Skip to content

CIRES/ NOAA NCEI Research Scientist in Space Plasma Physics Research Associate

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder has an immediate opening for a Research Scientist supporting NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) work related to the magnetometers (MAGs) on the GOES-R mission satellites. The Space Weather Team within NCEI, is responsible for supporting NOAA’s space weather mission and for ensuring the operational and scientific utility of NOAA’s space environmental data. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Series-R (GOES-R) is NOAA’s next generation of spacecraft, which include a complement of space weather sensors to monitor the local space environment and the sun.

The role of the Scientist is to support the NCEI MAG team in all aspects of NCEI's GOES-R MAG efforts including on-orbit instrument calibration and validation, development and implementation of MAG space weather products, determining the quality of Level 1 MAG data, investigating data anomalies, writing technical documents, attending/contributing to NASA/NOAA/vendor technical meetings, calibration activities, and instrument tests as needed and undertaking scientific research. The Scientist is expected to present data that clearly articulates our GOES magnetometer scientific requirements and data integrity. They are also expected to do scientific research and publish in journals and attend conferences. The Physicist position is located within the Solar-Terrestrial Physics Branch of the NCEI Center for Coasts, Oceans, and Geophysics (CCOG) at the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, Colorado.

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.

National Centers for Environmental Information division:

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Investigate/improve/review calibration/validation methods for the GOES-R MAG.
  • Update MAG Post Launch Test strategies.
  • Investigate anomalies and validate MAG Level-1b data from on-orbit satellites.
  • Attend instrument and spacecraft engineering technical meetings both in person and on teleconferences.
  • Help in identifying magnetic cleanliness issues during pre-launch tests and instrument development phases.
  • Develop and present the GOES-T and GOES-U MAG instrument Level-L1b data product reviews to the GOES-R Program.
  • Undertake scientific research using GOES-R MAG data and publish results in peer-review journals and present at scientific conferences.
  • Reprocess GOES-R-series and GOES-NOP magnetometer data in order to improve the accuracy of comparisons between the two series.
  • Help in research, development, implementation and maintenance of operational Level 2 space weather products.
  • When needed, present data that clearly articulates our GOES magnetometer scientific requirements and data integrity.
  • Other duties from time to time as needed.

What You Should Know

  • This position involves handling of export-controlled documents and data, and thus only applications from US citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) can be considered. 
  • If hired, you will need to pass a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI, Federal background check).
  • The Physicist position is located within the Solar-Terrestrial Physics Branch of the NCEI Center for Coasts, Oceans, and Geophysics (CCOG) at the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, Colorado.
  • For further information, please contact Dr. Paul Loto’aniu(

What We Can Offer

We can offer a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package. 


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 Impactful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • U.S citizenship or permanent resident status (green card) is required. 
  • If hired, you will need to pass a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI, Federal background check).
  • Ph.D. in Physics or similar scientific or Engineering discipline with an emphasis on magnetometer instrument design or scientific research using magnetometer data.

What You Will Need

  • Excellent technical skills and experience handling time series data including how to handle data issues such as data gaps, spikes, and other anomalies.
  • An understanding of both instrument and external factors that affect magnetometer data quality.
  • Strong background in the use of higher-level computer languages, such as Python or IDL or Matlab.
  • Ability to work cooperatively within a team environment.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Willingness to make irregularly-spaced short-term trips to NASA GSFC, NOAA-NSOF or vendor facilities for technical meetings and/or pre-and post-launch activities.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Ph.D. in Space Plasma Physics.
  • Extensive experience analyzing space science grade magnetometer data either in Earth’s magnetosphere or solar wind or another planetary magnetosphere, as part of their PhD research. Experience using ground-based magnetometer data/instruments is also desirable if the research was focused on space plasma physics.
  • Excellent knowledge, through their PhD research, of current systems and/or plasma waves that produce variability in Earth’s magnetic field (e.g., ring current, ULF waves, field-aligned currents).
  • Understanding of spacecraft guidance, navigation and control.
  • Excellent knowledge of geophysical statistical signal processing, spectral analysis and parameter estimation techniques (e.g. sampling theory, Kalman filtering).
  • Understanding of spacecraft magnetic cleanliness issues as pertaining to spacecraft accommodation for science magnetometers.
  • Understanding of satellite orbit determination and coordinate transformation.
  • Experience working on science spacecraft mission development and pre/post launch tests.
  • Understanding of NASA spacecraft mission phases.

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 who will be willing to write a confidential Letter of Recommendation for you. 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, 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: Paul Loto'aniu

Posting Contact Email: