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University of Colorado Boulder
  • Position Number: 5253274
  • Location: Boulder, CO
  • Position Type: Computer and Information Technology

CIRES/NIDIS Soil Moisture Program Coordinator

Requisition Number: 55921
Location: Boulder Colorado
Employment Type: Research Faculty
Schedule: Full Time
Posting Close Date: 15-May-2024
Date Posted:

Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and NOAA's National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) are seeking a full-time Soil Moisture Program Coordinator to work as part of an interdisciplinary team and with external partners to lead the coordination and management of the National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network (NCSMMN). NIDIS is an integrated information system that coordinates drought monitoring, forecasting, planning, and information at federal, tribal, state, and local levels across the country. NIDIS, working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other partners, is leading the effort to implement the NCSMMN.

The NCSMMN is a multi-institutional initiative to integrate soil moisture data from across the country and to capitalize on its transformative potential across sectors of the economy (see fact sheet here). The goals of the NCSMMN to realize this mission include:
  • Establishing a national "network of networks" that effectively demonstrates data and operational coordination of in situ moisture networks and fills gaps in coverage;
  • Building a community of practice and expertise around soil moisture measurement and interpretation - a "network of people" that links data providers, researchers, and the user community; and
  • Supporting research and development of innovative techniques to merge in situ soil moisture data with remotely sensed and modeled hydrologic data to create near-real-time, gridded, user-friendly soil moisture maps and associated tools.
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

CIRES is an internationally recognized leader in innovative environmental science and research and is located at the University of Colorado Boulder. At CIRES, more than 950 environmental science professionals work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including peoples relationship with the planet. CIRES has partnered with NOAA since 1967, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at Earths poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, solid Earth sciences, and more. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

National Integrated Drought Information System

NIDIS is an integrated information system that was first authorized by Congress in 2006 (Public Law 109-430) and reauthorized in 2014 and 2019 to coordinate drought monitoring, forecasting, planning, and information at federal, tribal, state, and local levels across the country. NIDIS does this work through:
  • Developing partnerships to ensure successful implementation of an integrated national drought monitoring and forecasting system at federal, state, and local levels.
  • Collecting and integrating information on the key indicators of drought to make usable, reliable, and timely drought forecasts and assessments.
  • Fostering and supporting a research environment that focuses on risk assessment, forecasting, and management.
  • Providing accurate, timely, and integrated information on drought conditions and associated risks to facilitate proactive decision making.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Manage the NCSMMN, which includes leading and/or participating on the Interagency Coordinating Team, and engaging with the broader NCSMMN Community to coordinate the advancement of the NCSMMN.
  • Collaborate with partners to implement the NCSMMN Strategy, released in 2021, which provides a roadmap for program success.
  • Manage a suite of NIDIS-funded projects that advance the NCSMMN Strategy, including reviewing, evaluating, and managing statements of work. A primary focus for the next few years will be the Upper Missouri River Basin Data Value Study, a high-visibility study directed by Congress and funded under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to demonstrate the value of soil moisture and snowpack monitoring data to improve climatologic and hydrologic applications.
  • Explore and support new strategic partnerships including those with Federal agencies, Tribal Nations, state and local governments, academic institutions, and other public and/or private partners.
  • Coordinate with other NIDIS Program Office colleagues to share ideas, resources, and strategies to lead NIDIS soil moisture efforts in a more effective and cohesive way that ensures the best alignment with both NIDIS regional Drought Early Warning Systems (DEWS) and other national-level efforts.
  • Communicate the purpose, goals, and outcomes of the NCSMMN to various scientific and professional communities and to the public through development of presentations, documents, reports, and/or other content for NIDIS and partner websites as appropriate.
  • Lead or assist in event-planning activities (virtual and in-person) to convene meetings, workshops, trainings, and/or webinars, and document the findings through meeting summaries or project reports.
  • Perform other duties as necessary to advance the NCSMMN initiative and/or broader NIDIS mission.

What You Should Know

  • Due to project deliverables, candidates must be able to start working no later than August 1, 2024.
  • This position requires frequent domestic travel (~6-12 times per year).
  • This position can either be located in Boulder, CO (at the NOAA David Skaggs Research Center) or can be located remotely within the United States (with travel to the Program Office in Boulder two or three times per year).
  • If you are selected for this position you will be required to pass a federal laboratory background clearance for site access. Non-US citizens without green cards may have limited building access, and require an escort in the building.

What We Can Offer

  • CIRES can offer a generous compensation package.
  • The annual hiring salary range for this position is $70,000 - $105,000. 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 Colorados relocation processes and procedures.
  • This position can accommodate a hybrid or fully remote work modality.
  • CIRES and the University of Colorado Boulder offer a robust training curriculum, opportunities for professional development and a Mentorship Program.
  • Boulder is a vibrant community with access to mountain parks, dog parks, miles of trails, rivers, lakes, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, theaters, museums, and sports venues. Boulder was recently ranked as one of the top places to live in the U.S. by U.S. News.
  • As an employee at CU Boulder, you receive a pass allowing free access to the regional public transit system, which is an outstanding network of buses and light rail systems that provide service within Boulder and connect to Denver, the Denver airport, and surrounding communities.


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 engaged. Be flexible. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Bachelors degree in soil science, natural or water resources, hydrology, atmospheric science, meteorology/climatology, engineering, or related environmental sciences field, and at least 5 years of directly relevant professional experience. Or a masters degree in the above fields with at least 3 years of directly relevant professional experience.
  • Experience developing and sustaining relationships with federal agencies, tribal, state, and/or local government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and/or academia.
  • Experience in project management, particularly in cases where projects include networks of organizations and/or span multiple geographies.

What You Will Need

  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to handle multiple projects/tasks, short turnaround deadlines, and tasks that require long-term planning and sustained implementation over the course of a year.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, as well as collaboratively with a diverse group of scientists and partners, and support an inclusive and respectful work culture.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to present complex ideas concisely through written and/or verbal delivery to various audiences.
  • Ability to identify program opportunities and challenges, and develop and implement strategies to address those opportunities and challenges to further the needs of NIDIS and the NCSMMN.

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 needed at the time of application, please be ready to provide contact information for 5 professional references (including 2 professors or supervisors). If you are identified as a finalist for this role, you will be asked to invite your references to complete a SkillSurvey questionnaire on your behalf. SkillSurvey is an online 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.

Please apply by May 15, 2024 for consideration.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

To apply, visit

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