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CIRES/ NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, Solar Wind Research Scientist or Associate Scientist

University of Colorado Boulder
Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Jun 30, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Geology & Earth Sciences, Other Science & Technology, Physics & Space Sciences, Administrative, Academic Affairs, Research Administration
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) invites applications for a full-time Research Scientist or Associate Scientist position at the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). The successful applicant will work to improve solar wind and coronal mass ejection (CME) propagation models and products for forecasting geomagnetic storms at Earth.

The primary role will be heliospheric modeling support with associated activities including long-term model verification, ensemble consideration, and application and product development. The successful applicant will also likely work closely with the SWPC testbed to transition proven capabilities into real-time operations.

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 Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) is an internationally recognized leader in innovative environmental science and research and is located at the University of Colorado Boulder. At CIRES, more than 800 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, solid Earth sciences, and more. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

As part of NOAA’s National Weather Service, the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) operates 24/7 as the nation’s official source of space weather alerts and warnings - safeguarding society with actionable space weather information. SWPC forecasts and products support a wide range of customers, including power grid operators, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), aviation, satellite operators, emergency managers, the general public, industry and government agencies.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

For an Associate Scientist:
  • Assessing and validating models and applications that could be beneficial to SWPC forecasters and/or customers in conjunction with interagency partners, academia and industry.
  • Improving SWPC’s existing suite of solar wind and coronal mass ejection propagation forecast applications, through the incorporation of new data, visualization tools, and modeling techniques.
  • Helping transition new model updates and capabilities from research to operations.
For a Research Scientist:
  • In addition to the duties identified above, a Research Scientist at CIRES is also responsible for conducting and presenting original research.
  • Outreach, education, and service activities are also important components of a Research Scientist’s effort.
What You Should Know
  • Access to the NOAA Federal Center and computer facilities is necessary to perform the work of this position. Access is not available for individuals working in the United States through a visa and therefore we are unable to consider applications from individuals on a visa or requiring visa sponsorship for this position.
  • Applicants must be currently authorized to legally work in the United States on a full-time basis.
  • 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.
  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement . New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.
What We Can Offer
  • CIRES can offer a generous compensation package. The annual hiring salary range for this position is $66,000-$114,500 . Salary is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • Relocation funds are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.
  • This position can accommodate a hybrid work modality.
  • We have a great work culture which emphasizes work-life balance.

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 groundbreaking. Be Boulder.

What We Require

For an Associate Scientist:
  • Master’s degree (Physics fields preferred; other fields may be considered).
For a Research Scientist:
  • PhD degree (Physics fields preferred; other fields may be considered).
What You Will Need
  • Background in heliophysics, space physics, and/or similar fields.
  • Skills in scientific data analysis and computer programming.
  • Understanding of numerical models and error treatment.
  • Ability to think critically and make independent decisions.
  • Strong communication skills and ability to work well in a team.
  • Ability to work in a mission-focused, operational environment.
What We Would Like You To Have

Please note that while the position requirements are detailed in the What we require and What you will need sections, we want applicants to be aware that they do not need to have all the skills and experience from the What we would like you to have section to be considered for this position. If you meet the requirements, you are encouraged to apply and take advantage of on-the-job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.
  • Familiarity with heliospheric magnetohydrodynamics models, ideally WSA and Enlil.
  • Familiarity with ensemble modeling methods.
  • Experience with modern software management tools (e.g., Git, Bitbucket).
  • Experience with modern data visualization tools and product development.
  • Knowledge of space weather phenomena, including CMEs.
  • Ability to contribute to a diverse and inclusive workforce at the University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA/SWPC.
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. Be prepared to submit a list of 5 professional references (2 of whom must be current or former supervisors). If you are selected as a finalist, we will invite you to contact these references so that they may complete a Skillsurvey questionnaire on your behalf. SkillSurvey is an online automated reference check solution. This information will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee.

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.

This position will remain posted until filled. Applications received by July 17, 2022 will receive full 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: Andrew Marble

Posting Contact Email:

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