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CIRES/ EARTH LAB Remote Sensing Data Scientist

University of Colorado Boulder
Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted date
Jul 28, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Computer Sciences & Technology, Geology & Earth Sciences, Other Science & Technology, Administrative, Academic Affairs, Research Administration, Business & Administrative Affairs, Computer Services & Information Technology
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colorado is seeking a Remote Sensing Data Scientist to work in the Earth Lab.

The chosen candidate will assist researchers and students with Earth data management, data science, and visualization by conducting custom project-specific analyses and developing generic libraries for broader use. Analytics methods including statistics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence for computer vision and other deep learning applications. The applicant will contribute to collaborative and open-source code (R or Python) and package development. A primary aim of this role is to use emerging techniques in data science to integrate different datasets and process remote sensing data for use in cross-scale analyses from research plots to the entire globe. This is a relatively new area of Earth Science, so the candidate does not need to be a specialist on all aspects of the problem, but should be willing to learn and show initiative. We use state-of-the-art computing that demonstrates existing cyber-infrastructure investments including high-performance compute and cloud services.

The candidate should have excellent technical and communication skills and be comfortable working in a team environment.

This position will be in Boulder, Colorado, with an office at Earth Lab under the direction of the Analytics Hub Director.

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

Cooperative Institute For Research In Environmental Sciences (CIRES)

CU-Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research on Environmental Science (CIRES) provides data science for a number of research initiatives around the campus. 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 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.

Earth Lab

Earth Lab is part of CIRES and the CU-Boulder’s Grand Challenge: Our Space, Our Future. Earth Lab’s mission is to harness the data revolution using Earth observations from aerospace platforms (drone, aircraft, and space) and other sources (e.g., social media, etc.) to better understand the pace and pattern of environmental change. Earth Lab:

  • Capitalizes on the data deluge from Space to accelerate global environmental change science;
  • Reduces environmental risk and surprise by understanding and predicting slow and abrupt Earth system change; and,
  • Trains a new generation of data scientists in Earth analytics.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Lead data fusion solutions to process diverse remote sensing datasets (active and passive) across a range of resolutions (e.g., high resolution <1 m to coarser resolutions ~30-500 m), in conjunction with novel datasets (e.g. Microsoft building, Zillow, etc.), into information of value for cross-scale scientific analysis using machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • Consult with and advise scientific researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder on efficient, appropriate, and powerful computational and informatics approaches for advancing scientific investigations in programming languages they use.
  • Assist with the development and maintenance of Earth Lab’s Analytics Hub, and instruct users on how to utilize our services.
  • Work with Earth Lab developers and cyber-infrastructure collaborators to optimize interoperability and long-term sustainability of these codebases and datasets as generalized resources for science researchers.
  • Support UAV field campaigns and data processing for scientific research.
  • Participate in training efforts, including workshops for postdocs, graduate, or professional students.

What We Can Offer

  • CIRES can offer a generous compensation package. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this position is $50,000 - $99,000.
  • Relocation funds 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 .

Be Statements
Be Ambitious. Be Dynamic. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Bachelor’s or graduate degree in remote sensing, applied mathematics, computer sciences, or related fields with experience working with science groups OR a Bachelor’s degree or higher in the physical, earth, or environmental sciences or related fields with a strong quantitative background in remote sensing machine learning, artificial intelligence, and programming.
  • Three year’s experience in Earth observation, data science, and/or a quantitative scientific field.
  • Quantitative skills in remote sensing and informatics using Earth/ atmospheric/ geoscience/ biological data from cameras, drones, aircraft, and satellites.
  • Quantitative skills in applied computer vision, or other deep learning applications.
  • Demonstrated proficiency working with either R or Python.

What You Will Need

  • Communication skills to work well with other scientists/researchers in face-to-face and remote collaborations.
  • Knowledge of machine learning and artificial intelligence methods to explore and analyze large remote sensing datasets with these programming languages.
  • Knowledge in data processing and manipulation, including formatting, ingest, and data cleaning in machine-readable formats.
  • Desire to educate academic researchers on how to use these tools, which includes a strong service background.

What We Would Like You To Have

Please note that while the position details both required skills above as well as desired skills and experience below, 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 meet the minimum qualifications, have passion for the work, along with experience in a related field, you are encouraged to apply. We encourage on-the-job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.

  • Knowledge of Earth observations with experience working with remote sensing data from camera, drone, airborne, and satellite at varying resolutions.
  • Experience with multiple modalities of remote sensing data (e.g., multispectral, hyperspectral, radar, thermal, etc.).
  • Strong familiarity with collecting, organizing, and analyzing Earth and environmental science remote sensing data.
  • Previous experience with collaborative coding and/or open source software, e.g., git, GitHub.
  • Previous experience working in cloud computing (e.g., Amazon Web Services).
  • Experience working with commercial off-the-shelf drones (e.g., DJI) and cameras (e.g. Micasense).
  • Ability to contribute to a diverse and inclusive workforce.
  • Previous teaching experience.

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. If you are identified as a finalist for this role, the search committee will request letters of recommendation 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.

Applications submitted by the end of the day on August 13, 2021 will receive full consideration. The position will remain open 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: Natasha Stavros

Posting Contact Email:

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