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CIRES/NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory Observational Radiation, Cloud, and Boundary Layer Professional Research Assistant

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Posting Close Date:


Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado Boulder, has an opening for an Associate Scientist within the Global Monitoring Laboratory (GML) of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratories (ESRL) in Boulder, Colorado. The researcher will develop new boundary layer, cloud, and radiation products for analysis of atmospheric processes. The researcher will develop scientific insights into the role and feedbacks of radiation and clouds in boundary layer processes for weather and climate research. The researcher will work for the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder but located at the NOAA David Skaggs Research Center, Boulder, CO. The researcher will work alongside federal and university employees engaged in research examining the Earth’s surface radiation budget and climate forcing properties of atmospheric constituents from short-term field campaigns as well as long-term U.S. surface radiation networks.

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, 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. 

Global Monitoring Laboratory

GML’s mission is to conduct research that addresses three major challenges: greenhouse gas and carbon cycle feedbacks; fundamental understanding between clouds, aerosols, and surface radiation; and recovery of stratospheric ozone. 

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Collaborate on the development of an improved boundary layer retrieval product from ceilometer profile measurements across seven SURFRAD observatories and several short-term deployments.
  • Collaborate with colleagues who have developed a cloud regime classification model in order to better constrain boundary layer height retrievals from ceilometer.
  • Develop a combined radiation and cloud property data product to assist research in weather and climate applications. 
  • Preparation and interpretation of collected radiation, cloud, and aerosol data sets and analysis of their role in boundary layer processes. This requires analysis of multi-parameter data sets, interacting with other investigators including observationalists and climate modelers.
  • Work with colleagues to analyze surface energy budget observations across CONUS to investigate how cloud regimes influence the surface energy transfer and boundary layer height development.
  • Presentation of findings at scientific meetings and publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals as appropriate.
  • Developing code and processes to create operational data products.

What You Should Know

  • The position is available for a period of two years with the possibility of extension should funding become available.
  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder, but will be physically situated in the NOAA ESRL 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. Work may be virtual at times subject to University and NOAA policies related to COVID-19 conditions.
  • Contact Laura Riihimaki ( or Joseph Sedlar ( of CIRES for further information concerning this position.

What We Can Offer

  • We can offer a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this Professional Research Assistant position is $52,000- $62,000.
  • 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 Courageous. Be Positive. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Master’s degree in Atmospheric Science, Meteorology, Chemical, Physical Sciences, or a related field.
  • Statistics experience and strong programming, preferably in Python, Matlab, or R.
  • Experience in handling moderately large scientific data sets, including strong data analysis skills.

What You Will Need

  • Ability to understand radiation and cloud observing systems (e.g. radiometers, ceilometers) with a solid understanding of boundary layer meteorology.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Experience modifying and/or developing retrievals of cloud or boundary layer properties from lidar.
  • Experience developing machine learning algorithms.

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 4/13/2021.

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: Laura Riihimaki and Joseph Sedlar

Posting Contact Email:;