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CIRES/NOAA NIDIS Tribal Engagement Coordinator

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) are seeking a full-time Tribal Engagement Coordinator to work as part of an interdisciplinary team as the programmatic lead for tribal engagement on drought early warning and resilience across the United States.

This position fulfills a critical role in the implementation of NIDIS, a federal multi-agency partnership that coordinates drought monitoring, forecasting, planning, and information at national, state, and local levels. NIDIS’s mission is to help the nation to move to a more proactive approach to managing drought risks and impacts, and to improve long-term drought resilience. Through this position, NIDIS will be able to increase collaboration with and support to tribal nations across its nine regional drought early warning systems (DEWS).

This position will work with tribal communities to better understand and respond to their needs for drought early warning information. The Coordinator will strengthen existing partnerships and develop new partnerships with tribal nations across the DEWS, and will help further assess the drought monitoring and preparedness needs of tribal nations. The Coordinator will cultivate and support a research environment focused on risk assessment, planning, forecasting, monitoring, impact collection and analysis, and mitigation. The Coordinator will provide tailored technical support to tribal nations, including coordinating trainings and/or workshops, co-developing customized drought resources and information, and facilitating state-to-state tribal exchanges.

The Coordinator will also work to strengthen linkages between NIDIS’s tribal initiatives and other key tribal interagency partnerships, including those within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies, as well as non-profit organizations, tribal alliances, and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs). The Coordinator will also communicate the purpose, goals, and outcomes of NIDIS tribal engagement efforts within the U.S. Drought Portal, through social media, with various scientific and professional communities, and with the public.

The NIDIS program is part of NOAA. The NIDIS program is based at NOAA’s David Skaggs Research Center in Boulder, CO. This position is currently remote. When offices reopen, this position’s preferred location is Boulder, CO, but remote locations will also be considered. Regular, out-of-state travel will be required when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

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 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 CU 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.

NIDIS Program Website:

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Serving as the primary representative of NIDIS in relationships with tribal nations.
  • Establishing and maintaining tribal partnerships that promote long-term, positive relationships and collaborative efforts to build drought early warning capacity.
  • Managing special projects as needed, such as coordinating tribal drought-focused events, co-developing resources for tribal partners, and coordinating tribal drought trainings.
  • Applying and integrating research around drought prediction and monitoring into action to support tribal communities.
  • Reviewing, evaluating, and managing project statements of work for NIDIS-funded tribal partners.

What You Should Know

  • The NIDIS program is part of NOAA. The NIDIS program is based at NOAA’s David Skaggs Research Center in Boulder, CO. This position is currently remote. When offices reopen, this position’s preferred location is Boulder, CO, but remote locations will also be considered. Regular, out-of-state travel will be required when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at CU Boulder, but will be physically situated in the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305. If you are the selected finalist you will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access.

What We Can Offer

  • We can offer a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package. 
  • The hiring salary range for this position is $70,000 - $95,000 annually. 
  • Relocation funds are available for this role following CIRES and the University of Colorado's 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 Collaborative. Be Dynamic. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in environmental sciences, atmospheric science, hydrology, climatology, public policy, Native American studies, or a related field is required. 
  • At least five years of proven professional experience serving in a similar role. 

What You Will Need

  • Experience working with tribal nations as a partner and/or staff. Demonstrated experience with tribal protocols, customs, traditions, and cultures is a must. 
  • Experience partnering with federal agencies, state and local government, the private sector, and/or academia. 
  • Experience developing and maintaining professional collaborations. 
  • Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to balance multiple and diverse tasks with short turnaround time. 
  • Experience in developing long-term plans and/or comprehensive strategic plans. 
  • Experience in developing technical and/or outreach materials for a targeted audience. 
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with a diverse group of partners. 
  • Public speaking and presentation experience, especially to governmental and tribal audiences. 
  • Ability to coordinate and collaborate efficiently with multiple groups of internal and external partners, local and remote.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Drought and water resources technical knowledge.
  • Professional experience in emergency management and/or with addressing extreme weather events.

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: Elizabeth Ossowski

Posting Contact Email: