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CIRES/ NOAA PSD Research Scientist in Seasonal-to-Interannual Predictability and Prediction

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colorado is seeking a post-doctoral or an early career research scientist to work at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) in the Physical Sciences Division (PSD).

The chosen candidate will examine the predictability of hydroclimate (e.g., temperature, precipitation, soil moisture) at lead times of up to two years for many regions of the globe. Forecasts based on empirical models, machine learning techniques, and initialized physical models will be developed and assessed by the chosen candidate. These forecasts are eventually aimed at providing long-term agricultural outlooks for the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. This is a relatively new area of climate forecasting, so the candidate need not be an expert on all aspects of the problem, but should be willing to learn and to show initiative. 

The candidate should have excellent technical and communication skills and be comfortable working in a team environment.

This position will be in Boulder, Colorado, with an office at ESRL PSD. 

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.

Physical Sciences Division:

Our mission is to conduct scientific research to observe, understand, model, predict and forecast weather, water and climate extremes and their impacts. 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.

Famine Early Warning Systems Network:

FEWS NET, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on acute food insecurity. Created in 1985 by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) after devastating famines in East and West Africa, FEWS NET provides objective, evidence-based analysis to help government decision-makers and relief agencies plan for and respond to humanitarian crises.

FEWS NET analysts use agroclimatology to make assumptions of future food security scenarios. Rainfall, snowfall, sea, and land surface temperatures – all of these directly affect the ability of small- and large-scale farmers around the world to grow crops, husband livestock, fish, or forage for food. While food security depends on a great complexity of factors, perhaps none is more consistently influential than the impact of weather and climate.

PSD’s role in FEWS NET is to help develop informed weather and climate assumptions for use in future food security scenarios. Towards developing informed assumptions, PSD builds, applies and communicates an understanding of regional weather/climate and its predictability.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Conduct research relevant to the missions of NOAA, PSD and FEWS NET involving predictability and prediction of environmental conditions related to agriculture at lead times of up to two years.
  • Work collaboratively with a research team, including colleagues at NOAA, FEWS NET and academic institutions.
  • Effectively convey research through reports, peer-reviewed journal articles, and oral presentations.
  • Assist in the writing of research proposals.

What You Should Know

  • This position will be in Boulder, Colorado, with an office at ESRL PSD.
  • This position requires the ability to travel 1-3 times per year.

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 Challenged. Be Impactful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Ph.D. in a physical science with expertise in Meteorology, Oceanography, Hydrology or related discipline; or Ph.D. in Applied Math, Data Science, or related discipline.
  • Experience with analyzing large scientific data sets.

What You Will Need

  • Experience developing structured code in commonly used languages.
  • Fluency in writing and speaking English, and good oral and written communication skills. 

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Understanding of techniques used to make short-term climate forecasts, either empirical or physically-based, is desirable.

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: Matthew Newman

Posting Contact Email:

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.