Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

CIRES/GSD NESII System Administrator

CIRES/GSD NESII System Administrator

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colorado is seeking a professional research assistant to work in the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL)/Global Systems Division (GSD) located in Boulder, Colorado.This opening is for the system administrator of a section that develops high performance software for weather and climate models. The position is responsible for maintaining the section’s Linux, MacOS and Windows servers and laptop computers following established NOAA and Global Systems Division processes and requirements. This includes preparing specifications, installing, and patching software, and responding to help requests from members of the section, currently about twelve people. The position will coordinate with Global System Division system administrators and with technical management. This is a two-year position with possibility for continuation.


The software developed by the section has a broad user base that requires reliability. It is regression tested nightly on multiple computers, each of which has multiple configurations of compilers and libraries. Each platform/library combination is tested separately. A significant part of the position is creating and updating these software installations (many compiled from source) on local servers, which are managed using a module environment. When a server is purchased, the system administrator is responsible for preparing the specification, creating accounts, integrating it into the NOAA environment, and installing the necessary compilers and software tools.


Other responsibilities include monitoring the servers and responding to security or usability concerns; creating and verifying backups of data; upgrading software and operating systems across section computers as required; and installing and testing any computer related hardware. The position will also potentially support the team’s test lead in administering regression tests, including writing automated scripts, monitoring, and documenting test results.  Excellent communication and writing skills in English are critical. The system administrator must communicate effectively with section members on their needs and issues, with software and hardware vendors on any problems, and with purchasing agents on specifications and orders. Tasks may include writing or contributing to technical reports.


●     Ability to work independently.

●     Demonstrated start-to-finish commitment to projects.

●     Demonstrated attention to detail.

●     Experience with high performance software systems in the Earth sciences is desired but not required.

●     Experience installing and configuring the following compilers is desired: G95, GCC, Clang, Intel  Fortran and C/C++, PGI Fortran and C/C++, NAG Fortran, Absoft Fortran, Lahey Fortran.

●     Experience installing and configuring the following MPI Implementations is desired: mpich2/mpich3, Mvapich2, Intelmpi, mpi, openmpi.

●     Experience installing and configuring the following packages is desired: Python with numpy, sphinx, and mpi4py, GDB, Totalview, NetCDF libraries, and Doxygen.

●     Experience writing shell scripts is required.

●     Experience using and creating environment module files is required.

●     Experience with testing packages such as Expect is desired but not required.

●     Demonstrated ability and willingness to work within a structured software engineering process, including use of SVN/git for version control.

●     Knowledge of LaTeX and HTML is useful.

●     Proven ability to work effectively as part of a team.

●     Willingness and ability to travel occasionally.

●     Ability to concentrate for long periods of time.

●     Ability to type for long periods of time.

●     Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.


Education and Experience:

B.S or M.S. degree in computer science, plus at least 4 years’ experience performing system administration duties for a team developing high performance software, plus:

demonstrated experience in writing documentation for software systems, and demonstrated experience in working cooperatively with a large and diverse scientific and technical team.

Application Materials

Special Instructions to Applicants: The University of Colorado Boulder conducts background checks on all final applicants being considered for employment, prior to the issuance of an offer letter. The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to providing a safe and productive learning, living and working community. To achieve this goal, we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and an EPLS (Excluded Parties List System) check. The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that verification of employment eligibility be documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work. 

The University of Colorado is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, the University of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, political affiliation or political philosophy in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. Inquiries may be directed to the Boulder Campus Title IX Coordinator by calling 303-492-2127. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, alternative formats of this ad can be provided upon request for individuals with disabilities by contacting Human Resources at

Application Materials Required: Cover Letter, Resume/CV, Reference Letters (Not Confidential), Unofficial transcript(s)\

Application Materials Instructions: Applicants must complete the Faculty/University Staff and EEO Data (application) form, and upload the following required documents: 1 – Cover Letter; 2 – Resume; 3 – The document uploaded for Proof of Degree can be a Transcript which shows the date the degree was conferred; Copy of Diploma; or official letter from the Registrar or the Dean of the School or College conferring the degree; 4 –One letter of recommendation This position is eligible for medical, dental and life insurance, retirement benefits programs, and is eligible for monthly vacation and sick leave accruals.

Job Number


Date Posted

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Professional Research Assistant