Verification/Database Development Research Associate

Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
21 Jan 2018
End of advertisement period
18 Feb 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Description of Work Unit

CIRA is a multi-million dollar research organization located on CSU’s Foothills Campus in Fort Collins, Colorado. CIRA is a cooperative institute that is also a research department within CSU’s College of Engineering, in partnership with the Department of Atmospheric Science. Its vision is to conduct interdisciplinary research in the atmospheric sciences by entraining skills beyond the meteorological disciplines, exploiting advances in engineering and computer science, facilitating transitional activity between pure and applied research, leveraging both national and international resources and partnerships, and assisting NOAA, CSU, the State of Colorado, and the Nation through the application of our research to areas of societal benefit.

NOAA’s ESRL/GSD is a federal science and research laboratory under NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. GSD provides the National Weather Service (NWS) and the nation with environmental observing, prediction, computer, visualization, and information systems. These systems deliver data, forecasts, and predictions of weather, including severe weather events, within the next few minutes to weeks away. The GSD is a leader in the applied research, directed development, and technology transfer of environmental data, models, products, and services that enhance environmental understanding with the outcome of supporting commerce, protecting life and property, and promoting a scientifically literate public. This position is specifically located within the Assimilation Development Branch of ESRL/GSD, which conducts extensive model/assimilation development at global and regional scales, and will be working with the ESRL Atmospheric Science for Renewable Energy program to improve weather model skill at forecasting low-level winds and surface irradiance.

This position is located in a federal facility in Boulder, CO and requires the ability to pass a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI, federal background check) for building access.

Position Summary

This position requires building databases and managing data that provide the essential inputs to model assessment web applications. The individual will design, implement, and manage databases to store model forecasts together with observations from field instrumentation projects. The work will also require developing an in-depth understanding of the instrument data in order to develop software necessary to pre-process the data and load it into the database, and to work closely with other members of the Assessment Team building web applications for display and analysis of these data. This individual will also participate in evaluating potential new database technologies or management systems in order to support future enhancements of analysis and assessment systems. In the process of building software tools, the individual will work closely with developers of Numerical Weather Prediction models to understand their requirements.

The individual in this position will work as part of the Assessment Team building interactive web applications to provide tools for scientists to analyze instrument data gathered during field studies and to evaluate forecast models against these observations in support of model improvements. He/She will report to the CIRA Associate Director.

Required Job Qualifications

  • This position is located in a federal facility in Boulder, CO and requires the ability to pass a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI, federal background check) for building access.
  • B.S. with 5 years relevant experience or M.S. with 2 years relevant experience in computer science, atmospheric science, mathematics, or a related discipline.
  • Strong background in information processing, and basic familiarity with SQL databases (such as MySQL or Postgres) and web programming.
  • Proficiency in software development on Linux/Unix systems, including shell scripting.
  • Proficiency in python, or proficiency in a similar language and willingness to learn python.
  • Experience with source code repositories such as git or SVN.
  • Understanding of and adherence to software development best practices.
  • Experience working in a collaborative team environment, and ability to interact effectively with model and data assimilation development scientists and supercomputer support personnel.
  • The ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.

Preferred Job Qualifications

  • Extensive experience with database technology and familiarity with recently-developed database technologies such as NoSQL.
  • Experience with code development in Fortran, C/C++, or Java.
  • Familiarity with R statistical language.
  • Experience working with geophysical observations and data formats in common use, such as netCDF.
  • Experience in statistical analysis of observation error characteristics and model forecast skill.
  • Knowledge of meteorology and numerical weather prediction.
  • Interest in evaluating and implementing new technologies to enhance software and systems in support of model assessment.

Diversity Statement

Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Software Development Duty/Responsibility

  • Ingest and processing of meteorological data.
  • Design and management of database to allow for efficient, interactive web-based queries of forecast, observation, and skill score data and aggregates of these data.
  • Backend systems to support web applications using the latest technologies to allow interactive querying and display of verification metrics and other assessment data.
  • Scripting on High Performance Computing systems to process and transfer data as required, or to load information into a database.
  • Installation and management of software packages on Linux systems.
  • Evaluate potential new database technologies or management systems in order to support future enhancements of analysis and assessment systems.

Percentage Of Time 90 Job Duty Category Documentation and Reporting Duty/Responsibility

  • Prepare software documentation in collaboration with team members;
  • Prepare status reports as required by the project sponsor and CIRA;
  • Prepare and deliver technical talks and presentations as requested.

Percentage Of Time 10

Application Details

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please address the “Required and Preferred” qualifications as relate to your professional experience in the cover letter.

References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates.

Conditions of Employment

Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires), Special Requirements/Other - This position is located in a federal facility in Boulder, CO and requires the ability to pass a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI, federal background check) for building access.

Search Contact

EEO Statement

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Title IX Coordinator is the Executive Director of the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523 -2026, (970) 491-7407.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Capital, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

Background Check Policy Statement

Colorado State University (CSU) strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal (felony and misdemeanor) history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the university, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.