Postdoctoral Researcher x 2 (20.5 month contract) - The Irish Climate and Research UnitS (ICARUS), Department of Geography

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Department of Geography has over 15 permanent staff and offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. The department hosts the Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units (ICARUS) within which the positions will be based. ICARUS has a vibrant and highly successful community of faculty, postdoctoral and postgraduate students investigating a range of aspects of Irish and global climate change and variability.

The Role

Maynooth University is committed to a strategy in which the primary University goals of excellent research and scholarship and outstanding education are interlinked and equally valued.

We are seeking two (2) Postdoctoral Researchers to work with Professor Peter Thorne to deliver the development of an improved set of historical global land meteorological holdings as part of a service contract for the Copernicus Climate Change Service. This service contract between Maynooth University and the Copernicus Climate Change Service is for a duration of 48 months and is broken up into two time periods; the first period runs from March 2017 to December 2018 and the second period runs from January 2019 to February 2021. The original meteorological measurements produced around the globe since the invention of modern meteorological instrumentation are foundational to many aspects of climate science. Yet their historical management and governance has been highly fractured leading to sub-optimal provision and usage. The service contract will focus on creating a collated, integrated set of fundamental data holdings to enable scientific applications and the development of climate services. Upon successful completion a highly valuable long-term meteorological archive integrated across variables and timescales of great utility to the European and global research communities shall result.

The successful candidates will work closely with each other and with colleagues from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations’ National Centres for Environmental Information (NOAA NCEI) and the UK’s Met Office Hadley Centre and Science and Technology Facilities Council in delivering improved fundamental data holdings. Regular interactions will be required with the Copernicus Climate Change Service trusted entity the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. Travel to these institutions is foreseen throughout both appointments.

The principal work of the successful candidates will be concerned with the development of an improved set of fundamental global land meteorological data holdings to enable provision of improved scientific analyses and products in support of the Copernicus Climate Change Service. We shall start with available global sub-daily, daily and monthly data holdings held by NOAA NCEI disaggregated to their individual sources. We shall actively seek to augment these sources with additional holdings from traditional and non-traditional sources that can be acquired via various means over the term of the contract. This shall include interactions with other relevant contract awards under the same Copernicus service tender.

Work will be undertaken to convert data sources to a common data format that retains rich provenance metadata and then combine sources to create aggregated holdings that contain multiple meteorological elements and are consistent between sub-daily, daily and monthly values. This shall require substantive development of algorithmic tools to identify likely duplicates and performance of semi-automated merges of sources. Work shall include development and deployment of user support tools and provision of expert support to the Copernicus Climate Change Service helpdesk. It may also include liaison with other Copernicus services such as the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service.