Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

CIRES Solar-Terrestrial Physics DevOps Software Engineer

CIRES Solar-Terrestrial Physics DevOps Software Engineer

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder has an immediate opening for a Research Associate supporting NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), at 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO. As a software engineer focused on DevOps activities supporting the NCEI Solar-Terrestrial Physics (STP) program, the successful candidate will work 8x5 to enhance, monitor, maintain, troubleshoot, automate, and otherwise augment STP’s scientific processing systems, including the Satellite Product Analysis and Distribution Enterprise System demonstration (SPADES-demo). The successful candidate will play a critical role in our multidisciplinary team of software engineers, data managers, and scientists dedicated to the research, development, processing and dissemination of NOAA’s space weather data.

About us:

NCEI-STP is responsible for oversight of the NOAA space weather sensors on several weather satellite constellations, including the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES). Capabilities of instruments like those on the new GOES-R series of weather satellites (four satellites planned, two have launched) provide significant advancements over past satellite series in critical areas such as spectral range and energy resolution for observing key phenomenology that drive space weather and climate of the space environment. A team of software developers and scientists within STP is responsible for ensuring that current and future space weather sensors provide effective operational products for use by the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). To give one example, in the GOES-R era, STP has responsibilities including calibration and validation of instrumentation, development of all forecaster-facing scientific processing algorithms, and development of the SPADES-demo. These products and the SPADES-demo are delivered to NWS, and NWS leverages them to create their operational system. SPADES-demo continues to serve a critical role at NCEI as our integration and test environment for continual improvements to GOES-R scientific processing algorithms. Finally, STP leverages these efforts to retrospectively create and disseminate the authoritative (scientifically best) record of GOES-R data.

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.


  • Develop tools to help STP to automate, monitor, and maintain processing systems, including SPADES-demo.
  • Optimize, monitor, troubleshoot, and enhance processing systems used to create, maintain, visualize, and disseminate STP’s space weather datasets.
  • Assist with design, development, implementation, monitoring, and maintenance of STP’s space weather product websites and data services.
  • Identify and implement additional improvements that will enhance utilization of STP’s space weather datasets.
  • Facilitate implementation of the data processing algorithms that convert space weather instrument data to scientific data products.
  • Participate in regular meetings as needed, and present results at conferences/meetings as appropriate.
  • Other duties from time to time as determined by management.

What You Should Know

Due to U.S. Export Control Restrictions, only U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders) may apply.

What We Can Offer

We can offer a competitive salary, commensurate with experience.


  • B.S. in Physical Science, Engineering, Computer Science or similar technical discipline, or equivalent demonstrable experience.
  • Four (4) or more years of experience at the post-bachelor’s level in operational development and/or scientific programming.
  • U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Resident status.
  • Knowledge of real-time analytics and streaming systems.
  • Highly skilled in Unix/Linux operating environments. Very familiar with automation of processes and bash scripting.
  • Willingness and ability to optimize, monitor, enhance, and build automated solutions that function reliably when maintained 8x5.
  • Familiarity with the architecture, design and functioning of scalable systems handling large data.
  • Willingness to learn additional high-level languages (such as C++ or IDL) used for scientific programming as needed.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. 
  • Flexible and proactive attitude combined with an ability to work independently and with other team members to simultaneously make progress on multiple projects.

What we would like you to have:

  • Experience maintaining and creating user-facing technologies (e.g. RESTful APIs, plotting libraries).
  • Experience with Apache STORM, ELK stack, and/or similar technologies.
  • Experience with Ansible, Docker, Jenkins, and/or similar technologies.
  • Experience with website design and maintenance.
  • Proficient in Java and Python.
  • Familiar with (or willing to learn about) cloud services and efficient migration of systems from non-cloud environments into cloud-based systems.
  • General understanding of space weather, space-based measurements, and NOAA’s weather satellite programs.


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:

  1. Resume/CV.
  2. Cover letter briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. Proof of degree, either a transcript confirming highest degree or a copy of your diploma.
  4. List of contact information for 3 references.
  5. In addition, you will need to submit 1 name with contact information who will be asked to submit a letter of recommendation if you are selected as the finalist (can be one of the 3 noted above). This information will be kept confidential and viewable only the search committee.

Screening will begin immediately, and applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Job Number


Date Posted

Wednesday, September 5, 2018