CIRES/NSIDC Data Operations Specialist Professional Research Assistant

Job Summary

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) encourages applications for a Data Operations Specialist to join the Data Operations team to manage and support NSIDC's archive of satellite, aircraft, and ground data! The Data Operations team operates multiple automated systems for ingest, archival, and distribution of a broad range of NASA, NOAA, and other cryospheric data products. Individual Data Operations Specialists are also embedded within project and data product teams to provide insight into the role of Data Operations and knowledge of archival standards. This role will support NSIDC'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 University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC, ), part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at CU 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.

At CIRES, 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 CU 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 the scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Operate and sustain existing NSIDC data systems, including the NASA Earth Observing System Data Information System (EOSDIS) Core System, NASA EOSDIS cloud data management system, and other custom software stacks.
  • Troubleshoot and resolve system integrity and system performance issues.
  • Monitor ingest, archive, and distribution processes.
  • Communicate best-practices around data archival with other groups and projects in the center, including science data product teams and software development project teams.
  • Engage with science teams, data providers, and other data managers about data flows into and out of our systems.
  • Develop scripts to extend or improve the automation of operational processes.
  • Perform migrations of scientific data across data management systems.
  • Attend relevant meetings and teleconferences with team members and external collaborators.
  • Perform configuration management and testing for a variety of custom software systems.

Duties may also include one or more of the following:
  • Produce data and metadata, including reports on quality assurance, for products being archived and managed by the center.
  • Author and implement system documentation and operational procedures.
  • Install, configure, and tune data management software.
  • Lead projects that impact the Data Operations team ‐ either with a team of Data Operations Specialists or other groups within the center.
  • Supervise interns or students within the Data Operations team.

What You Should Know

Please note that while the position details both required skills as well as desired skills and experience, we want applicants to be aware that they do not need to have all of the desired skills and experience to be considered for this position. If you have a Bachelor’s degree, transferable experience, and passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We encourage on‐the‐job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.

Due to NASA funding restrictions, candidates who have affiliations or appointments with Chinese Government organizations, Chinese Government controlled organizations, Chinese-owned companies, or any company incorporated under the laws of the People’s Republic of China are ineligible for hire.

For questions about the job, please contact Daniel Crumly, hiring supervisor, at .

For questions about the application process, please contact J.Reeves at .

What We Can Offer

We can offer a competitive salary, commensurate with experience, along with a generous benefits package.


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 .

Be Statements
Be Strategic. Be Ambitious. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Bachelor's Degree.
  • Intermediate Linux skills.

What You Will Need

  • Ability to creatively problem‐solve: to break down system‐level problems into tasks, prioritize them, and work them through to completion.
  • Ability to work collaboratively on highly efficient, cross‐functional teams.
  • Ability to efficiently represent technical needs.
  • Ability to learn new systems quickly in an on‐the‐job environment.
  • Ability to be self‐directed and recognize tasks that need to be completed, take ownership of them, work through them, and ask for help when needed.
  • Ability to balance multiple assigned tasks, prioritize them, and efficiently context‐switch between critical tasks.
  • Ability to contribute to a diverse and inclusive workplace as part of the CU Boulder Inclusive Excellence vision.
  • Experience communicating with technical and non‐technical audiences.

What We Would Like You To Have
  • Experience with Perl, Python, shell scripting, or equivalent.
  • 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.
  • Knowledge of version control systems (such as Github), continuous integration (such as CircleCl, Jenkins, or Bamboo), and software delivery.
  • Experience with virtual machines, including the use of Vagrant, Puppet, Docker, and other related tools.
  • Experience with cloud technologies, including deployment and troubleshooting.

Special Instructions

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 3 references: the names, professional titles, and contact information of those who are familiar with your qualifications and work history. You don't need to include letters of recommendation at the time of application. If you are identified as a finalist, we will request those at a later time.

If you are selected as the finalist, 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 (if applicable).

Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Position will remain posted until filled.

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

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Daniel Crumly

Posting Contact Email:

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