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CIRES/NIDIS Regional Drought Information Coordinator

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado





Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Posting Close Date:


Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) are seeking a full-time Regional Drought Information Coordinator to work as part of an interdisciplinary team as the coordinator for selected regional NIDIS drought early warning systems (DEWS). NIDIS is a federal interagency and interstate effort to establish a national drought early warning information system in the U.S. The successful applicant will work as part of a team to advance NIDIS through a number of strategies:

  • Developing the leadership and networks to implement an integrated drought monitoring, forecasting, and planning and preparedness system at federal, tribal, state, and local levels.
  • Fostering and supporting a research environment focusing on risk assessment, planning, forecasting, monitoring, impact collection and analysis, and mitigation.
  • Contributing to a drought early warning information system to provide accurate, timely, and integrated information specific to regional needs and economic sectors.
  • Developing content and interactive components for the U.S. Drought Portal (, as part of the drought early warning information system.
  • Providing a framework for public awareness and education about droughts and high precipitation events that ameliorate or terminate droughts.
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.

Physical Sciences Laboratory

Our mission is to conduct scientific research to observe, understand, model, predict and forecast weather, water and climate extremes and their impacts. Our vision is an informed society that uses science-based environmental intelligence to effectively anticipate and respond to threats and opportunities related to weather, water and climate extremes. Our research goals are as follows:

  • Rigorously characterize and predict weather, water, and climate extremes and their uncertainties to support NOAA's mission.
  • Develop new process understanding, observing, and modeling capabilities to predict conditions associated with too much or too little water for early warning, preparedness, resource management, and adaptation.
  • Improve monitoring and prediction of weather, climate, and water conditions impacting marine resources.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Serve as a regional source of information for federal agency partners, tribes, states, municipalities, partner academic institutions, and other organizations on drought early warning, forecasting and outlooks, and mitigation and response planning.
  • Develop, sustain, and expand team of partners who support DEWS activities, such as the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISAs), state climatologists, Regional Climate Centers (RCCs), and other public and/or private partners at the federal, state, tribal, and local level.
  • Work closely with state climatologists, state and regional drought planners and emergency managers, and others to coordinate drought outlooks and forecast delivery, as well as post-drought assessments.
  • Advance the integration of research on drought indicators and triggers, drought impacts, and the use of drought information, with adaptation and drought resilience efforts to manage water resources, reduce vulnerabilities, and mitigate impacts.
  • Coordinate, organize, and collate partner feedback to write regional DEWS strategic plans, and work with regional partners to implement activities within the plan.
  • Develop mechanisms (e.g. decision support system tools and trainings) to integrate state/regional drought planning efforts with monitoring/forecasting activities at Federal, regional, and state agencies and universities.
  • Work with the NIDIS Communications Team to identify and create necessary web content about the regional drought early warning information systems for social media and the U.S. Drought Portal (
  • Assist in event-planning activities (virtual and in-person) to convene regional and national workshops, DEWS meetings, outlook forums, trainings, webinars, and conferences, and document the findings through meeting summaries, project reports, and other follow-up documentation.
  • Coordinate with colleagues to share ideas, resources, and strategies to lead NIDIS and the cross-DEWS work in a more effective way.
  • Review, evaluate, and manage project statements of work for NIDIS-funded partners in the DEWS region.
  • Provide technical support for regional, state, or local drought scenario planning activities, such as drought tabletop exercises or drought simulations used to test drought plans and evaluate risk scenarios.
  • Collaborate in the development of evaluation metrics and assessments to measure the progress, success, and transferability of drought early warning information in the context of long-term planning, preparedness, and resilience efforts by Tribes, states, local governments, and economic sectors.
  • Domestic travel is required for this position (~6 to 12 times per year).
  • Participate in special projects as assigned.

What You Should Know

  • Visa sponsorship will not be provided for this role.
  • Candidates must be able to legally work in the U.S on a full time basis at the time of application.
  • Due to project deliverables, candidates must be able to start working no later than February 1, 2024
  • This position requires frequent domestic travel (~6-12 times per year)
  • This position's preferred location is Boulder, Colorado, and can accommodate a hybrid work modality. A fully remote work modality in either the Pacific Northwest or Missouri River Basin Drought Early Warning System regions will also be considered.
  • If you are the selected finalist 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 can offer a generous compensation package.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this position is $75,000.00 - $105,000.00. 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's preferred location is Boulder, Colorado, and can accommodate a hybrid work modality. A fully remote work modality in either the Pacific Northwest or Missouri River Basin Drought Early Warning System regions will also be considered.
  • 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 groundbreaking. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • B.S./M.S in natural or water resource management, geography, public policy, economics, or environmental sciences including climatology and/or atmospheric sciences.
  • Significant, proven professional work experience in one or more of the following: water resources, natural resources, drought, hazard mitigation, disaster response, climate extremes, public policy or related field.
  • Mid to senior-level experience in developing and implementing state drought, water resources, or hazard mitigation plans, participating in state drought task forces, or other similar collaborations.
  • Experience in engaging users and stakeholders across a variety of economic sectors and communicating drought and climate information.
  • Experience in developing and implementing comprehensive strategic plans.

What You Will Need

  • Demonstrated ability to develop effective and cooperative relationships with federal, state, local agencies and universities. Experience with tribal partners is also highly valued.
  • Demonstrated strong project management skills in a high-paced environment.
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with a diverse group of partners.
  • Excellent demonstrated written and oral communication skills; ability to present complex ideas concisely through written and verbal delivery for different audiences.
  • Demonstrated strong and effective facilitation skills.

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.

  • Demonstrated leadership in creating and maintaining relationships and networks with partners in areas of water resources, natural resources, drought, disaster response, hazard mitigation, climate extremes, and/or public policy.
  • Professional proficiency in social media and other virtual engagement and meeting platforms.

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. Please indicate in your cover letter the location of the position for which you would like to be considered, Boulder, CO, or a regional location.
  3. List of contact information for 3 references who will be willing to offer a professional reference or write a confidential letter of recommendation on your behalf. Please don't include letters of recommendation at the time of application. If you are identified as a finalist for this role, we will request professional references at a later time.

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.

The posting will remain posted until November 30, 2023. Applications will be screened as they are received.

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: Elizabeth Ossowski

Posting Contact Email: