CIRES/ NOAA PSL Associate Scientist in Boundary Layer Research using Uncrewed Aircraft Observations

University of Colorado Boulder
Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Jan 26, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at CU Boulder and the NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory (PSL) encourage applications for a full-time Associate Scientist with a strong background in boundary layer meteorology. This appointment will be within the PSL as part of the Polar Observations and Processes team and will conduct research examining physical processes in the atmospheric boundary layer using observations collected by uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) during a variety of field campaigns over the last five years, including campaigns conducted in the Arctic (ERASMUS, ICARUS, POPEYE, MOSAiC), in mid-latitudes (LAPSE-RATE) and in the tropics (ATOMIC). The researcher will work with a team of scientists to bring to bear observations from UAS, including measurements of thermodynamic state, winds, and turbulence to better understand boundary layer structure and processes, and their impact on clouds, weather, and surface state. Such studies may target the synthesis of results from a variety of flights, or involve using these observations to conduct detailed case studies built around these datasets.
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, 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.

Physical Sciences Laboratory website:

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be
  • Process and analyze observational datasets collected using uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) across a variety of geographical locations to develop an understanding of boundary layer physical processes, including processes related to atmospheric turbulence and mixing, fluxes of heat and momentum throughout the boundary layer, development and maintenance of clouds, and other critical processes.
  • Collaborate with scientists at CIRES, PSL and beyond to synthesize and publish results from such analysis in well-respected scientific journals.
  • Develop tools to leverage the information from such studies to evaluate and improve weather and climate prediction tools.

What You Should Know
  • This is a two-year appointment with the possibility of extension based on performance and the availability of funding.
  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado 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 annual hiring salary ranges for this Professional Research Assistant position are as follows:
  • Associate Scientist 1: $50,000 - $70,000
  • Associate Scientist 2: $60,000- $80,000
  • Associate Scientist 3: $70,000 - $95,000

Relocation expenses are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.


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 .

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Be Dynamic. Be Successful. Be Boulder.

What We Require
  • Graduate degree in atmospheric science (M.S., Ph.D.).
  • Demonstrated experience working with in situ atmospheric observational datasets, including analysis, visualization, and statistical evaluation.

What You Will Need
  • A strong background in understanding atmospheric boundary layers and turbulence, surface-air interactions, or atmospheric physics.
  • Experience with scientific data analysis and processing software (Matlab, IDL, Python) and file formats (e.g. NetCDF, Matlab).
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment.
  • Strong desire to publish your work in respected scientific journals and present at scientific conferences.

What We Would Like You To Have
  • Experience with aircraft data, and in particular uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) data.
  • Understanding of in situ measurements, including wind sensing from moving platforms.
  • Interest in high-latitude, surface energy exchange, or cloud physical processes.
  • Interest in potential field deployment as part of future research campaigns.

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. You don’t need to include letters of recommendation with your initial application. The search committee will request letters of recommendation at a later time If you are identified as a finalist for this role.

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.

The position will be open until filled. Applications will be screened as they are received.

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: Gijs de Boer

Posting Contact Email:

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