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Research Project Description

Regional Climate and Air Quality Modeling
Research Participation Program
Office of Research and Development
National Exposure Research Laboratory
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Research Triangle Park, NC


Project Description:

A postgraduate project training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL). This appointment is in the Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Division (AMAD) located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

AMAD researchers lead the development and evaluation of predictive atmospheric models across spatial and temporal scales. The atmospheric models are used to assess changes in air quality and air pollutant exposures, as affected by changes in ecosystem management and regulatory decisions. An emerging issue within EPA is assessment and mitigation of climate change impacts on human health and the environment. Regional climate models and dynamical downscaling of global climate model fields are used to provide regional climate information at temporal and spatial scales of interest for EPA clients. The regional climate data are further used with emissions scenarios to project changes in future air quality.

The selected participant will  conduct research in regional climate and air quality modeling that use Eulerian models and supporting software. In collaboration with AMAD scientists, the research participant will be involved in at least one of the following activities:

  • Using the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model to generate multi-year simulations based on downscaled fields from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model.
  • Using the Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions (SMOKE) tool to generate a suite of emissions data to drive alternate future emissions scenarios with CMAQ.
  • Evaluating regional climate and air quality model simulations over historical time periods.

The research participant will join a focused technical challenge related to regional climate and air quality modeling. S/he will acquire hands-on experience in running Eulerian regional climate and/or air quality models and other supporting software in a Unix/Linux environment while learning to manage terabytes of data.

The research participant will be mentored by an AMAD team member within a small team that is dedicated to regional climate and air quality research. Activities performed by the research participant may contribute to the development of a manuscript to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.


Applicants must have a master’s degree in environmental science, atmospheric science or a closely related field within five years of the desired starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the starting date.

The program is open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran. U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status is preferred (but can also hold an appropriate visa status, however, an H1B visa is not appropriate).

The appointment is part-time for up to six months. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.

Funding may be made available to reimburse a participant’s travel expenses to present the results of his/her research at scientific conferences. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition and fees, or a participant's health insurance.

Technical Questions:

The contact person for this project is Tanya L. Spero (

How to Apply:

An application can be found at Please reference Project # EPA-ORD/NERL-AMAD-2014-04 when calling or writing for information.