Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Petrichor → Auld Lang Syne → Suzy Greenberg

Climate Scientist opportunity @ICF, Washington DC

Climate Scientist


ICF is seeking a Climate Scientist to support our Climate, Energy Efficiency, and Transportation line of business in Washington, DC.  The majority of the work will support the Climate Adaptation and Resilience portfolio, which works at all levels of government and with commercial clients to understand and manage risks posed by climate change and to enhance resilience of energy and water supplies, transportation and cyber systems, other critical infrastructure, and the vital societal and natural elements that make our communities whole. Improving resilience requires proactive planning and leadership, from the federal level to the municipal level and successful implementation relies on clearly communicated and peer-reviewed science and strong public-private partnerships.
The consultant chosen for this position will provide technical expertise related to the analysis and interpretation of weather and climate data to support this work.
This position will be based in Washington, D.C.
What you’ll be doing…
  • Serve as a technical expert on multi-disciplinary teams on projects focused on climate adaptation and resilience projects
  • Provide technical expertise and activity leadership related to the analysis of weather and climate data
  • Prepare presentations, reports, memoranda, and other communication materials as needed.
  • Complete tasks in fast-paced and self-motivated environment in a timely and efficient manner.


What you’ll need to have…
  • Master’s degree in atmospheric science, meteorology, geography, or Earth science, with a focus on physical climate science.
  • 6+ years of relevant experience.
  • Ability to analyze, interpret, and appropriately apply climate model output and meteorological observations for climate impact and risk analyses.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills; ability to communicate complex climate information to non-scientists to inform decision making processes
  • Organized, detail oriented, and the ability to prioritize and multi-task
  • Skilled in one or more programming languages (e.g., R,)  to process large environmental data sets
  • Proficiency in MS Office Applications (Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel)
Our Preferred Skills/Experience…
  • Doctorate degree in atmospheric science, meteorology, geography, or Earth science, with a focus on physical climate science
  • Technical and team management experience for complex projects in a consulting environment
  • Knowledge of climate downscaling methodologies
  • Ability to analyze, interpret, and appropriately apply coastal climate data information (e.g., tide gauges and the analysis of sea level rise) and models (e.g. surge models)
  • Knowledge of recurrence interval calculation methodologies
  • Fluency in use of climate information across time scales
  • Use of climate information in developing countries
  • Understanding of the fundamentals of climate vulnerability and risk assessment and adaptation
  • Strong client relationships and contacts
Professional Skills…
  • Strong communications skills, including writing and presentations
  • Strong analytical, problem-solving, and decision making capabilities
  • Team player with the ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to be flexible to handle multiple priorities
  • Well-developed time management skills
About ICF
ICF (NASDAQ:ICFI) is a global consulting and technology services provider with more than 5,000 professionals focused on making big things possible for our clients. We are business analysts, public policy experts, technologists, researchers, digital strategists, social scientists and creatives. Since 1969, government and commercial clients have worked with ICF to overcome their toughest challenges on issues that matter profoundly to their success. Come engage with us at
ICF offers an excellent benefits package, an award winning talent development program, and fosters a highly skilled, energized and empowered workforce.
ICF is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity at all levels. (EOE – Minorities/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities/Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity)

Primary Location

 : United States-District of Columbia-Washington

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Phish observatory, George, WA

.@phish Nice OBS shoutout by Trey at around 3:32  to observe the night sky.  Nice

Monday, May 2, 2016

Space 2.0 takes off

(photo taken at Astro Digital)
After returning from last week’s Space2.0 conference in Silicon Valley last week, a number of assumptions were confirmed.  Chief among the confirmations: (a) there is significant value to be generated from location-based information derived from space-based technologies, and (b) achieving value will not be easy.  

Sensors, small-sats, machine learning, computer vision, rapid analytics, new markets, etc....  These were just a few of the many topics discussed over the course of the three day meeting, and there is plenty of room for optimism regarding Newspace.  But as many speakers noted, optimism needs to be viewed cautiously.  As a well-known game changer in the space industry (and electric cars, and solar energy, and transportation, and…) has stated, ‘Space is hard’.  Taking new concepts to market is difficult in any industry.  Then when we add on risks associated with launch failure, changing attitudes towards privacy, and the proliferation of new sources of data from both ground and space, we can easily see how months can turn into years.  Difficulty notwithstanding, those of us in the space-based information industry have always known that there is something ‘there’.  However, monetizing what is there towards a cost effective commercial application has typically proven to be a significant challenge, with many more misses than hits.  With the avalanche of new data coupled with the computational resources to analyze ever increasing volumes, there does seem to be a new sense of optimism, and the future in my view is bright.  While many are in search of the killer app, practicality will trump flash, and solid technology platforms that address specific business challenges would appear to be better bets, from both a business adaptation perspective as well as a funding perspective, as many of the participants in attendance from the venture community can attest to. Further, as more back end moves to the cloud, this frees up workers to creatively engage with their data, spending more time thinking about how their structures and solutions fit the needs of commercial customers, rather than managing and organizing (the 80% of data science).  It follows that partnerships will be necessary as a key ingredient for success for both large and small players.  Also, no emerging company, no matter how innovative the technology may be, will receive the necessary funding and support to mature, without a solid commercial proposal.  The space sector is not one where outsized returns are realized over a short time frame. Patience is needed on the part of the funders, and this needs to be balanced with the needs and focus of a solid technology platform, complimented by a management team that can balance innovation with focus.

In my opinion, this is a great time for both established and fledgling companies to be participating in Newspace.  The opportunities are everywhere, but this does need to be balanced with focus.  My hope, and expectation, is that many of the views and aspirations expressed at Space2.0_2016 will be on their way to becoming a reality at Space2.0_2017.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Senior Research Scientist in Climate Change Data Integration, Dissemination, and Informatics at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

posted on KDnuggets


The Climate Change Science Institute (CCSI and National Center for Computational Science (NCCS - at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Lab) have an opening for a senior research scientist in data integration, dissemination, and informatics (DIDI). 

Institutes and centers bring together expert researchers and tools from across the Lab to focus on complex and novel interdisciplinary research projects. The CCSI focus is on Earth system modeling; terrestrial ecosystem sciences; environmental data management; and impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability research. The NCCS focus is on using novel and state-of-the-art computer and computational approaches to help researchers deliver new scientific knowledge in a range of scientific areas including climate. The CCSI and NCCS collaborate closely on research to better understand the climate system and the implications of climate change. 

The current DIDI mission is ensuring that researchers addressing climate change and its effects can readily discover and use data. The CCSI curates more than 10,000 diverse environmental and climate data sets and many tools for their management, navigation, and analysis, including atmospheric radiation measurements about cloud formation and its influence on heat transfer; carbon dioxide and other atmospheric trace gases of interest to climate studies, and a broad range of biogeochemical data. These data are regularly used by world-class researchers and cited in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's assessment reports. The DIDI effort optimizes strategies for proactively supporting integrated experiment-observation-modeling (MODEX) research and for coping with the variety, velocity, and volume of big data that climate and environmental sciences generate. 

We are looking for a nationally and internationally recognized thought leader to help lead and grow the DIDI research efforts. This person will help us solve the "big data" problem associated with studying the climate system and how natural and human systems influence and are impacted by a changing climate. A key focus will be identifying, accessing, and using data in novel ways to address some of the most pressing challenges facing humankind. The successful candidate will be able to draw upon the substantial expertise and tools available at the CCSI, NCCS, and the Lab; including one of the fastest and most capable supercomputers in the world; world-class climate, population, and urban dynamic models; sophisticated data management and visualization tools; and an exceptional collaborative research environment. 

Major Duties/Responsibilities 

The successful candidate will lead DIDI research projects and staff that advance the use of data, informatics, data architectures, and computational approaches to better understand and solve climate-related challenges facing humankind. The candidate will develop data infrastructure and capabilities to support the full data lifecycle of how models, experiments, and observations are integrated together to advance climate science; ensure that these systems complement existing and emerging community data activities and requirements; and anticipate innovative community data tools needed by the climate research community. 

The research will also explore opportunities for linking DIDI research to model development and analysis efforts associated with the Department of Energy Office of Science's next generation, exascale climate model development project called the Accelerated Climate Model for Energy. This model will produce enormous amounts of data and information at scales useful for regional to local decision-making. A strong focus for both CCSI and NCCS is improving our understanding of how urban ecosystems impact the climate system and are influenced by a changing climate since urban areas have such a significant impact on energy and water use and the production of greenhouse gases. Thus, we are particularly interested in candidates that have experience and interest in growing the data, informatics, and computational approach associated with this important research area. Candidates with background or interest in research at the energy-water nexus are also of strong interest. Responsibilities will include development of new research proposals, communication with research sponsors, execution of research tasks, supervision of support staff, and communication of research outcomes via publications and professional presentations. 

Qualifications Required 
  • Ph.D. in data, informatics, or computational science and relative domain (e.g., climate, environmental, etc.) with strong computational and data backgrounds.
  • Research experience in optimizing the use of big data, data mining, data visualization data architectures, and computational approaches in novels ways to better understand and solve climate-related challenges facing humankind.
  • Track record of research excellence as measured by research grants, peer-reviewed publications, and service to the DIDI research community
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to lead and work effectively with interdisciplinary research teams
  • Eligibility to work in the United States

Preferred Qualifications: 
  • +10 years beyond PhD
  • Experience with stakeholder engagement and science communication
  • Demonstrated success mentoring early career researchers
  • Project management experience
  • Interest and experience in using data to better understand how urban ecosystems impact the climate system and are influenced by a changing climate, the energy-water nexus, and preparing society for and improving resiliency to extreme events

For more information please contact our recruiter, Julianna Presley, or apply online at -Reference NB50526657. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Solving Big Problems @SOLVE_MIT

Recently I was fortunate enough to participate in the inaugural SOLVE conference, held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  In the words of the conference organizers, ‘Solve’s mission is to inspire extraordinary people to work together to solve some of the world’s toughest problems.’   The event was organized around four pillars: Fuel, Make, Cure and Learn.  As anything agriculture or climate related was housed under the Fuel pillar, most of my interactions were among participants with an agriculture, energy or climate focus.  Fortunately, the Food-Energy-Water nexus theme was present throughout many of the sessions.  I was certainly grateful to be invited to participate in this event and my expectations were exceeded.  Most of the conference was subject to Chatham House Rule so specifics can not be discussed, but a notable highlight from the opening (public) keynote is described below.

SOLVE kicked off with a keynote by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs (@JeffDSachs) who directs the Earth Institute at Columbia.  He energetically delivered the updates around the new Sustainable Development Goals, with one very noteworthy announcement.  I have seen Professor Sachs discuss the SDGs in the past, but this time he really emphasized the importance of data and analytics towards meeting these goals so that they really do what they set out to do.  For years, many of the goals have been platforms for project based work, but in the end when it is time to evaluate the effectiveness of the instituted measures, the results were unclear.  It was very refreshing to see the emphasis on what the analytics related approaches can provide; further, it was clear that without a data-driven emphasis, many of the goals are doomed to failure.  In addition, this approach plays right into the business model and platform that we offer at aWhere.

Many potential partnerships were established, with equal representation among other commercial companies, not for profit organizations and academia.  As expected, many of the themes ran across pillars, so cross fertilization of ideas should lead to the development of some interesting tools that can tackle these big global problems.  I will continue to report on any collaborative activities that were germinated at SOLVE, and I hope to be back again next year for the next session.

Photography credit: Dominick Reuter

Friday, August 28, 2015

Eyes in the Sky: 'Other' Careers in the Atmospheric Sciences

I get several calls/emails each week from undergraduate students, graduate students, post-grads, potential career-changers, etc., all asking what 'other' career options are available to those with a degree in the atmospheric sciences.  By 'other', I mean non-meteorologist careers (I am not a meteorologist; my background can be found here).  Since I receive inquiries like this so frequently, I thought that it would be a good idea to put together a list of job titles from people that I know who have an atmospheric science background.

This list is intentionally informal (sample size = 1) and is obviously not meant to represent all possibilities, but as I started thinking about the careers taken by colleagues past and present (myself included), I even surprised myself when I realized the interesting opportunities that this foundation provides.  Also, I only listed those positions with a scientific/technical focus; there are many other possibilities if we expand into other areas of business, where the mathematics, problem solving and critical thinking that comes with the rigorous curriculum are highly sought after skills. 

Atmospheric Scientist*
Meteorologist (non-forecasting, ie., air quality)
Physical Scientist
Data/Informatics Scientist*
Aviation Meteorologist
Risk Management Specialist*
Renewable Energy Scientist (Wind, Solar, Hydro)
Geospatial Information Specialist/Developer
Space Weather Scientist
Marine Geologist
Remote Sensing Scientist
Climate Modeler*
Planetary Scientist
Paleoscientist (oceanographer)
Agricultural Climatologist
Atmospheric Chemist
Aerospace Engineer
Planetary Scientist
Environmental Scientist*
Environmental Engineer*
Information Systems Specialist
AMS President
Systems Engineer
Commodity Specialist*

(*titles that I hold or have held)

Feel free to send along suggestions to add to the list.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The 5th International Workshop on Climate Informatics

The 5th International Workshop on Climate Informatics,          September 2015  Boulder, CO

New: This year, we are excited to add a climate informatics "hackathon" immediately following the Climate Informatics workshop, on Saturday September 26th

We have greatly increased the volume and diversity of climate data from satellites, environmental sensors and climate models in order to improve our understanding of the climate system.  However, this very increase in volume and diversity can make the use of traditional analysis tools impractical and necessitate the need to carry out knowledge discovery from data. Machine learning has made significant impacts in fields ranging from web search to bioinformatics, and the impact of machine learning on climate science could be as profound. However, because the goal of machine learning in climate science is to improve our understanding of the climate system, it is necessary to employ techniques that go beyond simply taking advantage of co-occurence, and, instead, enable increased understanding. 
The Climate Informatics workshop series seeks to build collaborative relationships between researchers from statistics, machine learning and data mining and researchers in climate science.  Because climate models and observed datasets are increasing in complexity and volume, and because the nature of our changing climate is an urgent area of discovery, there are many opportunities for such partnerships.
Climate informatics broadly refers to any research combining climate science with approaches from statistics, machine learning and data mining. The Climate Informatics workshop series, now in its fifth year, seeks to bring together researchers from all of these areas. We aim to stimulate the discussion of new ideas, foster new collaborations, grow the climate informatics community, and thus accelerate discovery across disciplinary boundaries. The format of the workshop seeks to overcome cross-disciplinary language barriers and to emphasize communication between participants by featuring tutorials, invited talks, panel discussions, posters and break-out sessions. The programs of previous workshops can be found here (CI 2014CI 2013CI 2012CI 2011). We invite all researchers interested in learning about critical issues and opportunities in the field of climate informatics to join us, whether established in the field or just starting out.
Important Dates
Monday, August 3, 2015: Poster abstracts due
Monday, August 17, 2015: Author notification
Monday, August 17, 2015: Travel fellowship notification
Tuesday, September 8, 2015: Revised abstracts due
Thursday-Friday, September 24-25, 2015: Workshop takes place at NCAR, in Boulder, CO
**Saturday, September 26, 2015: Climate Informatics Hackathon