Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Professional Research Asst

Professional Research Asst

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 DAAC data.  


The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) User Services Office (USO) is an information service for NSIDC's scientific user communities.  The Data Support Specialist is a member of the User Services Office who engages the user community to understand their science needs and provide support for NSIDC data and information services.  A successful Data Support Specialist will develop detailed knowledge of the products they are assigned to support, including understanding the scientific uses of the data and the tools used by the user community to work with the data.  This knowledge is used by the Data Support Specialist to represent the user perspective in product development, providing detailed information on all aspects of NSIDC’s user community needs.  Additionally, the Data Support Specialist will work directly with users to solve problems with using NSIDC data, or to provide resources to improve understanding of the data.  To accomplish these tasks, Data Support Specialists work closely with scientists and data management staff.  Data Support Specialists also represent NSIDC at conferences to support users and promote NSIDC’s data and services.  The position reports to the User Services Lead.


A.  Data Set Development and Discipline Awareness

●     Researches data format, content, and visualization methods for assigned NSIDC data sets.

●     Develops and maintains detailed information on user requirements through user community research.

●     Participates in NSIDC Product Teams to communicate user community requirements and User Services operational needs.

●     Communicates user community requirements for tool and service development projects.

●     Participates in external system development meetings to provide NSIDC user perspective.

●     Initiates data set changes through their teams based on user requirements.

B.  Handling User Inquiries

●     Triages all incoming user requests through email, request forms, or phone.

●     Communicates with users to determine and understand their data needs, data or software problems, or support requirements.

●     Researches sources and/or seeks appropriate specialists and/or scientists to obtain information needed to respond to users.

●        Escalates requests requiring detailed data set knowledge to the appropriate team member and/or scientist when needed.

●        Maintains the User Services help desk and mass mailing software.

C.  Outreach
●     Contributes to the development and content of outreach materials such as brochures, newsletters, Internet postings and conference materials.

●     Attends conferences to represent NSIDC data sets and services, and to interact with the user community.

●        Reviews and manages all email notices to users regarding data set updates.

D.  General
●     Assertive in communicating end user needs.

●     Excellent interpersonal skills.

●     Ability to accommodate some travel.

●     Strong interest in teamwork and helping others.


●     Bachelor’s degree, preferably in an earth science discipline.

●     Two years of relevant experience.

●     Strong oral and written communication skills.

●     Aptitude for problem solving and attention to detail.

●     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 work independently in an unstructured, collaborative environment.

●     Ability to clearly communicate scientific and technical information.

●     Ability to organize, manage, and track simultaneous and continuing unresolved tasks.

●     Training or experience in using remotely sensed data and satellite image analysis.

●     Familiarization with data visualization and analysis packages.



●     Master’s degree, preferably in an earth science discipline.

●     Customer service experience.

●     Experience using GIS software packages.

●     Knowledge of Unix.

●     Experience working with programming languages, such as Matlab, Python, and/or IDL.

Application Materials

Special Instructions to Applicants: The University of Colorado Boulder conducts background checks on all final applicants being considered for employment, prior to the issuance of an offer letter. The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to providing a safe and productive learning, living and working community. To achieve this goal, we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and an EPLS (Excluded Parties List System) check. The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that verification of employment eligibility be documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work. The University of Colorado is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, the University of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, political affiliation or political philosophy in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. Inquiries may be directed to the Boulder Campus Title IX Coordinator by calling 303-492-2127. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, alternative formats of this ad can be provided upon request for individuals with disabilities by contacting Human Resources at    

Application Materials Required: Cover Letter, Resume/CV, Reference Letters (Not Confidential), Unofficial transcript(s) 

Application Materials Instructions: Applicants must complete the Faculty/University Staff and EEO Data (application) form, and upload the following required documents: 1 – Cover Letter; 2 – CV; 3 – The document uploaded for Proof of Degree can be a Transcript which shows the date the degree was conferred; Copy of Diploma; or official letter from the Registrar or the Dean of the School or College conferring the degree; 4 –A non-confidential letter of reference This position is eligible for medical, dental and life insurance, retirement benefits programs, and is eligible for monthly vacation and sick leave accruals.

Job Number


Date Posted

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Professional Research Assistant