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Position Details

Academic Personnel

Postdoctoral Scholar in Marine Chemistry and Machine Learning

Position Overview

School / Campus / College: College of the Environment

Organization: Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies

Title: Postdoctoral Scholar in Marine Chemistry and Machine Learning

Position Details

Position Description

About the University of Washington and CICOES:

The University of Washington (UW) is proud to be one of the Nation’s premier educational and research institutions. Our people are the most important asset in our pursuit of achieving excellence in education, research, and community service. UW is in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, with a dynamic, multicultural community of 3.7 million people and a range of natural environments from mountains to ocean. The UW is a community of 80,000 students, faculty and staff including 25% first-generation college students, over 25% Pell Grant students and faculty from over 70 countries. 

The Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies (CICOES), previously called the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, has existed since 1977 for the purpose of fostering research collaboration between UW and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). CICOES’s research is at the forefront of investigations on climate change, ocean acidification, fisheries assessments, and tsunami forecasting.

Position Description:

CICOES has an outstanding opportunity for a postdoctoral scholar to conduct research at the intersection of machine learning and ocean carbon biogeochemistry. Dr. Brendan Carter and other CICOES scientists will provide guidance to enhance the professional skills and research independence of the Scholar. The Scholar will be mentored also by PMEL scientist and UW affiliate professor Dr. Andrea Fassbender, and will be part of the Carbon Group at PMEL which includes PIs Dr. Adrienne Sutton, Dr. Simone Alin, and Dr. Richard Feely. This has the potential to be a multi-year appointment. The start date is negotiable, but ideally the applicant would begin in 2022.

The postdoctoral scholar will conduct original research in biogeochemical oceanography focusing on three topics:

1. Generation of new and updated empirical seawater property estimation routines, with which one can translate physical oceanographic measurements (notably temperature, salinity, pressure, and oxygen) into biogeochemical property estimates (e.g., macronutrients and carbonate chemistry parameters).  Areas of focus will be incorporating seasonally resolved surface and near-surface measurements for macronutrients and dissolved gases into the training data products, improving how existing routines handle anthropogenic carbon, and increasing the breadth and quality of the estimation approaches with novel machine learning approaches.

2. Moving towards a homogenized and internally consistent pH data product.  This will involve working with an ongoing data product creation effort (Global Ocean Data Analysis Project).

3. Developing approaches for data quality control that integrate the algorithms from topic 1 into hydrographic data submission pipelines.

The impact of CICOES’s environmental research is felt by communities all over the world, and a broad variety of perspectives and life experiences is essential to the success of this research. We encourage candidates from groups historically and currently underrepresented in this field to apply. Please read about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion here:

Postdoctoral scholars are represented by UAW 4121 and are subject to the collective bargaining agreement, unless agreed exclusion criteria apply. For more information, please visit the University of Washington Labor Relations website

For questions about the position duties, please reach out to Dr. Brendan Carter at For questions about applying, including potential disability accommodations, please contact Fred Averick at or 206-616-6763


Required qualifications:

  • A PhD in physical, chemical, or biological oceanography; data sciences and machine learning; or a closely related field
  • A demonstrated ability to work semi-independently on problems with unclear solutions and still yield meaningful progress/insights
  • A demonstrated ability to clearly communicate complicated ideas through presentations and peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Familiarity with machine learning
  • An understanding of seawater carbonate chemistry
  • A strong background in at least one analytical coding language (Matlab, Python, R, etc.), and ideally a coding background in or willingness to learn both Matlab (a proprietary language containing most of the legacy code for these efforts) and Python (a freely distributed coding language with strong machine learning capabilities).

Desired Qualifications:

  • A PhD in biogeochemical oceanography or marine chemistry (specifically)
  • 1 or more years of experience coding in Matlab or Python
  • Experience working with machine learning tools
  • Experience working with large marine biogeochemistry data sets and data products
  • Familiarity with ocean storage of anthropogenic carbon and ocean acidification
  • An understanding of seawater carbonate chemistry analytical methods


Please submit—through Interfolio—a cover letter describing your relevant experience and a CV.

Please include in the cover letter a brief response to the question "What does it mean for you to have a commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)? How have you demonstrated that commitment, and how would you see yourself demonstrating it here?”

References will be requested for a subset of applicants.

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.

Commitment to Diversity

The University of Washington is committed to building diversity among its faculty, librarian, 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 opportunity as important contributions to a faculty member’s academic profile and responsibilities (

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements and Information

Under Washington State Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.1, University of Washington (UW) workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof thereof, or receive a UW-approved medical or religious exemption. This requirement will be a condition of any offer associated with this recruitment. For more information, please visit

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