CIRES/NOAA CSL Stratospheric Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry Scientist

University of Colorado Boulder
Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Aug 3, 2023

Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) is seeking a highly motivated Research and Development Scientist to join the Atmospheric Composition and Chemical Processes (ACCP) group of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL) in Boulder, Colorado. This scientist will conduct research to understand the chemistry and composition of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, through in-situ measurements of reactive trace gasses using a custom-built stratospheric chemical ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer (StratCIMS) . The StratCIMS will be deployed on the NASA WB-57 high altitude aircraft in a mission planned for summer 2024 as part of the SABRE project.

The Post-Doctoral Associate or Research Scientist will participate in all aspects of performing measurements on airborne platforms including instrument maintenance, improvements, integration, calibration, operation, and data-reduction. Primary research themes of this instrument project include understanding gas phase chemistry and heterogeneous uptake of reactive nitrogen (N2O5) and halogen species (ClONO2, ClO, BrO, etc.) in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere with the goal of developing observationally constrained parameterizations of this chemistry and to assess potential impacts of changing stratospheric composition (e.g. wildfire smoke injections). The selected candidate will pursue novel research into these topics using data acquired during past and upcoming airborne science campaigns. The selected candidate will also contribute to the development of new quantitative calibration techniques and the extension of instrument capabilities (such as operation in multiple reagent ion chemistries or deployment on other airborne research platforms).

The initial appointment is for one year with the possibility of extension depending on funding and performance.

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

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 950 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES has partnered with NOAA since 1967, 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.

The mission of the NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL) is to advance scientific understanding of the chemical and physical processes that affect Earth’s atmospheric composition. CSL’s vision is a nation that has the needed scientific understanding and information about atmospheric composition to make optimal decisions for the well-being of current and future generations.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

For All Applicants:
  • Maintain, calibrate, and operate a custom chemical ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer developed for high altitude airborne sampling (StratCIMS).
  • Support the deployment of instruments on airborne platforms such as the NASA WB-57 anticipating participation in the SABRE mission in 2024. Deployments involve travel to remote work locations for many weeks at a time.
  • Develop new instrument measurement and calibration capabilities relevant to future airborne missions.
  • Contribute to data analysis from prior deployments of the StratCIMS.
  • Pursue novel research using the data acquired by these and other instruments during atmospheric science field campaigns. Present data, and analysis at science team meetings and research conferences. Publish results in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Additional responsibilities for Research Scientists:
  • Identify important research questions and prepare and interpret scientific data to address these research questions.
  • Take the lead on the design of novel research instrumentation.
  • Potentially act as a supervisor for more junior scientists.
  • Outreach, education, and service activities are also important components of a Research Scientist’s effort.
What You Should Know
  • This appointment will be at the Post-Doctoral Associate or Research Scientist level depending on the finalist’s qualifications.
  • The initial appointment is for one year with the possibility of extension depending on funding and performance.
  • Deployments involve travel to remote work locations for many weeks at a time.
  • This position will be administered by CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder, but will be physically situated in the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305, a federal campus.
  • If you are selected for this position you will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access. Non-US citizens without green cards may have limited building access, and require an escort in the building.
What We Can Offer
  • CIRES offers a generous compensation package.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this position is $64,000 - $68,000 for Post-Doctoral Associates and $68,000 - $90,000 for Research Scientists. Salary is commensurate with education and years of experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • Relocation funds are available for this role following CIRES and the University of Colorado Boulder’s rules and regulations for relocation reimbursement.
  • CIRES and the University of Colorado Boulder offer a robust training curriculum, opportunities for professional development and a Mentorship Program.
  • Boulder is a vibrant community with access to mountain parks, dog parks, miles of trails, rivers, lakes, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, theaters, museums, and sports venues. Boulder was recently ranked as one of the top places to live in the U.S. by U.S. News.
  • As an employee at CU Boulder, you receive a pass allowing free access to the regional public transit system , which is an outstanding network of buses and light rail systems that provide service within Boulder and connect to Denver, the Denver airport, and surrounding communities.

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 driven. Be Boulder.

What We Require

For All Applicants:
  • A Ph.D. in Physics, Chemistry, Atmospheric Science, Environmental Engineering, or a related field.
  • Experience with the operation and maintenance of complex instrumentation in a laboratory or field environment.
  • Experience with data interpretation for the presentation of scientific results at meetings and in scientific journals.
  • Ability to perform required duties associated with ~ 2-month field deployments in support of missions.
Additional requirements for Research Scientists:
  • At least 1 year of post-doctoral research experience.
  • Proven capability for self-guided, motivated, and original research as documented by several first-author publications.
What You Will Need
  • Interest in building and using custom scientific instrumentation to make observations in the atmosphere and analyzing these observations to address atmospheric problems of contemporary interest.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively with other researchers and support staff in a collaborative research environment.
What We Would Like You to Have

We invite applicants to apply even if they do not have the preferred skills and experience outlined in this section. If you meet the minimum qualifications and have passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We encourage on-the-job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.
  • Experience with the operation and field deployment of chemical ionization mass spectrometers is preferred but not required.
  • Experience or willingness to learn instrument control software such as LabView; data analysis software such as IGOR, Matlab, and IDL; and publishing and presentation software such as Microsoft Office and PowerPoint.
  • Experience with atmospheric chemistry box models.
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. You don’t need to include letters of recommendation with your initial application. If you are identified as a finalist for this role, we will request references at a later time.

Also, 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 finalists have been identified.

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: Gordon Novak

Posting Contact Email:

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