Scientist III/IV - Research Aviation Facility (RAF), Science and Instrumentation Group

Location: Boulder, Colorado
Application Deadline: This position will be posted until July 13, 2022
Position Term: This position is a Regular, Full-time 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

Salary full-time FTE Level III:
Hiring Range $115,940 - $144,924
Full Salary Range $115,940 - $188,402

Salary full-time FTE Level IV:
Hiring Range $144,033 - $180,041
Full Salary Range $144,033 - $234,053

Salary to be determined by the education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities of the applicant, internal equity, and alignment with market data

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, click here:

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

Where You Will Work:

The Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL) is one of the seven laboratories of NCAR, the National Science Foundation's Federally Funded Research and Development Center. The mission of EOL is to provide leadership in observing facilities, field project support, observational 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. An integral part of EOL's mission is to develop the next generation of LAOF and to provide management and archive of data from past supported campaigns.

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 deploys LAOF platforms and systems that reach from the surface of the Earth to the lower stratosphere and beyond.

What You Will Do:

As a scientist in the Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL), Research Aviation Facility (RAF), this position leads the RAF Science and Instrumentation Group (RSIG). Conducts independent research, performs instrument development, and participates in field project deployments. Directs RSIG efforts in these areas to provide the scientific community with state-of-the-art airborne research opportunities and participates in and/or leads research projects that address issues of national and international importance. Serves as an interface with the airborne atmospheric research community to determine measurement priorities and advises the RAF Manager and EOL Director on scientific priorities that align with NCAR and EOL strategic goals. As an internationally recognized expert in atmospheric observational science, demonstrates a high level of expertise both in measurements and interpretation of airborne observational data.


Scientific and/or Technical Research

  • Conducts independent and collaborative research related to airborne atmospheric measurements focused on a discipline in line with the NCAR strategic priorities.
  • Publishes results of research in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Presents research at scientific conferences and other forums.
  • Serves on internal and external scientific advisory committees and/or boards.
  • Leads, plans, and participates in internal and/or external workshops related to airborne measurements and/or supported scientific discipline.
  • Leads or contributes to writing proposals to secure external funding, serves as Principal Investigator (PI) or Co Investigator (Co-I) on proposals.

Leadership and Management

  • Provides intellectual leadership to RAF scientists and engineers as the Science Lead for RAF. Uses expert knowledge of airborne instrumentation to provide scientific and technical guidance to individual scientists and engineers in the RSIG.
  • Supports airborne instrument development, operation and deployment.
  • Serves as an interface with Earth System science observational and modeling researchers in the university community and other government agencies.
  • Leads RSIG in delivering quality data sets from observations collected during field projects.
  • Uses scientific expertise and judgment to achieve field project and long-term scientific/airborne instrumentation objectives.
  • Advises the RAF Manager on scientific vision and priorities for the facility based on needs of the scientific community.
  • With input from external and internal stakeholders, sets priorities for airborne instrumentation development, acquisition, upgrades, and retirement.
  • Coordinates with the RAF Airborne Project Office (APO) and project PIs on field project planning and execution.
  • Promotes teamwork and manages personnel issues in a way that contributes to a diverse and welcoming work environment for both staff and visitors.
  • Provides leadership on new airborne instrument acquisitions, including fiscal planning for their purchase.
  • Mentors RAF scientists and engineers to advance their careers while supporting facility objectives.

Community Interaction and Field Project Support

  • Manages RSIG scientific support of field deployments, including instrument development, budget, and staff supervision.
  • Coordinates resource management, staffing, and other planning activities with the RAF Manager, APO, RAF Technicians, and Flight Operations group.
  • Supports field deployments as an instrument specialist, science adviser to PIs, mission coordinator, and data expert as needed.
  • Serves as PI and/or Co-I on NSF-sponsored airborne field campaigns.

Broader roles in the Viability of the Laboratory:

  • Provide scientific input for use in setting EOL and NCAR priorities and goals.
  • Supports EOL and NCAR education and outreach, both individually and organized efforts.
  • Supports workforce development activities including serving as a mentor and/or advisor to undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral researchers.

What You Need:

For Scientist Level III:

  • Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences or related discipline, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 7-12 years of experience beyond PhD, with a strong publication record, expertise in airborne atmospheric measurements, and demonstrated ability to lead scientific projects and supervise junior and support staff.

For Scientist Level IV:

  • At least 12 years of experience beyond PhD, with a strong publication record and demonstrated ability to lead scientific projects and supervise junior and support staff, as well as in leading large collaborative scientific projects. Has achieved national and international reputation for research and leadership.


  • Please submit your Resume/CV AND a Cover Letter with your application
  • Must be: (a) a U.S. citizen; (b) lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States; or (c) a protected individual as defined by 8 USC1324b(a)(3).
  • Willingness to travel up to 90 days per year and up to 42 consecutive days per trip within the U.S. and internationally.
  • Willingness and physical capability to serve as a crew member on NSF/NCAR aircraft.
  • Some or all of the work in this position description must be performed on-site at UCAR campuses and/or remote field sites that are domestic and/or international.


Required Level III and Level IV

  • Expert knowledge of the atmospheric sciences or related field with emphasis on airborne atmospheric instrumentation and measurements.
  • Advanced knowledge of observational instrumentation used in airborne research with expertise in a specific area supported by the RAF (e.g., cloud microphysics, atmospheric chemistry, radiation, winds).
  • Strong record of research accomplishments as demonstrated by a sustained record of impactful publications in the peer-reviewed literature, presentations at scientific conferences, and other technical publications and presentations.
  • Ability to produce and interpret integrated sets of quality-controlled scientific data in a timely fashion.
  • Skill in leading scientific research, and possessing the experience and knowledge needed to provide scientific leadership at the NCAR Laboratory level, including supervising staff and advocating for EOL science.
  • Strong record of supervisory and management experience involving coordination of interdisciplinary teams.
  • Skill in planning and implementing research activities and managing projects, people, and resources.
  • Ability to design and lead complex collaborative research initiatives, including the development of aircraft community field programs
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Successful record of leading interdisciplinary groups to accomplish common objectives.
  • Successful record of allocating human and financial resources to achieve program objectives.

Additional Level IV

  • Expert skill in leading scientific research, and possessing the experience and knowledge needed to provide scientific leadership at the NCAR Laboratory level, including supervising staff and advocating for EOL science.
  • Expert skill in planning and implementing research activities and managing projects, people, and resources.

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

posted: 15 June 2022    Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.