Associate Scientist III-Data Manager

Boulder, Colorado
Dec 27, 2018
Jan 26, 2019
Career Level
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
Sector Type

Work Authorization:

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.


Where You Will Work:

Located in Boulder, Colorado, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is one of the world’s premier scientific institutions, with an internationally recognized staff and research program dedicated to advancing knowledge, providing community-based resources, and building human capacity in the atmospheric and related sciences.  NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).


Formed in 2005, the Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL) is one of the seven laboratories of NCAR, the National Science Foundation’s Federally Funded Research and Development Center. EOL's mission is to provide leadership in observing facilities, field project support as well as research and data services needed to advance the scientific understanding of the Earth system. EOL manages the majority of NSF’s Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF) and deploys them in support of observational field campaigns, ranging from single investigator projects to large complex campaigns that involve multiple investigators, agencies, and platforms, nationally and internationally. EOL deploys its systems for research by scientists from universities, NCAR, and government agencies, as well as for education. An integral part of EOL’s mission is to develop the next generation of LAOF and to provide management and archiving of data from past supported campaigns. In order to ensure progress in the atmospheric sciences, EOL supports a wide-range of research areas within the Earth system science, ranging from microscale to mesoscale to climate process studies, and employs LAOF platforms and systems that reach from the surface of the Earth to the lower stratosphere and beyond. 


EOL's In-Situ Sensing Facility (ISF) provides measurements made directly in the environment as well as profiling measurements of the lower atmosphere. Measurements are made in-situ at the earth's surface, on towers, on balloons, and on packages dropped from aircraft. Profiling measurements are made using vertically pointing radar, lidar and acoustic sensors. ISF aims to serve the advanced observational needs of the atmospheric science community by providing a flexible, state-of-the-art backbone measurement capability applicable to a wide range of experimental needs - emphasizing advanced sensor capabilities, sensor integration, system mobility, and the ability to deploy to remote or difficult locations. 


For more information on EOL please see the Join Our Team page. 


What You Will Do:

This critical position manages data collected by the NCAR Earth Observing Laboratory’s In Situ Sensing Facility (ISF) sounding, radar, and flux instrumentation, and is responsible for the quality control of that data. This requires proactive and creative organization of ISF data management activities and includes maintaining current knowledge of data management practices. This position proposes specific actions to ensure efficient and reliable data management practices are in place throughout ISF, and tracks that practices are being correctly followed for all activities including data collection, processing, storage, retrieval, and distribution. As the lead of ISF data management, this position initiates data management planning for all ISF data collection platforms, works with staff to define procedures and follow best practices. This position coordinates with EOL’s Data Management and Services (DMS) Facility and with other EOL Data Managers to ensure ISF data management activities are aligned with EOL practices. This position may train students, technicians and others to use data QC tools and conduct data QC analysis.



  • Serves as the ISF Data Manager and has primary responsibility for: (a) preparing and documenting data flow and documenting instrument configurations before a field deployment; (b) checking preliminary data coming from the field; (c) organizing data archives; (d) delivering data to users; (e) writing data quality reports for ISF measurements; and (f) reporting progress to the rest of the ISF team. Collaborates with scientists and engineers on scientific data analysis, and works with instrument scientists and engineers to complete the cycle of field data processing, including data acquisition, data analysis, quality control (QC), delivery, and archival.
  • Performs data QC on ISF data sets by using and modifying existing tools. Investigates and solves data quality issues, understands system components that may affect data quality and sensor operations, and provides feedback to improve data collection processes. Develops new tools for data QC in cooperation with ISF scientists.
  • Works closely with ISF scientists and engineers to obtain, analyze and display datasets for research purposes. Co-authors conference papers and refereed manuscripts
  • Participates in ISF field support and EOL strategic activities.
  • Reviews, documents, reorganizes, and releases data sets that are stored on the HPSS and old media.


What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience:

  • Bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree in Atmospheric Sciences or related Physical Sciences. 
  • At least three to five years as an Associate Scientist II or equivalent position with evidence of professional progress as described above or additional education (e.g., a Master’s degree).

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Strong working knowledge of scientific data collection methodologies and processing
  • Demonstrated knowledge of data analysis language (e.g., IDL, R, Python, etc.)
  • Knowledge of general atmospheric observational data
  • Demonstrated experience working with Linux and/or Unix operating systems
  • Working knowledge of atmospheric physics
  • Meticulous attention to quality and detail, especially in the management of data sets
  • Skill in developing and maintaining clear records, catalogs, and logbooks (both digital and written)
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a diverse team
  • Demonstrated knowledge of office software suites (e.g., spreadsheet, presentation and word processing applications)
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, both written and oral, and to a diverse team from different backgrounds and disciplines

Other Requirements:

  • Must be able to obtain a passport and participate in foreign travel.
  • Willingness to undergo a background check and to obtain a U.S. government security clearance.
  • Able and willing to travel, for up to three contiguous weeks in duration (typically not to exceed 60 days in a calendar year), domestically and/or internationally.

Desired but not required:

  • Experience in working with or using data archives
  • Experience in Linux scripting shells (e.g., bash, csh, etc.)
  • Working knowledge of modern metadata standards and best practices
  • Working knowledge of NetCDF



What’s in it for You:

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


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.