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CIRES/ NIDIS Digital Communications Coordinator

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date published:


Job Summary

The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) welcomes applications for an experienced digital communications coordinator to strategize and implement web- based communications to multiple audiences across the nation.

The Coordinator fulfills a meaningful role in the implementation of NIDIS, a federal multi-agency partnership that coordinates drought monitoring, forecasting, research, and information at national, state, and local levels. Its 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.

The U.S. Drought Portal,, provides drought-related information for the general public, decision-makers at all levels, the scientific community, and others. The Coordinator will partner with NIDIS’ team of web developers and scientific experts to strategize, refine, and innovate the development of a visually appealing and content-rich site where our audiences may easily access the information they seek. The Coordinator will collaborate to advance user-based research that informs the development of the Drought Portal and the dissemination of complex information for diverse decision-making audiences.

The Coordinator will integrate the development of the Drought Portal into a comprehensive communications strategy, partnering with the NIDIS Communications Coordinator. Together, the Coordinators will develop and implement a comprehensive plan for NIDIS communications, incorporating input from the NIDIS Executive Director, web development team, NIDIS Regional Drought Information Coordinators, as well as partners nationwide. The communications strategy will describe and promote the NIDIS program on multiple platforms, using fresh ideas and an innovative, research-based approach.

The Coordinator may also use skills in social media and/or graphic design to contribute to other NIDIS communications channels.

The successful candidate will have significant professional experience in crafting and implementing digital communication tools. S/he will be the primary link between the NIDIS program office (based in Boulder, CO) and theWeb Development team (based in Asheville, NC).

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 the scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Provide contributions to NIDIS social media accounts and other means of outreach to engage current audiences and attract new ones.
  • Research data format, content and visualization methods for the development of additional communication materials.
  • Regular review of Google analytics and other user engagement measures to identify and prioritize the development of
  • Communicate with data users to both learn about their data needs and respond to them in consultation with other scientists and sources.
  • Produce technical reports for the scientific community in support of NIDIS projects.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive plan for NIDIS internal and external communications.
  • Advance ongoing user experience (UX) research and testing to create a strategy for the development and enhancement of the Drought Portal.
  • Summarize technical information in easy-to-grasp formats, including infographics.
  • Coordinate web development and content planning and execution with the Web Development team, other co-workers and partners, including facilitation of timely and appropriate review practices.
  • Monitor web traffic and other metrics to find opportunities to increase user engagement and prioritize the development of
  • Create, prioritize, edit, and update written and visual material and structures on, promoting NIDIS objectives.

What You Should Know

  • Some out-of-state travel is required for this position.
  • The NIDIS program is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • 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. 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 Collaborative. Be Impactful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • At least five years of experience guiding website content strategy and development in a professional capacity.
  • B.A. or B.S. in Journalism, Communications, Technical or Scientific Writing, Information Management, Digital Media, or related degree.

What You Will Need

  • Professional experience using Google Analytics and other web data to drive measurable results as well as experience with Google Apps and Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Attentiveness to detail and vigilance about accuracy.
  • Ability to coordinate and collaborate productively with multiple groups of internal and external partners, local and remote.
  • Ability to render technical information into understandable and appealing narrative and visual formats such as infographics, charts, story maps, and others.
  • Leadership in project management, with the ability to manage multiple projects and re-prioritize on the fly.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • A background in scientific or research-based writing.
  • Expertise in using plain language, and the ability to edit others’ writing to reflect the same.
  • Experience in modern web content delivery across multiple platforms of phone, tablet, desktop.
  • Experience using markdown or HTML within web content management systems (CMS).
  • Experience innovating and capitalizing on digital communication trends, integrating them into an overall communications strategy.
  • Experience in web accessibility and governmental compliance (including 508 compliance).
  • Professional experience using CRM systems for communications purposes.
  • Expertise in SEO and/or analytics.
  • Social media experience.
  • Multimedia experience (video, photography).
  • Professional experience using Drupal 7 and/or Drupal 8.

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.

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is 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:

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.