CIRES/NOAA WPC Meteorological AI/ML Associate Scientist or Research Scientist

Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder is seeking an Associate Scientist or a Research Scientist to provide machine learning scientific and meteorological expertise for the NWS/Weather Prediction Center (WPC) and the OAR/Earth Systems Research Laboratory (ESRL). The incumbent will serve as a Machine Learning/Data Scientist for the WPC.

WPC is located in College Park, MD, within the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP). The NCWCP is a highly collaborative environment containing several NOAA organizations, including the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), Ocean Prediction Center (OPC), and Climate Prediction Center (CPC). The incumbent will interact with Federal WPC staff, NOAA scientists and forecasters, CIRES employees working at WPC, and externally funded researchers to facilitate the transition of new science to NWS forecast operations and services. This position requires the incumbent to design, develop and/or evaluate AI/ML capabilities, develop and propose new solutions, collect, maintain and analyze data, and conduct research resulting in proof of concepts demonstrating the automation of AI workflows.

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

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.

The Weather Prediction Center (WPC) is America’s Go-To Center for high-impact precipitation events and forecast guidance out to 7 days for a Weather-Ready Nation.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • For Associate Scientists:
    • Develop and prototype Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) techniques to enhance the probabilistic quantitative precipitation forecast (PQPF) at hourly and 6-hour forecast time periods out to 24 hours.
    • Develop an AI/ML technique that can automatically identify and classify different types of heavy precipitation objects.
    • Curate and explore various data (e.g., meteorological model output, observational datasets, and non-meteorological datasets) for the design, development, evaluation, and application of AI and ML capabilities.
    • Develop and propose new solutions, collect, maintain and analyze data, and conduct research resulting in proof of concepts demonstrating the automation of AI workflows.
    • Develop training materials to assist in the transition of new tools and techniques into operations.
    • Present research findings to forecasters and at conferences/workshops.
    • Serve as co-PI on various machine learning projects.
    • Perform related duties as assigned.

    For Research Scientists:

    In addition to the responsibilities listed above an Associate Scientist, a Research Scientist will also:

    • Write proposals, serve as PI on various projects, and manage projects as necessary.
    • Serve as supervisor to other CIRES employees.
    • Publish research papers in various scientific journals.

What You Should Know

  • Please note that those applicants requiring visa sponsorship now or in the future will not be considered for this position.
  • Applicants must be currently authorized to legally work in the United States on a full-time basis.
  • The targeted start date for this position is October 1, 2022 or November 1, 2022.
  • The selected candidate will be required to pass a federal background check.
  • Normal working hours will be observed except for occasional irregular hours during data collection, warning/forecast experiments, or workshops conducted at remote sites.
  • The new hire will be employed by CIRES with technical oversight provided by WPC management. The incumbent is expected to work independently and determine action to be taken in handling all but unusual situations. The incumbent is expected to serve as a leader of scientific or technical experiments, groups, or teams; therefore strong teamwork and leadership skills are necessary.
  • This position is based at the WPC in College Park, MD, but remote work will be considered.
  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement. New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.

What We Can Offer

  • CIRES can offer a generous compensation package.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this position is $60,000-$110,000 for Associate Scientists, and $70,000-$110,000 for Research Scientists. Salary is commensurate with education and experience and determined based on our CIRES internal career track classification.
  • Relocation funds are available for this position following CIRES and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.


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 ambitious. Be groundbreaking. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • For Associate Scientists:
    • A Master’s Degree in Meteorology, Atmospheric Science, Data Science or related area.
    • Experience utilizing AI/ML techniques with atmospheric data
    • Experience in working with interrogating large meteorological data sets (e.g. GRIB, netCDF, etc.)
    • Experience with working in a Linux environment

    For Research Scientist:

    In addition to the experience identified above, a Research Scientist must also have:

    • A PhD Degree in Meteorology, Atmospheric Science, Data Science or related area.
    • Experience in developing AI/ML techniques using atmospheric data.

What You Will Need

  • Experience with AI/ML development and maintenance.
  • Strong analytical skills with excellent programming skills (e.g. shell scripting, Python, etc.).
  • Experience in working with interrogating large meteorological data sets (e.g. GRIB, netCDF, etc.).
  • Experience with working in a Linux environment.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong ability to work in a collaborative team environment.

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 have a PhD degree or equivalent experience and 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 research applications in regards to AI/ML Techniques.
  • Familiarity with ensemble prediction systems and their application to hazardous weather diagnosis and prediction.
  • Familiarity with ArcGIS.
  • Knowledge or willingness to participate in web development.

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. Although not required at the time of application, please be prepared to submit contact information for 3 professional references, 1 of whom must be/must have been a supervisor or professor. If you are selected as a finalist, we will ask you to contact your references so that they can complete a SkillSurvey questionnaire on your behalf. SkillSurvey is an online automated reference check solution. This information will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee.

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.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Positions will remain posted until finalists have been identified.

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: Michael Erickson

Posting Contact Email:

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