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UNIDATA Data Engineer II

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Boulder, CO (eligible for a fully remote work option)
Hiring Range $86,816 - $108,519
Closing date
Jul 2, 2022

Job Summary:

Location: Boulder, CO (eligible for a fully remote work option)

Application Deadline: This position will be posted until June 30, 2022, but priority will be given to applications received by June 17, 2022.

Position Term: This position is a 2-year term position

Relocation: Relocation assistance is available for this position.

Work Authorization: UCAR/NCAR will not sponsor a work visa (e.g., J-1, H1-B, etc.) for this position. U.S. Citizenship, Permanent Residency, or other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3) is required for this position.

Hiring Range $86,816 - $108,519
Full Salary Range $86,816 - $141,075

Benefits: UCAR's rich package of employee benefits includes medical, dental, vision, education assistance, retirement, and life insurance. UCAR offers a variety of programs designed to assist with work-life balance including flexible work alternatives, paid time off and 14 weeks of paid parental leave. To learn more about our benefits, visit this site:

Vaccination Requirement: All employees hired by UCAR must comply with UCAR’s Covid-19 Vaccination Policy and safety protocols.

Where You Will Work:

The Unidata program exists to serve a community of researchers and educators dedicated to advancing the frontiers of Earth System science. While we share a set of long-term goals with our community, we are keenly aware that we play a significant but supporting role in their ongoing scientific and educational endeavors. As a practical matter, we look for things we can do now to help build the future our community seeks to achieve, realizing that the goals will evolve and our approach must be flexible. We also aim to sustain and enhance a community that capitalizes on new technology and approaches to advance our understanding of the Earth System, providing community leadership and support. With these things in mind, Unidata’s mission is "To transform the geosciences community, research, and education by providing innovative data services and tools."

What You Will Do: 

The Data Engineer will be working within the Unidata program as an atmospheric science data expert and consultant. Unidata is a diverse community of education and research institutions with the common goal of sharing geoscience data and the tools to access and visualize that data. For more than 30 years, the Unidata Program Center (UPC) has been providing data, software tools, and support to enhance Earth-system education and research. As a Data Engineer, you will play a vital role in serving the Unidata Community in the area of data access and support across all practical levels — information dissemination, documentation, data advocacy, cross-organization collaboration, and training. Unidata's small team environment provides for high levels of autonomy and responsibility with great opportunity to excel individually and contribute to the community's success.

Funded primarily by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Unidata is one of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)'s Community Programs (UCP).


Liaison To Data Providers:

  • Maintain effective relationships with industry data providers, including major data centers (WMO, NASA, NOAA, ECMWF, JMA, EUMETSAT, CMC, INPE, etc.), as well as cultivating contacts and relationships with data sources in the Unidata Community.

  • Maintain knowledge about the data available in the various Unidata Internet Data Distribution (IDD) data feeds, the entities providing the data, and identify other sources with additional data of interest to the community that might be willing to contribute..

  • Disseminate information about any potential changes to the IDD data feeds, the nature of the changes, and how they would impact Unidata software, the Unidata Community, and other stakeholders.

  • Research new types of data for the community and advocate for data access from providers when needed.

  • Facilitate any negotiations of “terms of data use” and distribution between the UPC and data providers.

  • Participate in efforts to maintain and promote industry data standards across the Unidata Community.

  • Maintain knowledge of public datasets hosted by cloud providers that are of potential interest to the Unidata Community

Help Maintain Data Infrastructure:

  • Maintain a fundamental knowledge of the Unidata data infrastructure and participate in its maintenance.

  • Provide oversight, organization, and the chance to implement a standard approach to data infrastructure maintenance and operation.

  • Understand and monitor health of the IDD data feeds and regularly examine and update configuration files as needed.

  • Understand and contribute to satellite data ingest infrastructure (both hardware and software).

  • Maintain data information on the Unidata website(s).

  • Explore ways to generate data volume numbers and metrics on demand.

  • Investigate potential new methods and services for providing data to the Unidata Community

Data Liaison To The Unidata Community:

  • Act as an advocate and point of content for data-related topics for the Unidata Community.

  • Educate, inform, and train the Community about ways to access data via Unidata’s data servers and distribution venues (ADDE, TDS, EDEX, IDD, etc.)

  • Maintain knowledge of the Unidata Community’s data environment and have a comprehensive understanding of the use cases for Unidata’s significant subcommunities;  including knowing what data is being used, not used, or underused.

  • Collaborate with the Unidata Community members and UPC developers to identify potential bottlenecks or issues in the Unidata data distribution processes, as well as make recommendations for improvements in Unidata data software.

  • Disseminate pertinent data information to the Community, including upcoming opportunities or changes regarding data feeds.

  • Provide data-related support to the community, in particular the IDD and its data feeds.

Resource For UCP Developers:

  • Maintain a high level understanding of the Unidata software stack and the types of data used within each package.

  • Inform UPC developers of data service change notices and how the changes may impact each Unidata software package.

  • Support developers by answering questions about data (availability, format, frequency, source), as well as provide information about the usage of the various types of data repositories and test datasets.

  • Foster interactions with UPC staff and the Unidata Community in an effort to anticipate and estimate current and future data and software needs.


  • Provide input on progress reports and presentations for the Unidata advisory committees.

  • Participate and present at scientific meetings to keep up-to-speed on community needs and to communicate directly with our stakeholders.

What You Need: 

Education and Years of Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in atmospheric; or related sciences

  • Progressive, relevant experience which is typically gained by 4 to 8years of experience with atmospheric scientific data services;

  • Or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Strong domain knowledge and expertise with atmospheric science data and datasets.

  • Experience with geoscience data formats (e.g. netCDF, HDF, GRIB, BUFR, GeoTIFF).

  • Ability to work in a small team environment in various roles with high levels of autonomy.

  • Ability to organize and communicate technical material to other developers and end-users.

  • Strong desire to continue learning new skills, tools, and concepts.

Desired but not required:

  • Experience with shell scripting or other programming languages.

  • Experience with basic unix systems administration and/or package-management maintenance of unix servers.

  • Experience with one or more cloud computing technology stacks (e.g. AWS, OpenStack, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure).

  • Experience with remote data access protocols (e.g. DAP, WMS, WCS).

  • Experience with web services, such as RESTful and RPC-based APIs

  • Experience providing support to a scientific community.

  • Experience with teaching or instructional training of technical topics.

Applicant Notes:

  • A cover letter is required when applying to this position.
  • An Inclusion Statement will be required for all applicants moving forward to the interview stage. This statement should address past efforts, as well as future vision and plans to advocate for and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization and/or field of work.

  • Please note that while the position description details both minimum requirements as well as desired skills and experience, we want to remind applicants that you do not need to have all the desired skills and experience to be considered for this role. If you have the passion for the work along with experience in a related field, you are encouraged to apply. We can provide on-the-job training for the rest.

  • For more information about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, here is the link to the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan and to the ODEI landing page.

  • A pre-employment screening is conducted in conjunction with an offer for employment. This screening may involve verifying or reviewing any of the following relevant information: restricted parties screening, employment verification, performance records of internal candidates, education verification, reference checks, verification of professional licenses, certifications, and Motor Vehicle Records.  UCAR complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). 

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.

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