Openings and opportunities

Opening for postdoctoral researcher

I seek applicants for a postdoctoral scholar to lead a project to constrain the global cycle of desert dust aerosols, and its interactions with radiation, clouds, and ecosystems. Anticipated duties include, but are not limited to, analyzing climate model output, conducting climate model simulations, developing simple analytical theories, supervising graduate and undergraduate students, and communicating findings in written and oral form.

Desired qualifications include a Ph.D. in atmospheric science, physics, engineering, mathematics or a related field, strong quantitative and programming skills, experience with running atmospheric circulation models and analyzing their output, and strong scientific writing skills. The salary will be competitive and commensurate with relevant experience. I particularly encourage applications from women and underrepresented minorities, and U.S. citizenship or residency is not required.

Interested applicants should send a CV with a cover letter, names of three references, and a one page summary of recent work and interests. All applications should be submitted electronically as a single PDF document to This appointment is for one year, and may be renewed pending satisfactory performance and funding availability. The start date is flexible, but would preferably be between June and October of 2017. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.




Other openings

I am always looking for excellent postdoctoral scholars and students of all levels to join my group. If you are interested, feel free to contact me at jfkok *at* ucla *dot* edu. Please include your CV, (unofficial) transcripts, and a description of your background and research interests. I value a rigorous quantitative background and strong communication skills, and I particularly welcome interest from women and underrepresented minorities.

Information on the PhD program in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UCLA is available here, and details on the application process are here. To help demystify the the mutual expectations in the graduate student – advisor relationship, I have put together some guidelines for graduate students in my group here.


Ongoing projects in my group, with opportunities for student involvement at different levels, include:

  • funded NSF project to understand how turbulence affects fluxes of wind-blown sand and dust, and how we can better link the emission of dust aerosols to the atmospheric boundary layer flow resolved in climate and weather models. The overarching goal is thus to improve the representation of dust emission in models, and use this to test the hypothesis that intermittency in dust emission plays an important role in the timing and magnitude of dust events.
  • Another funded NSF project to constrain the size of the global dust cycle (i.e., how much dust is being emitted globally), its radiative effect on climate, and its impacts on human health.
  • Understanding the initiation of sand transport and dust emission on Earth and other planets, including on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.


Graduate and postdoctoral fellowships

If you are a prospective graduate student or postdoctoral fellow interested in joining my group, you can also apply for your own funding through a number of fellowships. Graduate students can apply for a number of prestigious fellowships, including:

There also are a number of excellent fellowships for prospective postdoctoral fellows, including:

Provided that your research interests and qualifications are a good match for my group, I would be happy to advice you in preparing your fellowship application. Keep in mind that writing a competitive proposal takes a lot of time, so it’s best to start (and contact me) well ahead of the application deadline.