CIRES/NSIDC Data Operations Analyst

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC),, part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, serves as a national information and referral center in support of snow and ice research. NSIDC is a trusted source of cryospheric data and services, and is a leader in research and development within this field.


NSIDC seeks a new member for the Data Operations team to manage and support NSlDC's archive of satellite, aircraft, and ground data. The successful candidate will support NSlDC's mission by operating our data systems, providing data system knowledge to software development projects, and providing data management support to science data product teams. The Data Operations team operates multiple data management systems including the NASA EOSDIS Core System (ECS) — an end-to-end automated system for ingest, archival and distribution of a broad range of NASA science data products. Additionally, Operations is responsible for NSlDC's custom software systems and works closely with development teams to provide input on system organization and evolution. Operations also works within the science data product teams by providing data management insight and knowledge of archival best practices.

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.


  • Manage existing NSIDC data systems, including the EOSDIS Core System (ECS), EOSDIS cloud data management system (Cumulus), and other custom software stacks.
  • Manage the centralized data storage system and backups, including disk space planning and management, monitoring daily backups, and periodic maintenance.
  • Support performance tuning and recommend system improvements.
  • Troubleshoot and resolve performance and production issues.
  • Develop scripts to extend or enhance the automation of operational processes.
  • Participate in development activities including providing input on data management practices, required features for operational maintenance, and known use cases.
  • Define, implement, and monitor ingest/archive/distribution processes.
  • Perform migration of scientific data between data management systems.

Duties may also include one or more of the following:

  • Author and implement system documentation and operational procedures.
  • Perform data processing, ensuring accuracy and quality of science data and developing processes as required.
  • Lead data management activities including implementing data access policies, managing archival metadata inventories, and overseeing data migration activities.
  • Organize and achieve coordinated data system objectives while working with various data center departments.

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.

What We Can Offer

CIRES can offer a competitive salary, commensurate with experience.


  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, or related discipline.
  • Experience communicating with a broad stratum of technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Experience providing basic system administration for Linux, Windows, and Mac.
  • Experience with Perl, python, or shell scripting, C programming, or equivalent.

What You Will Need

  • Ability to creatively problem solve to break down system level problems into tasks, organize them, and work them through to completion.
  • Ability to handle multiple assigned tasks, prioritize them, and execute them efficiently.
  • Ability to work on highly efficient, cross-functional, teams and effectively represent technical needs in that context.
  • Ability to learn new systems quickly in an on-the-job environment.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a DevOps team environment supporting a variety of data center staff.

What We Would LIke You To Have

  • Data management experience with digital data archives of remote sensing or climate data.
  • Understanding of how operational systems run, including monitoring, troubleshooting, and system impact dependence.
  • Ability to be self-directed; the successful candidate will recognize tasks that need to be completed, take ownership of them, and work through them.
  • Knowledge of version control systems (such as Github), continuous integration (such as CircleCl, Jenkins, or Bamboo), and software delivery.
  • Experience with virtual machines, including use of Vagrant, Puppet, Docker, and other related tools.
  • Experience with cloud technologies, including Amazon Web Services deployment and troubleshooting.


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 or CV.
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. List of 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 (can be one of the 3 noted above). This information will be kept confidential and viewable only the search committee.

Full consideration will be given to applications received by May 17, 2019, or until the position is filled.

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

Job Number


Date Posted

Thursday, April 18, 2019