UW Climate Impacts Group Research Scientist - Hydrology

Post Date: 11/14/2022
Opportunity Type: Job
Organization/Grantor: UW Climate Impacts Group
Position/Title/Fund: Research Hydrologist (Research Scientist 3)
Deadline: Dec. 5, 2022
Location: The position may be remote with approval; some travel to Seattle will be required.

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

The Climate Impacts Group (CIG) is hiring a full-time Research Hydrologist (Research Scientist 3) with a focus on hydrologic change in the northwestern U.S. The new position will work with CIG’s lead scientists to co-produce applied research, synthesize literature, and engage with partners on climate impacts and adaptation related to hydrologic change in the region. The position may be remote with approval; some travel to Seattle will be required.


The University of Washington Climate Impacts Groupsupports the development of climate resilience by advancing understanding of climate risks & enabling science-based action to manage those risks. Since 1995, the Climate Impacts Group has linked cutting edge scientific research with innovative approaches to community engagement to produce exceptional research products, develop strong relationships among resource managers, planners, and policy makers in the region and build regional capacity for addressing climatic variability and change. The Climate Impacts Group is a member organization of EarthLab.

EarthLab is a visionary institute that pushes boundaries to address our most pressing environmental challenges, with a focus on climate and its intersection with social justice. EarthLab does this by connecting faculty, students, and researchers at the University of Washington to community collaborators in businesses, non-profits, public agencies, Tribal nations, and others to co-produce actionable research that generates solutions and strategies for local and global impact. EarthLab’s vision, an equitable, just, and sustainable world where people and planet thrive, supports one of the University’s biggest goals. As a Carnegie-classified Community Engagement University, the UW aspires to be the #1 university in the world as measured by impact. EarthLab is inspired by and committed to this challenge.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion:

EarthLab and the Climate Impacts Group acknowledge the systemic racism that exists in the environmental sector and within environmentalism. We believe every member on our team enriches our diversity by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design and deliver solutions. We are seeking candidates who are committed to creating an equitable, diverse, and inclusive work environment where all voices are considered and valued.

Within our group, the CIG staff has worked collectively to express our intention to support communities historically excluded from the environmental and climate change spaces. The Climate Impacts Group commits to prioritizing inclusion and justice for all people in our work on climate adaptation, with the aim of decreasing oppression in our organization, our field, and our communities. Given our country’s history of slavery and continued violence and discrimination against Black people, violent land seizure and genocide against Indigenous peoples, and the disproportionate impacts of climate change and environmental hazards on Black, Indigenous and other people of color, we commit to addressing the enduring impacts of colonialism and white supremacy in our work.

Climate Impacts Group Research Hydrologist:

The Research Hydrologist will work with the CIG’s lead scientists to co-produce applied research, synthesize literature, and engage with partners on climate impacts and adaptation, with a focus on hydrologic change in the northwestern U.S. The CIG works with communities, decision makers and resource managers on the challenges that they face in a changing climate. As CIG’s project portfolio evolves, the Research Hydrologist will provide analytical, logistical, and management support for projects requiring hydrology expertise. This includes, but is not limited to, flooding and floodplain management, stormwater, water supply, water temperature, and reservoir operations. They will engage with partners at multiple stages in the adaptation process from impacts research and vulnerability assessment to adaptation planning and implementation. They will apply knowledge of co-production methodologies and climate data application to support projects that enable our partners to advance climate resilience through capacity building, assessment, planning, and implementation.

Over the past several years, the CIG has worked with tribes, cities, counties, and state and federal agencies, to evaluate projected climate change impacts on topics including flood extent, stormwater risks, culvert design, and reservoir management. We have used hydrologic models, primarily the Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM) and Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC), to conduct analyses of changing hydrologic regimes and their impact on water resources, floodplain management, infrastructure, ecosystems, and species of concern. We have also worked with reservoir operators to accurately represent regulated flow conditions, and with sediment modelers to better understand the implications of changes in transport and geomorphology. Because hydrologic change is one of the major issues facing communities in the PNW, we are seeking a hydrologist who can broaden our capacity to work with resource managers and other stakeholders struggling to understand and adapt to such climate change impacts.


Synthesize and Co-produce Research on Hydrologic Impacts in Support of Adaptation

• Lead research and modeling related to hydrologic change in CIG projects.
• Co-produce actionable science with project partners and stakeholders.
• Synthesize scientific literature related to hydrologic change, impacts, and adaptation.
• Develop science communication products (e.g., accessible reports, web content, annotated bibliographies, and fact sheets) for diverse audiences including local, state, federal and tribal natural resource managers and policy makers.
• Provide management support for large projects, which may include coordinating project teams across multiple institutions, facilitating internal project meetings, organizing final reports and deliverables, and holding team members accountable for contributions.
• Provide logistical and organizational support for workshops, meetings, and other external engagement activities focused on understanding and adapting to changes in hydrology.
• Solicit input on projects and feedback from government agencies, Northwest Tribes, local communities, and other stakeholders with which the CIG regularly works.

Outreach and Engagement:

• Represent the CIG and conduct outreach on climate impacts and adaptation science for diverse audiences, including the production and delivery of presentations on climate impacts and adaptation practices related to hydrologic changes in the Northwest.
• Scope projects, conduct engagement, and solicit reviews and feedback from partners and collaborators.

Proposal Development and Grant Writing:

• Assist lead research scientists with proposal development and grant writing.


Master’s degree in hydrology, climate science, geography, or a related field with a minimum of 2 years of experience.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


• Experience with physically-based hydrologic models, including model development, calibration, and analysis of results.
• Experience using GIS software to develop model inputs and perform analyses.
• Experience with modern data analytics using R or Python.
• Experience synthesizing scientific literature and data.
• Experience with co-production and use-inspired research.
• Experience producing science communication materials for diverse audiences, such as water managers and/or policy makers.
• Experience leading or supporting the development of peer-reviewed publications.


• Experience implementing the Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM).
• Experience implementing the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model.
• Experience with github and reproducible workflows.
• Knowledge of, or experience with, applied climate change impacts and adaptation.
• Demonstrated attention to detail and insistence on technical accuracy.
• A track record of independence, leadership, motivation, and problem-solving skills.

How to Apply:

At EarthLab, we focus on equity and justice in all that we do. In your cover letter, please include your experience, lived or professional, in the area of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Application Process:
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

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

To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or dso@uw.edu.

Employees of the University of Washington are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless a medical or religious exemption is approved. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. As a condition of employment, newly hired employees will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. View the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage for information about the medical or religious exemption process for final candidates.