CIRES/NOAA GML Professional Research Assistant

University of Colorado Boulder
Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Nov 24, 2020
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at CU Boulder encourages applications for a highly motivated and skilled Professional Research Assistant (PRA) to build, procure, test, and launch compact, lightweight instruments (“sondes”) that are carried by meteorological balloons for the purpose of monitoring upper atmospheric composition. The PRA is expected to consistently contribute to the day-to-day operations of the balloon sonde team while working independently in a laboratory setting.

This position will work in the Ozone and Water Vapor (OZWV) research group and collaborate with technical and scientific personnel within the Global Monitoring Laboratory of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratories ( ). Our balloon-borne instrumentation includes commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) radiosondes and electrochemical concentration cell (ECC) ozonesondes, as well as custom-build frost point hygrometers.

The primary mission of GML at NOAA is to quantify and understand changes in atmospheric composition across the globe through the creation and maintenance of highly accurate and detailed long-term measurement records. This mission requires the performance of highly consistent measurements of key atmospheric constituents at regular intervals, along with dedicated and strict quality assurances of the measurement data. Our balloon-borne measurements are performed at NOAA/ESRL baseline observatories, including Boulder, and at several cooperative sites around the globe.
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

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

  • Manufacture custom parts and help assemble, calibrate and test custom-built and COTS sondes.
  • Prepare sondes for launch by performing ground checks and initializing computer-based data reception and recording systems.
  • Assist in the launching of instrumented balloons from a site near Boulder.
  • Retrieve instrument payloads after flights when deemed efficient and appropriate.
  • Assist with lab and flight tests of new sondes and their adaptation to existing payloads.
  • Keep inventories of COTS radiosondes, ozonesondes, balloons, and other consumable equipment and launch supplies at Boulder.
  • Procure sondes, equipment, and supplies when needed.

What You Should Know

This position will be rostered in CIRES at CU 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 and a comprehensive 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 Ambitious. Be Engaged. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Physical or Natural Science.
  • Experience with instruments that measure atmospheric composition, especially those carried by meteorological balloons.
  • Basic knowledge and experience with shop tools and machines.
  • Digital literacy and familiarity with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Basic knowledge of analog and digital electronic circuits.
  • Experience and proven skill in tasks such as soldering and foam cutting.

What You Will Need

  • Excellent general laboratory and technical skills including meticulous attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently and contribute to the day-to-day operations of a team.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.

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

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 (if applicable) as an optional attachment.

Please apply by November 28, 2020 for consideration.

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: Dale Hurst

Posting Contact Email:

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