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CIRES/ NOAA GML Atmospheric Science Instrument Specialist

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colorado is seeking a highly motivated and skilled Scientist/Engineer/Instrument Specialist to join the Halocarbons and Atmospheric Trace Species (HATS) Division at the NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory responsible for tracking atmospheric concentrations of gases that impact stratospheric ozone, climate, and human health. The successful candidate will operate, maintain, calibrate, and troubleshoot instruments designed to precisely and accurately measure trace gas concentrations in atmospheric samples. The specialist will hold primary responsibility within the HATS Division for ensuring that the instrumentation operates at the highest levels of precision, accuracy, and consistency over time. In addition, they will be responsible for regularly updating quality-assured data from the instrument for a number of trace gases on internal data servers and maintenance of consistent calibration scales over time for these trace gases.

The instrument involved provides measurements of approximately forty different trace gases in air samples regularly collected from remote locations around the world, and from aircraft and tall towers at sites across North America and other locations. The trace gases targeted include greenhouse gases, ozone-depleting gases, carbonyl sulfide, and select hazardous air pollutants at part-per-trillion concentrations in air at target precisions of 0.1%.

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

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (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 800 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado Boulder, 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.

Global Monitoring Laboratory website:

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

Be the primary analyst responsible for the daily analysis of flask air samples on a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS) instrument, and assist or provide back-up for other instruments associated with the HATS flask program.

  • Maintain instrument calibration by being responsible for setting up and maintaining a regular analysis of high-pressure air samples and gravimetrically-prepared standards on a frequency that allows consistent tracking of calibration over time.
  • Provide and assess a daily review of instrument results to gauge instrument performance and to take remedial action when that performance degrades.
  • Back up data and analysis files regularly to avoid data loss.
  • Provide fully quality-controlled, calibrated results on a timely basis and regularly update data records containing new data.
  • Maintain instrumentation to ensure high precision and accuracy in all analyses, and also by keeping on hand spare parts and consumables.
  • Interact with other GML scientists to improve or expand analysis capabilities as opportunities arise.
  • Modify, update, improve, and develop computer programs for controlling the instrument and for manipulating measurement results, as needed.
  • Provide calibration services and high-quality analysis results for other groups within and external to NOAA by analyzing additional ancillary samples and standards, as requested.
  • Act as a backup for coordinating the shipping of flasks samples to and from remote sites to ensure that those sites are able to maintain sampling on a given schedule (daily, weekly, bi-weekly), as needed

What You Should Know

  • This is an on-site position with the option for a hybrid work modality.
  • 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. Selected finalists will be required to pass a federal background check for site access.
  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement. New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.

What We Can Offer

  • CIRES can offer a generous compensation package.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this position is $55,000 - $75,000. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • Some relocation funds 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 ambitious. Be game-changing. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Bachelor in physical science such as physics, chemistry, or engineering.
  • Experience in an analytical chemistry laboratory environment or with complex instrumentation or devices.
  • Experience and proficiency in instrument control and data manipulation using computer programs and other tools.
  • Experience writing and editing computer programs to automate data analysis or instrument operation tasks.
  • Experience and a demonstrated ability to work well individually and with a team to solve problems.

What You Will Need

  • High proficiency in operating a computer and using word processors and spreadsheets or other tools to manipulate data.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. 

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Master's degree in a physical science such as physics, chemistry, or engineering.
  • Familiarity and experience with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry for the measurement of environmental samples. Experience supplying research-quality observational data from analytical instrumentation.
  • An understanding of principles associated with quantitative chemical analysis, particularly gas samples.
  • Extensive experience with troubleshooting all aspects of complex instrumentation, including gas handling, electrical, electronics, computer systems, and computer programs.
  • An understanding of atmospheric chemistry.

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 (name, affiliation, email address) for 3 references who will be willing to write a confidential Letter of Recommendation on your behalf. You don’t need to include letters of recommendation with your initial application. The search committee will request 2 letters of recommendation at a later time if you are identified as a finalist for this role.

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 position will be open until filled. 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: Fred Moore

Posting Contact Email: