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Research Project Description

Analyzing Near Real-Time Air Pollution Model Simulations
Research Participation Program
Office of Research and Development
National Exposure Research Laboratory
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Research Triangle Park, NC

EPA-ORD/NERL-AMAD-2014-05

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. This project will explore the analytical techniques for evaluating the performance of near real-time air pollution model simulations.

Joining an interdisciplinary team to evaluate and analyze near real-time simulations of EPA’s flagship air quality model, the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system, the research participant will focus on improving air simulation models. Running the CMAQ modeling system in a continuous real-time mode offers the opportunity to more rapidly assess model performance and implement improvements to the model. Analyses performed by the participant will help inform model evaluators and developers in AMAD on various aspects of model performance, such as chemical boundary conditions and emissions characterization (such as Saharan dust, wildfires and lightning).

Depending on the participant’s interest, opportunities for growth and learning may be available in statistical analysis of large data sets, analysis of air quality model processes (such as atmospheric chemistry and meteorology), and improvements in chemical boundary conditions and emission characterization.

This project will allow the participant to join a focused technical challenge involving a national-scale air quality model. S/he will acquire hands-on experience in performing statistical analysis of large (terabytes) datasets and in understanding the intricacies of an air quality model in a Unix/Linux environment. The activities performed by the participant may contribute to the development of a manuscript to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. S/he will be encouraged to provide oral presentations, and, eventually, may have the opportunity to make a technical presentation at a scientific conference/workshop.

Qualifications:

Applicants must have at least a bachelor’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. Students currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university pursuing a master’s degree in a similar discipline, are also eligible to apply. Students must provide proof of enrollment each semester.

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 m part-time for up to one year and may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA contingent on the availability of funds. 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 Dr. Brian K. Eder (eder.brian@epa.gov).

How to Apply:

An application can be found at http://orise.orau.gov/epa/applicants/application.htm. Please reference Project # EPA-ORD/NERL-AMAD-2014-05 when calling or writing for information.