Machine Learning Scientist for Climate Model Development

Philanthropic Technology Seattle, Washington


NOTE: We currently have two (2) ML Scientist openings

Nice to meet you, we're Vulcan!

Empowered by our founder Paul Allen’s vision, our mission at Vulcan is to improve our planet by tackling the world’s toughest problems. We do that through scientific and technological breakthroughs, catalytic philanthropy, and inspirational experiences, motivated by Paul’s lifelong question: “What solution should exist that doesn’t?”

What you’ll tell your family you do:

"One of the most pressing and complex challenges currently facing humanity is global warming due to greenhouse gases released by burning of fossil fuels. We're using machine learning to develop climate models that will more reliably predict rainfall, floods, drought and snowpack in coming seasons and how they will be affected by global warming so we can make informed decisions about our future."

About this role:

Vulcan Inc. has launched a strategic initiative in partnership with NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory to develop novel machine learning algorithms to improve their climate model, based on large global training datasets. This high-risk, high-reward project aims to be a first for climate modeling and an example for other climate modeling groups to follow.  As a Machine Learning Scientist working in a small elite team, you will design and implement this open-source software and conquer intellectual and computational challenges to make it work.

In detail you will:

  • Be part of a multidisciplinary team contributing to all phases of the software engineering process, including research, design, development, integration and testing.
  • Communicate this research to the broader scientific and machine-learning community.

We would love to hear from you if:

  • PhD (preferred) or M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences, Computer Science, Computational Science, Statistics, Applied Mathematics or related field.
  • Research experience with scientific applications of machine learning and/or data assimilation.
  • Strong programming skills with Python (e.g. numpy, PyTorch, Tensorflow, and scikit-learn), Git for version control, and Linux.
  • Proven track record of delivering solutions for challenging problems.
  • Positive attitude and ability to work as a part of a team.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

How to really knock our socks off:

  • Experience in atmospheric modeling, numerical weather prediction, climate modeling, especially involving cloud and precipitation processes and orographic effects.
  • Familiarity with reinforcement learning, control theory, or generative models (e.g. GANs).
  • Experience with large-scale data engineering, cloud computing, high performance computing, or C/C++/Fortran.


Special remarks:

  • Travel estimated to be 10%.
  • Anticipated term of appointment is two years.
  • Opportunities are available for interaction and collaboration with world-leading researchers at the University of Washington, a short subway ride away.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Vulcan Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. Every qualified applicant will be considered for employment. We do not discriminate based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, religion, marital status, sex, disability, political ideology, or veteran status, or other protected class.

If you need accommodation during the application or hiring process, please contact Human Resources at or your recruiter.