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CIRES / NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory: Postdoctoral Associate Developing Statistical Methods to Improve Weather and Hydrologic Predictions

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado





Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Posting Close Date:


Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) is seeking a Postdoctoral Associate to conduct research with a collaborative team toward enhancing ensemble hydrologic predictions at weather to seasonal timescales. The candidate will develop, test, and apply advanced statistical and/or machine learning methods to prepare meteorological output from global ensemble prediction systems for water forecasting applications. The project’s outputs will serve a diverse community of users including fellow researchers in hydrometeorological forecasting communities, operational streamflow forecasting entities, and water resource decision-makers.

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 950 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES has partnered with NOAA since 1967, 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.

The NOAA-Physical Sciences Laboratory (PSL) mission is to conduct scientific research to observe, understand, model, predict and forecast weather, water and climate extremes and their impacts. Our vision is an informed society that uses science-based environmental intelligence to effectively anticipate and respond to threats and opportunities related to weather, water, and climate extremes. Our research goals are as follows:

  • Rigorously characterize and predict weather, water, and climate extremes and their uncertainties to support NOAA's mission.
  • Develop new process-understanding, observing, and modeling capabilities to predict conditions associated with too much or too little water for early warning, preparedness, resource management, and adaptation.
  • Improve monitoring and prediction of weather, climate, and water conditions impacting marine resources.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Develop and/or apply statistical/machine learning post-processing or downscaling techniques to prepare ensemble numerical weather predictions for use in a hydrologic prediction system.
  • Establish data-processing workflows to obtain, manipulate, and visualize ensemble model output.
  • Work with a team of scientists to improve skill, reliability, and interpretability of hydrometeorological ensemble forecasts for targeted applications (e.g., water availability, floods, droughts, etc.).
  • Provide scientific and technical direction for experimental designs to understand and characterize hydrologic forecast performance through improvements in meteorological forcings.
  • Prepare and present results to scientific audiences and to stakeholders via journal publications, conference presentations, and/or user-group meetings.

What You Should Know

  • This is a 2-year term position with the possibility of extension based on performance, initiative, and the availability of funds.
  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder, but will be physically situated in the NOAA laboratory facility at the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305. 
  • If you are selected for this position, you will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access. Non-US citizens without Permanent Resident Cards (“green cards”) will have limited building access and require an escort in the building.
  • Given project deliverables, candidates must be able to start work by October 1, 2024.
  • Visa sponsorship is not offered for this position.

What We Can Offer

  • An opportunity to work on the next-generation hydrologic forecast models and produce information on water risks and opportunities to support water resource decisions and management.
  • CIRES offers a generous compensation package. The annual hiring salary range for this position is $64,500 to $70,000. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career-track classification.
  • Relocation funds are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.
  • This position can accommodate a hybrid (in-office and at-home) work modality.
  • CIRES and the University of Colorado Boulder offer a robust training curriculum, opportunities for professional development, and a Mentorship Program.
  • Boulder is a vibrant community with access to mountain parks, dog parks, miles of trails, rivers, lakes, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, theaters, museums, and sports venues. Boulder was recently ranked as one of the top places to live in the U.S. by U.S. News.
  • As an employee at CU Boulder, you receive a pass allowing free access to the regional public transit system, which is an outstanding network of buses and light rail systems that provide service within Boulder and connect to Denver, the Denver airport, and surrounding communities.


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 accomplished. Be impactful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • A PhD in atmospheric, hydrologic, statistics, or other Physical Sciences, Applied Mathematics, or a related discipline.
  • Experience using Linux and developing structured code in Python, R, and/or shell scripting.

What You Will Need

  • Expertise in hydrometeorology, hydroclimatology, statistics, or data science.
  • Hands-on knowledge or familiarity with ensemble meteorological datasets.
  • Interest in ensemble hydrometeorological forecasting.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively within a team environment and to facilitate communications across multiple teams and multiple organizational units.

What We Would Like You to Have

We invite applicants to apply even if they do not have all of the preferred skills and experience outlined below. If you meet the minimum qualifications and have a passion for the work, you are encouraged to apply. We support on-the-job training for any additional skills or knowledge needs that become relevant to the position.

  • Proficiency with statistical and/or machine learning methods.
  • Experience with forecast calibration and verification.
  • Experience and/or interest in GPU computing for machine learning applications.
  • Experience with scientific analysis and visualization tools.

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. Although not required at the time of application, please be ready to submit contact information for five professional references (must include at least two supervisors). If you are identified as a finalist for this role, you will be asked to invite your references to complete a SkillSurvey questionnaire on your behalf. SkillSurvey is an online reference check solution. All information is kept confidential and shared only with the Search Committee members.
  4. Optional: Transcripts/Proof of Degree.

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 close on July 31, 2024. Applications will be screened as they are received.

If you have questions regarding this position, please contact Michael Hobbins at

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, please apply through CU Boulder Jobs.

In compliance with the Colorado Job Application Fairness Act, in any materials you submit, you may redact or remove age-identifying information such as age, date of birth, or dates of school attendance or graduation. You will not be penalized for redacting or removing this information.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Michael Hobbins

Posting Contact Email: