impacts.
The UVMRP fulfills these mandates with three established, long-duration program areas:
- Monitor and examine solar radiation (with an emphasis on UV) at the Earth’s surface,
- Study the effects of UV radiation upon agricultural crops/production, forests, rangelands, ecosystems, and weather extremes,
- Develop an Integrated Agricultural Impact Assessment System.
The post-doctoral research fellow will analyze and assimilate relevant atmospheric science parameters (with an emphasis on UV radiation) and associated land data. This position is part of an ongoing project to understand the effects of solar radiation (with an emphasis on UV) upon climatic processes. The research will focus on analyzing surface UV irradiance and land data from satellites and ground based measurements, and developing algorithms describing interactions. This will involve data screening and modeling to evaluate the interaction between UV irradiance and atmospheric properties. In addition, the effects of instrument calibration and field operations must be incorporated into this research. This position will conduct research and publish scientific findings in refereed journals, and make oral presentation at scientific conferences.
The research will apply theoretical concepts and techniques from data analyses to expand our theoretical understanding of complex impacts from surface UV irradiance and improve data quality.
Required Job Qualifications
Ph.D. in atmospheric science, applied physics, statistics, or a related discipline with focus in the transfer of solar radiation in the atmosphere and/or the remote sensing of atmospheric parameters influencing the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface.
Preferred Job Qualifications
A familiarity with radiation transfer models is desirable as well as a basic understanding of the role of radiation in climate change scenarios.
An understanding of model validation, and data interpolation techniques as well as familiarity with radiation detectors and their calibration.
Demonstrated experience and skills with programming languages such as IDL, Matlab, Python, PERL, C++, and/or FORTRAN for numerical computation. Excellent written communication skills are desired.
Experience in publishing scientific findings in refereed journals, and making presentations at scientific conferences.
Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Job Duty Category Research Duty/Responsibility
Design and conduct independent research that investigates the interaction between surface UV irradiance and land data from satellite and ground-based measurements.
Possible projects include but are not limited to:
- Develop in-situ calibration algorithm(s) for the UV and visible versions of Multi-Filter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MFRSR), especially in the 300 nm and 940 nm channels.
- Develop an interpolation algorithm (synthetic spectrum) to expand the discrete measurements from narrow-band UV and visible channels into continuous irradiances and integrate into biological spectral weighting functions (such as Flint or Caldwell).
- Develop computer codes to couple radiative transfer models such as TUV or MODTRAN into climate model frameworks.
- Compile a comprehensive report that documents the significant statistical features of the surface erythemal irradiance spanning the entire UV-b network over the history of the station deployments.
Ensure all data and scientific findings are documented.
Percentage Of Time 85 Job Duty Category Project Reporting / Meeting organization / Scientific Coordination Duty/Responsibility
This position will conduct research and publish scientific findings in refereed journals, and make oral presentations at scientific conferences, and work with collaborators on all publications.
Communicate with the principal investigator, scientists and staff on projects regarding progress to ensure all deliverables are completed in a timely manner.
Percentage Of Time 1
Search Contact Jonathan.Straube@colostate.edu
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