You are here

In the News

Scientific Analyst-Research Associate III Position CIRA-CSU Boulder

Wed, 2017/05/31 - 3:40pm -- shawn


Scientific Analyst   (17-109) Research Associate III



The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State University seeks to fill a professional scientific position designed to conduct collaborative research with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) located at the Earth System Research Lab (ESRL), Global Systems Division (GSD) in Boulder, CO. Office will be in Boulder, CO.

Background:  The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State University (CSU) is a multi-million dollar research organization located on CSU’s Foothills Campus in Fort Collins, Colorado. CIRA is a cooperative institute that is also a research department within CSU’s College of Engineering, in partnership with the Department of Atmospheric Science. Its vision is to conduct interdisciplinary research in the atmospheric sciences by entraining skills beyond the meteorological disciplines, exploiting advances in engineering and computer science, facilitating transitional activity between pure and applied research, leveraging both national and international resources and partnerships, and assisting NOAA, Colorado State University, the State of Colorado, and the Nation through the application of our research to areas of societal benefit.

NOAA’s Global Systems Division (GSD) of the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) is a federal science and research laboratory under NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. GSD provides the National Weather Service (NWS) and the nation with environmental observing, prediction, computer, visualization, and information systems. These systems deliver data, forecasts, and predictions of weather, including severe weather events, within the next few minutes to weeks away.  The Global Systems Division (GSD) of the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) is a leader in the applied research, directed development, and technology transfer of environmental data, models, products, and services that enhance environmental understanding with the outcome of supporting commerce, protecting life and property, and promoting a scientifically literate public.

The Forecast Impact and Quality Assessment Section (FIQAS) within the Evaluation and Decision Support Branch of ESRL’s Global Systems Division is seeking an experienced scientific research analyst with meteorological and quantitative skills to support the evaluation of aviation forecasts, develop impact-based verification metrics and assessment approaches, interface with current and potential sponsors, and work with aviation operational specialists to develop foundational concepts for building new aviation decision support tools.

The individual in this position will collaborate with stakeholders and other team members to assess the quality of weather products used in aviation decision-making.  He/She will be responsible for assessment development and implementation, data analysis, and communicating findings in technical talks and reports. He/she will also work with software engineers to incorporate techniques in verification and decision support tools.  He/She will report to Sr Research Associate/FIQAS Section Chief.

Collaborative Research

  • Research, develop, and implement scientific concepts to support comprehensive forecast assessments using operationally-relevant verification techniques. Techniques involve incorporating operational criteria, using both weather and operations information. and combining and comparing data products of differing characteristics and formats.
  • Research new observation sets and develop verification techniques to use them in product evaluations.
  • Interface with users, including weather forecasters and aviation decision makers, to learn how weather information is used to make aviation decisions.
  • Work within an evaluation team throughout a product evaluation project to achieve project milestones within time and budget constraints.
  • Coordinate with product developers and stakeholders throughout product evaluation to ensure thorough understanding of product characteristics and adherence to evaluation requirements.
  • Perform extensive analysis of assessment results and summarize findings and conclusions in formal written reports and oral presentations to product developers and stakeholders.
  • Present research status and findings to sponsors and peer organizations, and participate in workshops and conferences.

Technical Implementation

  • Perform technical implementation of new, operationally-relevant verification techniques using scripting languages such as python, for use in quality assessments and possibly decision support tools.
  • Manage datasets and processing necessary to support research and development and product evaluation activities.
  • Work with engineers as needed to incorporate concepts and code into automated verification and decision support tools.

Documentation and Reporting

  • Prepare software documentation in collaboration with team members.
  • Prepare status reports as required by the project sponsor and CIRA.
  • Prepare and deliver technical talks and presentations as requested.

Required Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree (minimum M.S.) in Mathematics, Physical Science, or related field; plus 2 years relevant work experience.
  • Demonstrated understanding of meteorological phenomena relevant to aviation operations.
  • Demonstrated skill in data analysis and interpretation of statistical information.
  • Demonstrated skill in producing reports of scientific findings, both in written and presentation form.
  • Demonstrated experience performing analysis with languages or packages such as python, R, or Matlab.
  • Proficiency in application development in the Linux environment.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Five (5) years relevant work experience.
  • Demonstrated skill in development and implementation of operationally-relevant verification techniques for weather products
  • Proficiency with meteorological data such as satellite, radar, and model data, and formats such as grib and netCDF
  • Knowledge of aviation operations and decision-making processes
  • Experience working with air traffic management data
  • Experience with open source RDBMS such as MySQL and PostgreSQL
  • Experience interfacing with stakeholders regarding project requirements and reporting on project results
  • Adept at time management and working on multiple projects concurrently

Background Check: 

Colorado State University is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community.  To achieve that goal, we conduct background investigations for all final candidates being considered for employment. Background checks may include, but are not limited to, criminal history, national sex offender search, and motor vehicle history.  In addition, the final candidate will be required to pass a federal Security Assurance Check because the job is in a federally occupied building.

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion:

Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled; however, to ensure full consideration applications should be submitted by midnight Sunday, June 11, 2017. Apply electronically by clicking “Apply to this Job” at the following website: .  References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates. Please be sure to address the required qualifications in the application materials.