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CIRES/NOAA SWPC Space Weather Forecast Applications Scientist (RA)

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) encourages applications to fill a Research Associate position resident at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC)! SWPC is the nation’s official source of space weather alerts and warnings. SWPC forecasts and products support a wide range of customers, including power grid operators, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), aviation, satellite operators, and emergency managers.

Our Research Associate will work within the SWPC Testbed section of the Space Weather Prediction Center, working with the wider Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), Space Weather Follow On - L1 (SWFO-L1), and Compact Coronagraph teams. Specifically, this position will initially support the DSCOVR mission, with the expectation the candidate will take a lead in developing experimental space weather forecasting applications for the benefit of forecasters and customers. In addition to data from DSCOVR, the successful applicant is encouraged to investigate future missions including the SWFO-L1 and Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) for their use in crafting new space weather applications. Together, these missions are important to ensuring the highest quality space weather forecasts and it is encouraged that the applications developed using these missions will be used to improve and enhance SWPC’s geomagnetic and radiation storm forecasts. Through this role, the successful candidate will participate in preparing these missions, ground systems, and forecast products for post-launch, 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

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 CU 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. 

SWPC website:

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

Application-related research-to-operations

  • Research applications related to solar wind and coronagraph data that could be beneficial to SWPC forecasters and/or customers
  • Determine application utility vs cost and work with SWPC to prioritize.
  • Build testbed versions of high-priority applications, with appropriate documentation, and within an appropriate software framework, to facilitate a successful transition to real-time space weather forecasting operations
  • Conduct self-directed research directly related to SWPC’s space weather priorities
  • Presentation of results and ongoing efforts through peer-reviewed publications and presentations at professional meetings and conferences

What You Should Know

This position will be rostered in CIRES but will be physically situated in the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305. The selected finalist will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access.

Given the level of required security clearance for this position, U.S Citizenship or Permanent residence (green card) are required. 

What We Can Offer

We can offer a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package. 


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 Inspired. Be Strategic. Be Boulder.

What We Require

Please note that while the position details the requirements in the "minimum qualifications" 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.  We encourage on-the-job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position
  • Given the level of required security clearance for this position, U.S Citizenship or Permanent residence (green card) are required. 
  • Ph.D. required (Physics or Engineering fields preferred; other related fields may be considered)
  • Experience with data analysis and programming skills in Python, IDL, or a similar language

What You Will Need

  • Ability to implement mathematical models and algorithms as computer programs
  • Ability to think critically and make independent decisions
  • Ability to work in a mission-focused, operational environment 
  • Strong communication skills, proven through peer-reviewed articles and oral presentations
  • Works well in a team with an ability to build strong interpersonal relationships to facilitate cross-team knowledge sharing. 
  • Ability to contribute to a diverse and inclusive workforce at CU Boulder and NOAA/SWPC

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Familiarity with solar coronal or solar wind physics
  • Knowledge and/or experience of using data assimilation or ensemble modeling techniques and in modern software management paradigms (e.g. git, bitbucket, etc.)
  • Experience with or knowledge of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) modeling of the solar wind
  • Experience developing high-quality and insightful visualizations of scientific datasets

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. 

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 will be reviewed as they are received. Position will be posted 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: Adamson, Eric

Posting Contact Email: