CIRES/ NOAA GMD Atmospheric Trace-Gas Research Associate

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colorado is seeking a scientist as a Research Associate to work at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) with its Global Monitoring Division (GMD) in the Halocarbon and Atmospheric Trace Species (HATS) and Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network (GGGRN) groups. The successful candidate will be responsible for accurate and precise measurements of a wide range of trace gases of interest to NOAA, including substances that deplete stratospheric ozone, non-CO2 greenhouse gases, hazardous air pollutants, and others.

We seek an individual with demonstrated expertise in the measurement and scientific interpretation of trace gas concentrations in the atmospheric environment. Familiarity with atmospheric trace gas science and measurement is essential, preferably by gas chromatography with mass spectrometric techniques. A demonstrated ability to optimize and customize chemical instrumentation, write computer programs for manipulating data, and to maintain and improve computer-instrument interfaces is also desired. The ability to work well with other researchers, technicians, and support staff in a collaborative research environment is essential. The applicant also should have experience in writing, as first author, papers for the peer-reviewed literature and in presenting their research at scientific meetings.

The initial term of the appointment is for one year, with a possibility of extension in future years.

Who We Are

At CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, more than 800 environmental scientists work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at the Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, and solid Earth sciences. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

The Global Monitoring Division (GMD) of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, is dedicated to acquiring, evaluating, and making available accurate, long-term records of atmospheric gases, aerosol particles, clouds, and surface radiation in a manner that allows the causes and consequences of change to be understood.  We do this by regularly making high precision and high accuracy measurements of trace gases, aerosols, and surface radiation at remote sites across the globe and at regional sites across the U.S.

For more information on NOAA/GMD, visit:


  • Work closely with a team of federal and CIRES scientists to maintain, troubleshoot, and improve a customized GC/MS instrument to provide ongoing, high quality trace-gas measurements on a timely basis.
  • Optimize and extend rigorous quality assurance and quality control protocols to the results so that consistently standardized, precise, and artifact-free calibrated mole fractions are posted to internal and external databases.
  • Maintain archival storage of all measurement results and associated meta-data in a division-wide, MySQL-accessible database, and provide accurate documentation of operations.
  • Supervise and mentor CIRES Associate Scientists involved with instrument operation, data QA/QC, analysis schedules, purchasing, coordination of sampling, and instrument maintenance and development.  Act as backup when technicians are unavailable to perform their duties.
  • Publish as first author in the peer-reviewed literature, scientific papers focused on advances in instrumentation or atmospheric science based on results obtained from this measurement program.
  • Regularly communicate with HATS and GGGRN scientists on the status of operations, instrument performance, results, and planning activities related to instrument modifications and use and interpretations of results.
  • Present results obtained from this program at local and national meetings, including the NOAA Global Monitoring Annual Conference, the CIRES Rendezvous, and the Fall AGU.

What You Should Know

  • The initial term of the appointment is for one year, with a possibility of extension in future years. 
  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder, but will be physically situated in the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305. If you are the selected finalist, you will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access.

What We Can Offer

We can offer a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package.


  • PhD in Atmospheric Sciences, Analytical Chemistry, Physics or related field.
  • Programming experience, in particular related to instrument operation and data analysis with MATLAB or equivalent.
  • A strong background and demonstrated expertise in trace gas analysis.
  • Knowledge of atmospheric science and trace gases.

What You Will Need

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team environment.
  • Experience with development and presentation of scientific results for meetings and for publication in scientific journals.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Experience in customizing trace gas analysis instrumentation, computer-instrument interface control, electronics, and data analysis.
  • Programming experience also in other languages, e.g., MySQL, Perl, Python, C/C++, Unix shell, Fortran 80.
  • Experience with CDF data formats.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Application Materials

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  • Resume or CV
  • Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position. 
  • List of 3 references: the names, professional titles, and contact information of those who are familiar with your qualifications and work history.

If you are selected as one of the finalists, the Hiring Committee will request letters of recommendation. Please do not include letters of recommendation with your application materials.

Position will remain open until filled. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs. Application materials will not be accepted via email.

Job Number


Date Posted

Friday, August 30, 2019


Research Associate