Postdoctoral Investigator

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently searching for a Postdoctoral Investigator to join the Physical Oceanography Department. This is a temporary, full-time, exempt position, and is eligible for benefits. This role is for 5 months, with possible extension. 


Postdoctoral position in wave turbulence and internal wave modeling at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


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.


Online application forms should be submitted with a cover letter, complete curriculum vitae, and three letters of recommendation. Applications will be reviewed upon submission.

Essential Functions

We are seeking a highly motivated, organized, and independent individual with training in applied mathematics and / or theoretical physics, especially concerning the dynamics and statistics of nonlinear systems, for a post-doctoral position at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The postdoc will work with a team of PIs on an NSF-funded project as a part of an umbrella NOPP vehicle, the goal of which is to document and understand the limitations of state of the art global/basin scale numerical models at simulating oceanic internal tides. The team PIs include observational efforts at document-ing the coupling of the bottom boundary layer with internal waves over steep and rough topography, and computational downscaling of high resolution GIG-ATL simulations to embed Large Eddy Simulations, with the goal of comparing the statistics of the LES with observed turbulence and turbulent fluxes. The objective of the PostDoc will be, in collaboration with the PI, to provide a quasi-ana-lytic prediction of the oceanic internal wave spectrum using the techniques of wave turbulence and compare such a prediction with extant observations and regional numerical model output.


The candidate should have strong skills in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and have expertise in internal waves. She/he will design and conduct (i) approximate semi-analytical predictions of expected oceanic internal wave spectra and turbulent kinetic energy production rates; (ii) analysis and comparison of the predic-tions with oceanic spectra and dissipation rates from both observations and numerical model output. The post-doc is expected to closely interact with co-PIs at G. Tech, Univ. Maryland, Univ. Delaware and NRL Stennis as well as participate in the larger NOPP project meetings.


Education & Experience

  • Ph.D. in Physics, Applied Math or Physical Oceanography
  • Required technical skills include substantial experience with the methods of Wave Turbulence, WKB approxima-tions, oceanic internal wave modeling, statistical analysis of spectra from observations and/or numerical models, scientific paper writing, and familiarity with programming languages including Fortran, MatLab, and Unix Shell. The initial appointment will be for six months. Informal inquiries should be addressed to Dr. Kurt Polzin (

Physical Requirements

Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to, distinguish basic colors as well as visual abilities to include near, far, and peripheral vision, depth perception, ability to distinguish basic colors. Hearing requirements include the

ability to hear, talk, travel, work around others as well as alone. This position is continuously sedentary. Physical duties are subject to change.


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