CIRES/GSD FIQAS Scientific Analyst

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder is looking for a computer scientist to fill a Research Scientist position for its collaborative research as a Cooperative Institute with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) Global Systems Division (GSD). The incumbent will work within GSD’s Evaluation and Decision Support (EDS) Branch.


NOAA's Global Systems Division (GSD) of the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) is a federal science and research laboratory under NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. GSD provides the National Weather Service (NWS) and the nation with environmental observing, prediction, computer, visualization, and information systems. These systems deliver data, forecasts, and predictions of weather, including severe weather events, within the next few minutes to weeks away.  The Global Systems Division (GSD) of the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) is a leader in the applied research, directed development, and technology transfer of environmental data, models, products, and services that enhance environmental understanding with the outcome of supporting commerce, protecting life and property, and promoting a scientifically literate public. 

The Forecast Impact and Quality Assessment Section (FIQAS) within the Evaluation and Decision Support Branch of ESRL’s Global Systems Division is seeking an experienced scientific research analyst with meteorological and quantitative skills to support the evaluation of weather forecasts, develop impact-based verification metrics and assessment approaches, interface with current and potential sponsors, and work with aviation operational specialists to develop foundational concepts for building new aviation decision support tools.

The individual in this position will collaborate with stakeholders and other team members to assess the quality of weather products used in operational decision-making. They will be responsible for assessment development and implementation, data analysis, and communicating findings in technical talks and reports. The selected candidate will also work with software engineers to incorporate techniques in verification and decision support tools. This position will report to Sr Research Associate/FIQAS Section Chief.

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.

Global Systems Division


The principal duties of this position are:

Collaborative Research 30%

  • Research, develop, and implement scientific concepts to support comprehensive forecast assessments using operationally-relevant verification techniques. Techniques involve incorporating operational criteria, using both weather and operations information, and combining and comparing data products of differing characteristics and formats.
  • Research new observation sets and develop verification techniques to use them in product evaluations.
  • Interface with users, including weather forecasters and aviation decision makers, to learn how weather information is used to make aviation decisions.
  • Present research status and findings to sponsors and peer organizations, and participate in workshops and conferences.

Technical Implementation 65%

  • Perform technical implementation of new, operationally-relevant verification techniques using scripting languages such as python, for use in quality assessments and possibly decision support tools.
  • Manage datasets and processing necessary to support research and development and product evaluation activities.
  • Work with engineers as needed to incorporate concepts and code into automated verification and decision support tools.
  • Work within an evaluation team throughout a product evaluation project to achieve project milestones within time and budget constraints.
  • Coordinate with product developers and stakeholders throughout product evaluation to ensure thorough understanding of product characteristics and adherence to evaluation requirements.
  • Perform extensive analysis of assessment results and summarize findings and conclusions in formal written reports and oral presentations to product developers and stakeholders.

Documentation and Reporting 5%

  • Prepare software documentation in collaboration with team members.
  • Prepare status reports as required by the project sponsor and CIRA.
  • Prepare and deliver technical talks and presentations as requested.

What You Should Know

CIRES commits to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

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, commensurate with experience, along with a generous benefits package.


  • Advanced degree (minimum M.S.) in Mathematics, Physical Science, or related field; plus 2 years relevant work experience
  • 1 to 2 years of professional experience performing analysis with languages or packages such as python, R, or Matlab 
  • 1 to 2 years of professional experience running scientific software on large-scale HPC supercomputer resources (e.g., NOAA’s supercomputer platforms such as WCOSS, JET, Theia, and Gaea)

What You Will Need

  • Proficiency using open source scripting software (e.g., Python, NCL, CSH).
  • Highly skilled in developing, optimizing, and testing software in compiled languages (e.g., FORTRAN, C, or C++) and modern software management tools (e.g., Make, Git).
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively within a team environment and to facilitate communications across multiple teams and multiple organizational units.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Some knowledge of ensemble data assimilation theory and techniques.
  • Some knowledge of atmospheric physical processes.
  • Ability to prepare technical analyses and reports for senior level management.


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 addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. 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 the finalist, we will contact you through email and request that you submit 1 name and email of a reference who will be asked to submit a letter of recommendation. This information will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee.

This position will remain open until filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Job Number


Date Posted

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


Professional Research Assistant