Postdoctoral Investigator - Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently searching for one Postdoctoral Investigator to join the PVLAB in the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering (AOPE) Department.  This is a regular, full-time, exempt position, and is eligible for full benefits. The initial appointments will be for 12 months, and begins in summer 2021.


The project will use numerical simulations to investigate breaching and rebuilding of sand spits separating coastal ponds from the ocean. Often, manmade breaches close after only a few tidal cycles, preventing sufficient exchange with ocean water to improve water quality. This project will use existing field observations of a breach that closed on Martha’s Vineyard to calibrate a numerical model, and then will use the model to investigate (i) processes driving onshore sediment transport and (ii) optimal breaching strategies (geometry and orientation of the breach, timing based on tides and wave conditions).  Research primarily will be numerical modeling and comparison of simulations with field observations.

The Institution has a top-rated postdoctoral program ( that supports a dynamic postdoctoral community with formal mentoring and career guidance programs. While the primary focus of the work will be in research, the Postdoctoral Investigator will have the opportunity to participate in educational and outreach activities associated with the project, and will have the opportunity to expand the areas of research through co-authoring proposals. 

Online application forms should be submitted with a cover letter describing research interests and career goals, a complete curriculum vitae, up to three relevant publications, and the contact information of at least three references. 


Applications will be reviewed starting April 1, 2021 and end April 30, 2021.

Essential Functions

  • Determine the best numerical model for waves, currents, sediment transport, and the subsequent morphological evolution of the beach near an inlet (e.g., Delft3D, COAWST, Xbeach, SWASH, Mike21…mostly up to the post-doc to select).
  • Implement bathymetry and offshore wave conditions into the numerical model, and calibrate the model with existing field observations.
  • Perform simulations with differing breaching strategies (length, width, depth, orientation of the breach as functions of tide and wave conditions).
  • Write peer-reviewed publications and present research results at national and international scientific meetings.

Education & Experience

  • PhD. in oceanography, civil engineering, or a related field is required.
  • Less than 3 years of postdoctoral experience is required.
  • Previous experience with numerical modeling of waves, currents, morphological evolution, including associated publications.

Physical Requirements

No pre-determined physical requirements; all candidates should be encouraged to apply.


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