CIRES/NSIDC Technical Writer and Data Support Specialist

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) Science Communication Group provides support to NSIDC product teams publishing and supporting scientific data at NSIDC. The Technical Writer and Data Support Specialist is a member of the User Services Office and the Technical Writing teams within SCG responsible for creating and maintaining documentation for assigned data sets, engaging the user community to understand their science needs, and providng support for NSIDC data and information services. A successful Technical Writer and Data Support Specialist will develop detailed knowledge of the data sets they are assigned to support, including researching and writing about the methods, instrumentation, algorithms, and processing steps used to collect the data. The Technical Writer and Data Support Specialist will also become familiar with user needs, including data access methods and tools used to work with data, to provide the user perspective in data set development. Additionally, the Technical Writer and Data Support Specialist will work directly with users to solve problems with using NSIDC data, or to provide resources to imporve understanding of the data. The position reports to the Deputy Communications Manager.

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 National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC),, part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder, serves as a national information and referral center in support of snow and ice research. Our mission is to make fundamental contributions to cryospheric science and excel in managing data and disseminating information in order to advance understanding of the Earth system. This position supports the NASA Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) at NSIDC, part of NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information (EOSDIS). NSIDC DAAC stewards a diverse collection of cryospheric and related Earth science data and supports the cryospheric research community with usage of the DAAC data.

What We Can Offer

Salary will range from $55,000 to $62,000.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Research and gather scientific and technical information for the development of data set documentation, web content, other technical documents, and graphics
  • Become familiar with data format, content, and visualization methods of assigned data sets
  • Create, manage, and update metadata records pertaining to NSlDC data sets
  • Develop and maintain detailed information on user requirements through user community research
  • Participate in NSIDC Product Teams to communicate user community requirements and provide documentation and metadata best practices
  • Communicate with users to determine and understand their data needs, data or software problems, or support requirements
  • May assist in triaging incoming user requests through email, request forms, or phone
  • Contribute to the development and content of outreach materials such as brochures, newsletters, Internet postings and conference materials
  • Attend conferences to represent NSIDC data sets and services, and to interact with the user community
  • Draft email and web notices to users regarding data set updates

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.


  • Bachelor's Degree, preferably in an earth science discipline
  • Two years professional writing experience
  • A portfolio of work demonstrating advanced scientific and technical writing skills, including the ability to write for specialized and expert audiences, as well as the ability to write clear, jargon-free text for broader audiences
  • Ability to clearly communicate scientific and technical information
  • Experience following organizational or publication style guidelines
  • Ability to provide efficient and thorough internal and external customer support and satisfaction
  • Ability to work on multiple teams that have diverse missions and operating styles
  • Ability to organize, manage, and track simultaneous and continuing unresolved tasks
  • Assertive in communicating end user needs
  • Familiarization with data visualization and analysis packages
  • Strong interest in teamwork and helping others
  • Strong oral communication skills
  • Aptitude for problem solving and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently in an unstructured, collaborative environment
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to accommodate some travel

Desirable Skills

  • Master's Degree, preferably in an earth science discipline
  • Customer service experience
  • Basic familiarity with Drupal or other content management systems
  • Training or experience in using remotely sensed data and satellite image  analysis
  • Experience using GIS software packages
  • Knowledge of UNIX
  • Experience working with programming languages, such as Matlab, Python, and/or IDL



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 contact information for 3 references who will be willing to write a confidential Letter of Recommendation for you. 

Should you be short-listed or the finalist, depending on the selection process, only 1 letter will be required. In advance, please notify your references that you have listed them as possibly providing a Letter of Recommendation. If a Letter of Recommendation is needed for your application, you will receive an email from the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department, asking you to specify which one of the references you would like to be contacted. Your reference will receive the email from CU Boulder Campus Human Resources, and then the reference will be able to upload the Letter of Recommendation through the link provided in the email.This process is time-sensitive and it is important to inform the reference to upload the letter as quickly as possible. This Letter of Recommendation will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee.

      4.) Your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor.  If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version as an optional attachment.

Full consideration will be given to those applicants who submit by February 28, 2019.

Job Number


Date Posted

Friday, February 1, 2019