Program Specialist III, Climate Monitoring

9 August 2017

NOAA Climate and Ocean Monitoring (COM) Program

Silver Spring, MD

This is a full-time, 6-month term position with possibility of an extension. Initial consideration will be given to applications received prior to 9 August, 2017 at 4:00pm. Thereafter, applications will be reviewed on an as-needed basis.

Program Specialist III, Climate Monitoring

UCAR Community Programs (UCP) – Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS)

This position is located in Silver Spring, Maryland. No relocation assistance is offered 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.  UCAR/NCAR will not sponsor a work visa (e.g., J-1, H1-B, etc.) for this position.

This position provides the necessary focal point between the NOAA Climate and Ocean Monitoring (COM) program of the Ocean Observing and Monitoring Division (OOMD) and the extramural, scientific community.  The climate and ocean monitoring component focuses on the development and improvement of climate- and ocean-related data sets, the transformation of climate- and ocean -related observations into informative products, and the interpretation of these products to better understand the current and changing state of the climate, ocean, and Arctic systems.

Observations are a foundational element of the climate research and services enterprise. The scientific community invests significantly in the development of global observing systems to address the needs of the research, forecasting, and assessment communities, as well as enable stakeholders and decision-makers to monitor and respond to changes in the Earth system. While observing systems routinely provide data and related metadata, raw data alone are often insufficient to realize the full value of these observations. Value-added climate products, diagnostics, and indices based on these observations should have a strong scientific foundation, be publicly accessible, and enhance the use of the data to address specific needs. They improve the connection between observations and their application within the climate enterprise.

What You Will Do

This individual will be responsible for working collaboratively with the extramural community and the Ocean Observing and Monitoring Division of NOAA in developing scientific and programmatic plans, and a suite of research activities (internal and external to NOAA) to develop value-added climate products, diagnostics, and indices. These duties focus on understanding and improving modeling of climate, ocean, and Arctic changes through exploitation of observation-based products to monitor the earth system. This person will maintain an up-to-date working knowledge of observing systems that support NOAA’s ocean, Arctic, and climate observing enterprises. Additionally, they will be knowledgeable of associated science, research, and service requirements by staying current with relevant publications, assessments (e.g. IPCC, Arctic, National Climate Assessment, World Ocean Assessment, etc), and needs throughout NOAA service program areas. They will communicate program aims/successes, and engage the program community through appropriate conferences/meetings.

Job Responsibilities Include:

Program Management and Execution: Coordinating professional and technical level management and support to the solicitation, peer review, and selection process for proposals submitted to the OOMD Climate and Ocean Monitoring program.

  • Remaining apprised of current literature and ongoing research, including what type of research is most needed to advance the field in a useful manner;
  • Contributing towards solicitations for new research proposals and oversees peer review and selection process for proposals submitted to the OOMD Climate and Ocean Monitoring program for approval
  • Providing critical analysis of content and budgets of proposals, providing feasibility studies and financial status reports;
  • Organizing mail and panel reviews of submitted proposals;
  • Administering grant actions through the NOAA grant management system
  • Administering program-funded NOAA research projects
  • Preparing proposal ranking and submitting funding recommendations to the OOMD Director;
  • Supporting PIs if there are issues with the NOAA grant management system;
  • Managing the compilation and production of major national and international scientific publications or publication chapters. Preparing position papers and reports for distribution to staff and external sources.

Program Planning, Representation, and Outreach

  • Contributing towards programmatic plans for the Climate and Ocean Monitoring Program (in consultation with extramural community and OOMD Chief), especially in the focus area of developing and improving reference data sets in support of multi-disciplinary ocean, Arctic, and climate research and NOAA services.
  • Represents the program in Climate Program Office planning activities, providing information and expertise regarding the Climate and Ocean Monitoring program area
  • Developing and fostering linkages with the academic research community and Federal science and mission agency programs, fostering linkages with the observations, modeling, and societal interactions programs;
  • Developing effective relationships and joint activities with other NOAA programs and centers in support of program goals;
  • Developing input to the annual Climate Program Office call for proposals (FFO);
  • Building broader community interest in the program;
  • Recommending project funding allocations for Climate and Ocean Monitoring Program activities;
  • Writing documents highlighting the progress and accomplishments of the program; and
  • Coordinating conference activities and ensuring objectives are met. May provide technical expertise in relevant subject areas.

Providing support within the Ocean and Arctic programs of the Ocean Observing and Monitoring Division programs, as needed

Decision Making & Problem Solving

  • Communication: Identify and contact expert evaluators and panel members in the specific area of climate and ocean monitoring highlighted in a competition.  Communicate with colleagues and outside sources when difficult to find evaluators.
  • Prioritization: Working in environments with limited budgets and increasing time pressure and expectations, strategically recommend where to prioritize spending and activities and defend choices and anticipated outcomes.
  • Assess and monitor the program’s activities and grants for issues affecting timeliness, quality, and other aspects that would negatively affect the program’s outcomes. Anticipate and prevent problems, resolve issues that do arise, identify  issues requiring significant intervention to the attention of NOAA management.
  • Scientific and technical evaluation: Learn and evaluate different scientific and technical concepts and methodologies.
  • Planning and innovation: Explore new opportunities and plan strategically to overcome arising issues and adapt to new trends with innovative solutions.
  • Teamwork: work with other OOMD/CPO staff, enhancing personal strengths and solving any conflicts to effectively work as a team.

What You Need

  • Graduate degree in ocean, climate, or atmospheric science and at least three years of relevant program/project management experience; or an appropriate combination of education and experience to carry out the duties as assigned.
  • Familiarity with climate and other assessments.
  • Understanding of the principles and concepts of climate variability and change with specialized knowledge of ocean, Arctic, and/or atmospheric variability
  • Ability to identify program opportunities and challenges and recommend plans for bridging gaps
  • Ability to effectively evaluate user needs and technical challenges to address them in order  to contribute towards a program strategy to meet critical needs
  • Understanding of budget and proposal development, implementation, and monitoring
  • Advanced oral and written communication skills
  • Skill in preparing technical presentations and reports
  • Ability to work well within a team environment
  • Skill in the use of administrative computer software, especially in support of the proposal tracking, reviewing, and selection processes
  • Ability to handle confidential/sensitive information in a manner consistent with UCAR policy, acting with integrity and exhibiting behavior that merits public trust and confidence.  (Note:  The employee remains bound, even after their employment ends, not to disclose or disseminate any confidential information received or accessed while employed by UCAR).  This obligation applies to both confidential information belonging to UCAR, as well as confidential information received during employment at UCAR pertaining to any third party.

Desired Skills

  • PhD
  • Experience working with observational data sets and/or long-term environmental records

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.

How to Apply

Please visit UCAR Silkroad to apply.

CPAESS CAMP Proposal Website

To submit a proposal to the UCAR Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program (CAMP), please visit the
CAMP website


See CPAESS OpenSky Publications

NCAR/UCAR Metrics Database

CPAESS Contact Information


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