Program Specialist III - Climate Monitoring

Silver Spring, Maryland
Jan 12, 2018
Feb 11, 2018
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Program Specialist III - Climate Monitoring
NOAA Climate Program Office
Silver Spring, MD

UCAR’s Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS) is seeking to fill a Visiting Scientist position at the NOAA Climate Program Office, Silver Spring, MD.

This is an initial one-year position with possibility of extension.  Applications will be reviewed until this position is filled. U.S. Citizenship, Permanent Residency, or other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3) is required for this position.  UCAR/NCAR will not sponsor a work visa (e.g., J-1, H1-B, etc.) for this position.

Job Overview

This position provides the necessary focal point between the NOAA Ocean and Climate Monitoring program of the Ocean Observing and Monitoring Division (OOMD) and the federal and extramural, scientific community.  The ocean and climate monitoring component focuses on the development and improvement of ocean- and climate- related data sets, the transformation of ocean- and climate- -related observations into authoritative products, and the interpretation of these products to better understand the current and changing state of the, ocean, and Arctic and climate systems.


Observations are a foundational element of the oceans and climate research and services enterprise. The scientific community invests significantly in the development of global observing systems to address the needs of the research, forecasting, and assessment communities,  to enable stakeholders and decision-makers to monitor and respond to changes in the Earth system. While observing systems routinely provide data and related metadata, raw data alone are often insufficient to realize the full value of these observations. Value-added products, diagnostics, and indices based on these observations should have a strong scientific foundation, be publicly accessible, and enhance the use of the data to address specific needs.

This individual would be responsible for working collaboratively with the federal and extramural community and the Ocean Observing and Monitoring Division of NOAA in developing scientific and programmatic plans, and a suite of research activities to develop value-added products, diagnostics, and indices. These duties focus on understanding and improving the modeling of, ocean, Arctic and climate changes through exploitation of observation-based products to monitor the Earth system. This individual will maintain an up-to-date working knowledge of observing systems that support NOAA’s ocean, Arctic, and climate mission. Additionally, they will be knowledgeable of associated science, research, and service requirements by staying current with relevant publications, assessments (e.g. IPCC, Arctic, National Climate Assessment, World Ocean Assessment, etc…), and the needs NOAA’s services. They will communicate program aims/successes, and engage the community through appropriate conferences/meetings.

Program Management:

  • Providing scientific and programmatic management support to the solicitation, peer review, and selection process for proposals submitted to the OOMD Ocean and Climate Monitoring program.
  • Keeping apprised of current scientific research and advances, including assessment of research most needed to advance the field in a useful manner;
  • Identifying scientific foci for solicitations of new research proposals and overseeing peer review and selection process for proposals submitted to the OOMD Ocean and Climate Monitoring program- for approval.
  • Providing critical analysis of scientific content and budgets for proposals.
  • Preparing proposal ranking and submitting funding recommendations.
  • Administering grant actions through the NOAA grants management system.
  • Monitoring and maintaining progress on supported grant activities through regular communications and interaction with grantees.

Program Planning, Representation, and Outreach:

  • Contributing towards programmatic plans for OOMD product development in consultation with federal/extramural community, OOMD Director and others, especially in the focus area of developing and improving reference data sets in support of multidisciplinary ocean, Arctic, and climate research and NOAA services.
  • Representing the program in planning activities, and providing information and expertise regarding the Ocean and Climate Monitoring program area.
  • Developing and fostering beneficial partnerships with the academic research community other Federal science and mission agency programs, and with the international observations, modeling, and societal interactions programs.
  • Developing effective relationships and joint activities with other NOAA programs and centers in support of program goals.
  • Developing input to an annual Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement.
  • Building broader community interest in the program.
  • Recommending project funding allocations for Ocean and Climate Monitoring Program activities.
  • Writing documents highlighting the progress and accomplishments of the program.


  • Master’s degree in ocean, climate, or atmospheric science and at least three years of relevant project or program management experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience to carry out the duties as assigned.
  • Experience working with observational data sets targeting the ocean and Arctic, and/or other relevant long-term environmental records.
  • Knowledge of the  past, present and potential future ocean and/or Arctic changes.
  • Appropriate knowledge of observing systems and observing capabilities/limitations.
  • Ability of synthesize relevant scientific publications, program activities, and discoveries and communicate them through briefings and content suitable for program stakeholders and non-technical audiences.
  • Ability to identify program opportunities and challenges and recommend plans for bridging gaps.
  • Ability to effectively evaluate user needs and technical challenges to address them in order  to contribute towards a program strategy to meet critical needs.
  • Understanding of proposal and budget development, implementation, and monitoring.
  • Advanced oral and written communication skills.
  • Skill in preparing technical presentations and reports.
  • Ability to work well within a team environment.
  • Skill in the use of administrative computer software, especially in support of the proposal tracking, reviewing, and selection process.
  • Ability to handle confidential/sensitive information in a manner consistent with UCAR policy, acting with integrity and exhibiting behavior that merits public trust and confidence. 


  • PhD
  • Familiarity ocean, Arctic, climate and other assessments
  • Familiarity with the uses of observational data and products in research and/or services.

What’s In It for You

  • Compensation
  • PTO
  • Paid Holidays
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Benefits (Medical, Dental, Vision)
  • Retirement Plan
  • And more!

How to Apply

Please visit UCAR Silkroad to apply.

EEO/AAP Statement

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer that strives to develop and maintain a diverse workforce. UCAR is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy.

Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization.