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CIRES/ NOAA CSL Atmospheric Chemical/Physical Research Scientist

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

We are encouraging applications for a Research Scientist to work on research relevant to the Earth’s climate atmosphere, and specifically to carry out aircraft-based measurements focused on stratospheric aerosol formation, dynamics, and physics within the context of Earth’s radiation budget and the stratospheric ozone layer. This position will work in close cooperation with an inclusive, supportive, and enthusiastic team of research staff in modifying and deploying a commercial laser-based instrument for measuring carbonyl sulfide (OCS), carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, and interpreting and sharing the science from this effort. The instrument will fly on high altitude research aircraft such as the NASA WB-57F.

The Research Scientist will be dedicated to the success of this new project. Experience and detailed knowledge of laser-based spectroscopic techniques for measurement of trace gases, and/or experience with integration and operation of scientific instruments on airborne platforms are helpful qualifications for this position.

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

This university position is located in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL) in Boulder, Colorado, and will be hired through the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at CU Boulder. The Research Scientist will work with a team of both university and federal employees. 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 between 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.

In the Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL) of NOAA, researchers develop and use instruments to make precise atmospheric measurements, conduct laboratory experiments, design and execute field missions, analyze observations, and use sophisticated computer models to better understand how our changing atmosphere is influencing climate - and therefore people.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Spearhead efforts to deploy a commercial laser-based absorption instrument on a high-altitude research aircraft to measure CO, OCS, and CO2 to advance scientific understanding in the stratosphere.
  • Conduct laboratory tests to plan for and execute modifications of this instrument for optimal operation during airborne research flights.
  • Design and implement necessary mechanical modifications to integrate the instrument into aircraft for research flights, in conjunction with engineering support.
  • Participate in airborne science field missions using this instrument. Field missions require deployment for periods of 2 weeks to 2 months, typically once or twice per year, both domestically and internationally.
  • Process and analyze the data from this instrument from airborne missions. This requires interpretation of multi-parameter data sets, interaction with other instrument investigators.
  • Present findings at scientific meetings and in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

What You Should Know

  • The position is available for a period of 1 year with the expectation of extension for 2 additional years based on performance and the availability of funding. 
  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder, but will be physically situated in the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305, on a federal research campus. If you are the finalist you will be required to pass a background clearance for site access.
  • 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 listed as number one of the “best places to live” in the US (
  • Boulder is located just 20 miles from Denver, which is a large, diverse city ranked as number two of the best places to live in the US.
  • As an employee at CU Boulder, the ECO Pass benefit mentioned below allows you to have free access to the public transit system, which is a fantastic network of buses and light rails that connect Boulder, Denver, the Denver airport, and surrounding communities.
  • For questions about this job, please contact

What We Can Offer

  • CIRES/NOAA provides an engaged and collaborative work environment and the opportunity to contribute to addressing scientific questions of societal relevance. Working within CSL, you will be part of a supportive team with extensive experience and success carrying out atmospheric measurements from the boundary layer to the stratosphere. CIRES offers a competitive salary with a generous and comprehensive benefits package.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this Research Associate/Research Scientist I-2 position is $60,000- $78,000.
  • Relocation expenses are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.


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 Adaptable. Be Innovative. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • A Ph.D. in physics, chemistry, engineering, atmospheric science, or a related field.

What You Will Need

  • Capability for self-guided, motivated, and original research.
  • Ability to work well with other researchers and support staff in a diverse and collaborative research environment.
  • Experience with data interpretation for the presentation of scientific results at meetings and in scientific journals.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Knowledge of and experience with the design, fabrication, operation, and/or maintenance of complex instrumentation.

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. You don’t need to include letters of recommendation with your initial application. The search committee will request letters of recommendation at a later time if you are identified as a finalist for this role.
    • 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 by the search committee.
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.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Position will remain 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: Joseph Katich, Hiring Supervisor

Posting Contact Email: