Space Weather Scientific Analyst & Programmer

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder has an immediate opening for a Professional Research Assistant to support NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information’s (NCEI) work with NOAA’s space weather satellite data and instruments.


Date posted

Feb. 7, 2023 1:30 pm

Application deadline

Mar. 7, 2023 5:00 pm


CIRES/NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information at the University of Colorado Boulder


  • United States

Job description

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder has an immediate opening for a Professional Research Assistant to support NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information’s (NCEI) work with NOAA’s space weather satellite data and instruments. 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. NOAA’s next generation spacecraft, including Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Series-R (GOES-R) and Space Weather Follow-On (SWFO), incorporate a complementary suite of instruments to monitor the local space environment and the sun.

The selected candidate will develop software to analyze instrument performance and to create space weather data products to contribute to the overall success of the GOES-R space weather mission as a member of the NCEI Space Weather Team. They may also assist the space weather software development team to implement real-time data processing or retrospective reprocessing software. Candidates will also have opportunities to support NCEI’s new initiative to develop machine learning solutions to data analysis challenges including big data projects. Applicants for this position must possess excellent software development skills and a demonstrated background in scientific data analysis. Applicants should also possess strong attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and the ability to translate scientific requirements and findings into traceable/actionable tasks. This position is located in the Solar Terrestrial Physics Section within NCEI at the David Skaggs Research Center, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO. This position can accommodate a hybrid work modality.

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

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.

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.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Analyze instrument performance and calibrations.
  • Develop software tools for data analysis and product generation, including data product visualizations.
  • Create documentation for tools and software for the space weather team and the wider space physics user community.
  • Assist with scientific research using space weather data.
  • Assist in the design and development of the NCEI space weather product website and data services.
  • Collaborate with and present findings to the space weather team and broader space physics community as needed. 


    What We Require

    • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, physics, applied math, astronomy, or similar technical discipline.
    • 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 this position.


    What You Will Need

    • Expertise in developing, implementing and testing scientific or mathematical algorithms.
    • Advanced proficiency in Python and its scientific packages (e.g., NumPy, SciPy).
    • Ability to write clean, self-documented code that can be maintained by other team members when necessary.
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
    • Ability to manage multiple, potentially interconnected, projects simultaneously.
    • Ability to work independently and as part of a team on complex tasks.
    • Willingness and ability to seek answers from others, and to help others with their questions.


    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.

    • Graduate degree in Science, Engineering, Computer Science or similar technical discipline.
    • Experience with computational data analysis and/or image processing tools.
    • Experience with other languages such as IDL, C/C+, and/or Matlab.
    • Proficiency with version control tools such as git or subversion.
    • Experience with data visualization and visualization tools.
    • Experience with SpacePy, SunPy, HelioPy, or the IDL SolarSoft Packages.
    • Familiarity with machine learning data analysis strategies and machine learning Python packages such as Scikit-learn, PyTorch, and TensorFlow.
    • Skill in Unix/Linux operating environments.


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