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CIRES/ NOAA NCEI (National Centers for Environmental Information) Solar Physicist Research Associate

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date published:


Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder has an immediate opening for a Research Associate in Solar Physics supporting NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) work on the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) 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 includes a complement of space weather sensors to monitor the local space environment and the sun.

The selected candidate will help coordinate a team of scientists leading both on-orbit calibration and validation of SUVI, stewardship of SUVI data, and the development of data tools and products. They will also support the planning and development of NCEI’s role in the Compact Coronagraph (CCOR) to fly on NOAA’s upcoming GOES-U and Space Weather Follow-On (SWFO) missions. Applicants for this position should possess excellent scientific skills and a proven capacity for team leadership. Applicants should also possess strong attention to detail, excellent communication skills and the ability to translate scientific requirements and findings into traceable/actionable tasks. The Solar Physicist position is located in the Solar Terrestrial Physics Section within NCEI at the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO.

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 Website:

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Help lead all aspects of the technical efforts of the SUVI team’s stewardship, calibration and validation, and product development activities.
  • Contribute to the overall success of the GOES-R space weather mission as a member of the NCEI Space Weather Team.
  • Support the development and planning for NCEI’s role in the CCOR instrument.
  • Contribute to efforts to integrate SUVI and CCOR data and tools into community data services like SunPy, Helioviewer, and the Virtual Solar Observatory.
  • Assist in the stewardship of a variety of NOAA solar imagery datasets and related products.
  • Identify research opportunities to influence and encourage the use of SUVI data.
  • Conduct research with solar EUV image and coronagraphic data.
  • Present results in peer-reviewed publications and at scientific meetings.
  • Present status reports to NCEI management and staff as needed.
  • Other duties from time to time as needed.

What You Should Know

  • This position requires U.S citizenship or permanent resident status (green card).
  • If hired, you will need to pass a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI, Federal background check).
  • This position will be rostered in CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder, but will be physically situated in the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305.
  • The selected finalist will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access.
  • For questions about this job, please contact Dr. Dan Seaton (

What We Can Offer

We can offer a competitive salary and a comprehensive and generous 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 Impactful. Be Proactive. 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 Solar Physics or similar scientific or Engineering discipline with an emphasis on Solar Imagery and Instrumentation.

What You Will Need

  • Experience in conducting imagery-based research on the solar corona and solar coronal phenomena, particularly EUV and coronagraphic imagery.
  • Experience in managing solar imagery or other large datasets for the operational and research communities.
  • Experience in astronomical image calibration.
  • Experience with higher-level computer languages, such as Python, for scientific data processing.
  • Team and community leadership potential.
  • Ability to work well individually and as a part of a larger team.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Familiarity with solar data product design and usability best practices.
  • Familiarity with the NOAA space weather satellite programs and NOAA datasets.
  • Familiarity with the space-borne instrument development cycle, and hands-on experience developing instrumentation for space research.
  • Familiarity with space weather drivers, effects, and forecasting strategies.
  • Familiarity with community based tools and data services including Helioviewer, the Virtual Solar Observatory, SunPy, SolarSoft IDL.
  • Understanding of spacecraft guidance, navigation and control.
  • Understanding of satellite orbit determination and coordinate transformation.
  • Experience working on science spacecraft mission development and pre/post launch tests.

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 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: Dr. Dan Seaton

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.