Program Specialist II; University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Job Title: 
Program Specialist II
Job Location: 
Silver Spring, Maryland
Full-time, Exempt, 1-year term date

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and various UCAR Cooperative Programs (UCP) – all in service of advancing knowledge, providing community-based resources, and building human capacity in atmospheric and related sciences.


The Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS—pronounced: see-pass), under the UCP, provides an extensive portfolio of placement, management, and organizational services for the broad Earth System Science community. CPAESS develops innovative solutions to complex scientific challenges, advances research capacity, and fosters community collaborations.

CPAESS provides professional development, training, and research opportunities for early career to expert scientists.  The CPAESS community includes placements at prestigious postdoctoral fellowships, short- and long-term appointments at US Federal research labs and institutions, research internships, and summer school opportunities for graduates and postdoctoral scientists. These research and training opportunities provide mentoring and career advancement; lifelong collaboration through program alumni networks; and the advancement of science worldwide through university, federal, state, municipal level, and private sector partnerships. CPAESS employees and sponsors collectively work toward advancing scientific research for the benefit of society.


What You Will Do:

This position is for a program specialist for the Climate Variability and Predictability (CVP) Program in the Earth System Science and Modeling (ESSM) division, part of the NOAA Climate Program Office (CPO), and for the benefit of the program’s scientific community and its stakeholders. The incumbent is responsible for providing support, assistance and coordination of program activities, communication of recent scientific results, and the input on the development of scientific and programmatic plans and their implementation for CVP. The CVP Program supports research that enhances our process-level understanding of the physical climate system through observation, modeling, analysis, and field studies. This vital knowledge is needed to improve climate models and predictions so that scientists and society can better anticipate the impacts of future climate variability and change.


This position will be located at the NOAA Climate Program Office in Silver Spring, MD.



  • Assists in the review and development of community research priorities that enhances our process-level understanding of the climate system through observation, modeling, analysis, and field studies. Provides factual information regarding program objectives, policies and procedures. Helps to identify program opportunities and problems, and suggesting courses of action.
  • Provide support for the solicitation, peer review, and selection process for proposals submitted to the CVP program. Activities would include:
    • remaining apprised of current literature and ongoing research, including what type of research is most needed to advance the field in a useful manner;
    • identifying relevance of proposed research interests for the benefit of the scientific community; assisting with the technical review and evaluation of proposals;
    • assisting and organizing mail and panel reviews.
  • Supports the review of programmatic plans for CVP program elements, especially in the focus areas of ocean-atmosphere interactions and multi-disciplinary climate studies. Activities include:
    • building a broader community interest in the program through webinars and communications;
    • writing documents highlighting the progress and accomplishments of the research program.
  • Communicates the outcomes of CVP-funded research to various scientific and professional communities and to society through development of documents, reports, presentations, and/or content for the Climate Program office web portal, as appropriate.
  • Assists in exploring and supporting new strategic partnerships among NOAA partners (including other ESSM or CPO programs), other USGCRP and USCLIVAR agency partners, and the external research community.


What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Physical Science or a related field (Chemistry, Meteorology, Marine Science, etc.) and at least two years of relevant science or program experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Desired but not Required: Master’s degree in a science discipline

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of the principles and concepts of climate, science and/or ecosystems.
  • Good written and oral communication skills, including ability to draft presentations, write articles and develop outreach material for the CVP website, emphasizing communication of technical/scientific material to non-technical audiences.
  • Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to handle multiple and diverse tasks with short turnaround time and tasks that require long-term planning and sustained implementation over the course of a year.
  • Ability to successfully interact with diverse set of people including large teams of scientists, administrative staff, other program managers, and public affairs personnel.
  • Good understanding of the climate community and its stakeholders; government research programs and international research programs.
  • Ability to work with technologies that enable virtual meetings, telecoms, telework, web information, and analysis of program outcomes (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, or similar).
  • Skill in planning and organizing meetings.
  • Understanding of relevant program area.
  • Organizes and summarizes information for written and oral reports.
  • Ability to work well as a member of a team in a cooperative environment.
  • Willingness and ability to travel nationally/internationally as needed.
  • Skill in identifying program opportunities and problems and suggesting courses for action.
  • Ability to understand and interpret scientific findings and to translate these results for comprehension and understanding by diverse audiences.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work on several simultaneous tasks, often with short-term deadlines


Applicant Notes:

This position is subject to work location requirements for obtaining access to facilities and research systems. These requirements may include a combination of national security checks, credit checks, fingerprinting, or other security clearance or work authorization requirements.


What’s in it for You:

  • Compensation
  • PTO
  • Paid Holidays
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Benefits (Medical, Dental, Vision)
  • Retirement Plan
  • And more!
Please note that all jobs are automatically removed once the application deadline passes. Jobs without a deadline are automatically removed after 30 days.