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Position Details

Academic Personnel

Postdoctoral Scholar in Ocean Physics

Position Overview

School / Campus / College: College of the Environment

Organization: Applied Physics Lab

Title: Postdoctoral Scholar in Ocean Physics

Position Details

Position Description

The Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher in ocean physics, to participate in a 3-year joint oceanographic-acoustic study. The goal of this study is to assess and improve the predictive modeling of hydrographic features that strongly impact underwater acoustic transmission of mid-range (1-10 kHz) frequencies. The postdoc will focus on regional to submesoscale oceanography and small-scale mixing processes, to determine the space and time scales of acoustic duct features in the Washington coastal ocean, and the physical mechanisms responsible for duct formation and evolution. This project involves a field experiment in summer 2022 and leverages operational UW modeling efforts, ongoing ocean observatories on the Washington shelf, and fieldwork expertise at APL/UW in Washington coastal oceanography and acoustics.

The postdoc will work directly with investigators in the Ocean Physics Department at APL/UW (R.R. Harcourt, J. Mickett, E.A. D’Asaro) and in the UW School of Oceanography (P. MacCready), and will collaborate with additional study participants in the APL/UW Acoustics Department and at institutions outside of UW. The role of the postdoc in the joint ocean-acoustics project will be (1) the analysis of hindcasts from the UW LiveOcean regional model; (2) the design and implementation of higher-resolution ROMS*-based simulations subset within regional coastal models; (3) using the COAWST* modeling framework for coupled wave-ocean simulations; and (4) model-data comparison, analysis and dissemination of results at workshops, conferences and through peer-reviewed journals.


We strive to promote greater diversity among applicants than is found in our field, and we strongly encourage applications from all groups that are underrepresented in the Geosciences.

To this end, the position is open to capable doctoral recipients in STEM research fields, including candidates holding degrees, or graduating from, institutions not specializing in Physical Oceanography.

Candidates must have received a Ph.D. in a STEM field, with extensive background in physical or environmental sciences, or engineering. Candidates should have experience in, or aptitude for, self-directed research focused on the application of physical science to the natural environment. Strong mathematical skills, familiarity with the Linux computing environment, and demonstrated experience with Fortran, Python and Matlab programming languages are necessary prerequisites for this position.

Ability to communicate scientific results clearly to both broad and expert audiences, orally and in writing, is indispensable to both this position and any subsequent appointments at APL. In addition to disseminating results at major conferences and in peer-reviewed journals, postdocs are encouraged and mentored in writing grant proposals. A notable feature of APL postdoc positions is the ability to submit grant proposals as PIs under supervision, establishing an independent research program and career path.


Each applicant will be expected to submit:

  1. A CV including a list of publications
  2. Cover letter with a brief description of present and future research interests

To request disability accommodation in the application process, please contact the UW's Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450, or 206-543-6452 (TTY), or

Informal inquiries on duties or requirements are encouraged to Ramsey Harcourt (


The Applied Physics Laboratory is a research unit at the University of Washington. Our research expertise is in ocean physics and engineering, ocean and medical acoustics, polar science, environmental remote sensing, and signal processing. We conduct research and development that is sponsored by a variety of federal and state agencies, and take great pride in our long-standing status as a US Navy-designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). Our work takes place not only on the University of Washington campus and medical centers, but in field locations around the world – at sea, in the air, and on polar ice caps. We apply rigorous scientific inquiry and engineering excellence in pursuit of solutions to important problems for the good of our region, nation, and world.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All
qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed,
religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information,
gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.

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Valery Richardson, Title IX Coordinator
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staff, and student communities, and articulates that commitment in the UW Diversity Blueprint
( Additionally, the University’s Faculty Code
recognizes faculty efforts in research, teaching and/or service that address diversity and equal
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