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CIRES NCEI Solar-Terrestrial Physics Scientific Software Engineer


Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder has an immediate opening for a Research Associate supporting NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO. As a scientific software engineer supporting the NCEI Solar-Terrestrial Physics (STP) program, the successful candidate will upgrade, install, run, maintain, and augment GOES-R space weather scientific product algorithm software within STP’s systems, including the Satellite Product Analysis and Distribution Enterprise System demonstration (SPADES-demo). The successful candidate will work on diverse projects as part of a team of software engineers, data managers, and scientists dedicated to the processing and dissemination of NOAA’s space weather data.

About us:

NCEI-STP is responsible for oversight of the NOAA space weather sensors on several weather satellite constellations, including the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES). Capabilities of instruments like those on the new GOES-R series of weather satellites (four satellites planned, two have launched) provide significant advancements over past satellite series in critical areas such as spectral range and energy resolution. A team of software developers and scientists within STP is responsible for ensuring that current and future space weather sensors provide effective operational products for use by the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). To give one example, in the GOES-R era, STP has responsibilities including calibration and validation of instrumentation, development of all forecaster-facing scientific processing algorithms, and development of the SPADES-demo. These products and the SPADES-demo are delivered to NWS, and NWS leverages them to create their operational system. SPADES-demo continues to serve a critical role at NCEI as our integration and test environment for continual improvements to GOES-R scientific processing algorithms. Finally, STP leverages these efforts to retrospectively create and disseminate the authoritative (scientifically best) record of GOES-R data.

Who We Are

At CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, 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.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Install, run, and maintain GOES-R scientific product algorithm software within the SPADES environment.
  • Augment and optimize algorithms in the SPADES-demo system, with written and verbal guidance from the originators. 
  • Implement data processing algorithms that convert GOES-R spacecraft and space weather instrument data to scientific data products, with written and verbal guidance from the instrument scientists.
  • Assist in the design and development of the NCEI GOES-R space weather product website and data services.
  • Develop software tools for instrument scientists.
  • Assist with data product visualizations.
  • Contribute to innovative research and development solutions to big data problems.
  • Participate in regular GOES-R meetings and present results at conferences/meetings, as needed.
  • Other duties from time to time as determined by management.

What You Should Know

Due to U.S. Export Control restrictions, only U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents may apply.

What We Can Offer

We can offer a competitive salary, commensurate with experience.


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 Innovative. Be Resourceful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • B.S. in Physical Science, Engineering, Computer Science or similar technical discipline, or equivalent demonstrable experience.
  • Four (4) or more years’ experience at the post-bachelor’s level in scientific programming and analysis of environmental data.
  • Experience implementing and testing scientific or mathematical algorithms.
  • Advanced proficiency in Python 2.7 and its scientific packages (e.g. NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, etc.).
  • Experience developing software using object-oriented design principles and software best practices.
  • Experience using version control systems, with preference for Git.
  • Ability to implement a practical data processing algorithm based on documentation authored by other parties.
  • Ability to modify, improve, and maintain software authored by other parties.
  • Skilled in Unix/Linux operating environments.
  • Understanding of the architecture, design and workings of systems that handle large data sets.
  • U. S.Citizenship or Permanent Residency.

What You Will Need

  • Willingness to learn other high-level languages used for scientific programming.
  • Ability and desire to learn new technologies and tools.
  • Ability to write clean, self-documented code that can be maintained by other team members when necessary.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. 
  • Ability to work independently on complex tasks.
  • Willingness and ability to seek answers from others, and to help others with their questions.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • A general understanding of space weather, space-based measurements, and NOAA’s weather satellite programs.
  • Experience writing unit, integration, and functional tests.
  • Proficiency in C/C++
  • Familiarity with Apache STORM and the Java programming language.
  • Familiarity with web development technologies (JavaScript, RESTful APIs, plotting libraries).
  • Knowledge of real-time analytics and queuing systems.
  • Experience with data visualization tools.
  • Experience with website design and maintenance.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume/CV.
  2. Cover letter briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
  3. Proof of degree in either a transcript confirming highest degree or a copy of diploma.
  4. List of contact information for 3 references who would be willing to write a recommendation letter if you are selected as the finalist.
    • If you are selected as the finalist, we will contact you through email and request that you submit 1 name and email of a reference who will be asked to submit a letter of recommendation (can be one of the 3 noted above). This information will be kept confidential and viewable only the search committee.
Screening will begin immediately, and applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Posting Contact Name: Nancy Lathrop

Posting Contact Email:

The University of Colorado is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer