CIRES/ NOAA PSL Associate Scientist in Innovative Environmental Observing Systems Engineering

University of Colorado Boulder
Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Mar 03, 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 engineering to support the development of innovative observing technologies. This appointment will be within the PSL as part of the Polar Observations and Processes team and will contribute to the development, deployment, and evaluation of atmospheric and oceanic observing systems. These systems will primarily be comprised of miniaturized sensors developed for making high-quality measurements from uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) and/or buoy platforms. The engineer will work with a team of scientists to develop, advance, and deploy these observational systems to support the advancement of the understanding of physical processes in the atmosphere and ocean, and advance the prediction of weather, water, and climate.
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.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be
  • Develop, test and deploy existing and new innovative observing systems to support NOAA and University of Colorado research efforts, including design of hardware and software to advance these observing systems.
  • Collaborate with engineers and scientists at CIRES, PSL, and beyond to produce unique observationally-based perspectives on the ocean and atmosphere, including contributing to publications and presentations on these observing capabilities.
  • Careful documentation of engineering efforts to ensure institutional memory of technology development.

What You Should Know
  • This is a one-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 hiring salary range for the Professional Research Assistant role is $55,000 - $65,000.


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 Adaptable. Be Collaborative. Be Boulder.

What We Require
  • Graduate degree (M.S., Ph.D.) in an engineering field (Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering).
  • Demonstrated experience working with small sensor systems with a focus on environmental measurement.
  • Experience with uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS).

What You Will Need
  • Familiarity with sensing of the natural environment, including atmosphere and ocean.
  • Strong understanding of electrical system design.
  • Ability to travel to support field deployment of instrumentation.

What We Would Like You To Have
  • Experience with the operation of fixed-wing UAS and the ability to contribute to the preparation, piloting, and deployment of those systems.
  • Experience with 3D printing techniques.
  • Experience with software development, preferably including microcontroller software development.
  • Experience with scientific data analysis and processing software (Matlab, IDL, Python) and file formats (e.g. NetCDF, Matlab)Experience with integration of sensors onto platforms (e.g. UAS, aircraft, buoys).

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 3/5/2021. 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: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email:

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