CIRES/ NOAA NCEI Space Weather Data Manager / Software Engineer

CIRES is looking for a software developer or computer scientist with experience managing large data sets, developing novel user interfaces, automating processing pipelines, and describing data and datasets with standard metadata.


Date posted

Feb. 6, 2023 4:15 pm

Application deadline

Mar. 6, 2023 5:00 pm


CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder


  • United States

Job description

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado in Boulder has an immediate opening for a Space Weather Data Manager / Software Engineer working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). NCEI is a globally recognized repository and provider of long-term geophysical, space weather, and marine data. This position is located within NCEI’s Solar and Terrestrial Physics (STP) branch. STP is responsible for data stewardship and product development for space weather instruments on satellites including the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), the Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES), the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), and the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). Data management at NCEI is focused on providing support to users including NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, US Air Force, government agencies, academia, and many international organizations.
CIRES is looking for a software developer or computer scientist with experience managing large data sets, developing novel user interfaces, automating processing pipelines, and describing data and datasets with standard metadata. The person in this position will be a member of the STP data management team. The successful candidate will collaborate as part of a team of scientists and software engineers that process and steward satellite space weather data, serving global data users by providing discovery and access for data and derived scientific products. The successful candidate will use their skills and insights to help our team to develop improved scientific and data management products.

Who We Are

The NCEI-STP space weather team is responsible for oversight of the NOAA space weather sensors on several satellite constellations, including GOES, DSCOVR, and SWFO. These missions provide data critical for NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) efforts to protect life and property, as well as to the broader scientific community. The space weather team’s responsibilities include calibration and validation of space weather measurements and data products, development of scientific processing algorithms used in real time to produce data for forecasters, development of retrospective algorithms to create scientifically authoritative (‘best’) products, and prototyping real-time processing systems.
The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) is an internationally recognized leader in innovative environmental science and research and is located at the University of Colorado Boulder. At CIRES, more than 800 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.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Facilitate the ingest, archive, and distribution of data collected by NOAA satellites and other space-weather observation platforms.
  • Identify ways to improve and enhance ingest and access systems and assist in implementing these changes.
  • Develop and maintain scripts to enhance the automation of operational processes.
  • Draft and maintain external (e.g., tutorials, READMEs) and internal (e.g., procedures, policy) documentation.
  • Create metadata in standard formats (including ISO) to drive discovery services for big data.
  • Populate online databases and create websites to enable discovery and access for space weather data products.
  • Collaborate with the space weather team, including other data managers and software engineers.
  • Assist researchers and the public regarding NOAA’s space weather data.
  • Understand technological advances and best practices in data stewardship and data sciences.
  • Monitor and improve data repositories and services.
  • Maintain a basic understanding of the science data in the archive


    What We Require

    • Bachelor's Degree in Space Science, Computer Science, Software Engineering, or a related field.
    • At least 3 years of experience managing data.
    • At least 3 years of experience developing software.
    • Due to the requirement to access export-controlled data and information, only U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (green cards), or other protected individuals (i.e., persons designated as an asylee, refugee, or a temporary resident under amnesty provisions) are eligible for hire.

    What You Will Need

    • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in both oral and written formats.
    • Strong knowledge of Linux/UNIX operating systems, including bash and standard editors.
    • Ability to identify and troubleshoot issues with data storage volumes and system performance.
    • Expertise using Python for data management, data validation and automating processes.
    • Proficiency developing software using object-oriented design principles, software best practices, and version control.
    • Ability to accomplish technical tasks thoroughly and accurately within time constraints.
    • Ability to effectively work both independently and as part of a diverse and inclusive workforce.
    • Ability to creatively problem-solve, productively manage multiple tasks, and thrive in a highly interactive team environment.
    • Ability to write technical documentation and agreements.

    What We Would Like You to Have

    • Please note that while the position details both required and preferred skills and experience, we invite applicants to apply even if they do not have the preferred skills and experience outlined in this “What We Would Like You To Have” section. If you meet the requirements and have 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.
    • Experience with large scientific data sets and data-science topics.
    • Experience with data acquisition, processing, monitoring, plotting, and visualization.
    • Experience with metadata and data exchange standards, e.g. NetCDF, FITS, JSON, XML.
    • Experience creating websites using modern Javascript frameworks.
    • Experience developing and using REST APIs.
    • Experience creating, querying and managing SQL databases.
    • Experience using cloud-based services and creating cloud-enabled applications.
    • Familiarity with unit testing, integration testing, and continuous integration.
    • Familiarity with Heliophysics (solar and space physics, including space weather).

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.

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