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CIRES/NOAA PSL Research Associate

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at CU Boulder and the NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory (PSL) encourages applications for a Research Associate from early career scientists with a comprehensive understanding of precipitation processes and experience in mesoscale numerical weather prediction. The Research Associate will have an appointment within the PSL and will work as part of an interdisciplinary team of scientists: to conduct regional and CONUS-scale hydrometeorologic modeling and analyses of conditions leading to extreme precipitation and hydrologic events; to understand current operational forecast weaknesses and identify related research opportunities; and to design and perform numerical model experiments toward improving scientific understanding and addressing operational forecast challenges.

This is a two-year appointment with the possibility of extension based on performance and funding availability.

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 the scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

Physical Sciences Laboratory Website:

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • To set up, run, and analyze model experiments that target phenomena proven to be key forecast challenges related to extreme precipitation events across various regions of the US.
  • To serve as a liaison between NOAA PSL and key NOAA operational forecast groups such as NOAA NCEP/EMC and the National Weather Service.
  • To provide forecast verification of numerical models run both within PSL and also at various operational centers, with a particular focus on precipitation assessment.
  • To contribute to the experimental design of hydro-meteorological and hydro-climatological studies of extreme precipitation events, and to help coordinate these efforts with key operational partners.
  • Collaborate with CIRES and PSL scientists to synthesize analysis results into significant scientific conclusions.
  • To lead and contribute to the publication of research results in the peer-reviewed literature.

What You Should Know

  • Please note that while the position details both required skills as well as desired skills and experience, we want applicants to be aware that they do not need to have all of the desired skills and experience to be considered for this position. If you meet the requirements and have a passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We encourage on‐the‐job training for any additional skills or knowledge that become relevant to the position.
  • The initial term of this position is 2 years, with the possibility of extension subject to performance and availability of funding. 
  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at CU Boulder but will be physically situated in the NOAA 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 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 Enlightened. Be Ingenious. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Ph.D. in meteorology, or a closely related field.
  • Proven experience with the application of convection-allowing models (e.g., WRF or one of NOAA’s operational or research models) and experience with high-performance computing.
  • Demonstrated experience with standard meteorological observational and model data sets and their manipulation and analysis techniques.

What You Will Need

  • Ability to critically interpret meteorological model output, particularly with respect to physical process representation, and as inputs into hydrologic models.
  • Ability to manage and manipulate large and sophisticated observational, reanalysis, and model datasets.
  • Strong background in synoptic and mesoscale processes (particularly associated with extreme rain and flood events).
  • Ability to work independently as well as effectively in a team environment, and to communicate effectively (verbal and written).
  • Experience in publishing formal journal articles.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Familiarity with NOAA operational forecast systems and forecast verification techniques, particularly the Developmental Testbed Center’s Model Evaluation Tools, including an understanding of NOAA’s operational modeling enterprise and experience working with operational partners such as NCEP/EMC, the National Weather Service, and the National Water Center. Example operational forecast systems include the High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model and the National Water Model.
  • Experience with ensemble modeling and/or data assimilation
  • Experience with WRF-Hydro, stochastic physical parameterization methods and/or other extensions of the Unified Forecast System (UFS) and associated modeling technologies.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct assessments of quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) and quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPF) using observational data sets.

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. 
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: Michael Hobbins, Hiring Supervisor

Posting Contact Email: