Program Specialist III; National Center for Atmospheric Research

Job Title: 
Program Specialist III
Job Location: 
Silver-Spring, Maryland
Full-time, Exempt
Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

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:

The Arctic Program Specialist III supports the Arctic Research Program (ARP) in the Ocean Observing and Monitoring Division (OOMD) of NOAA’s Climate Program Office (CPO). The Program Specialist III will provide daily support to the Director of the ARP for budget planning and awards execution, the review and processing of work plans and annual reports, coordination of Federal Funding Opportunities, and will help to coordinate ongoing research and programmatic activities in the ARP. The Program Specialist will support the efforts of the ARP to perform regular program reviews and support development and implementation of the strategic plan. She/he will also support NOAA’s interests in the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) through engagement with its leadership and members.


This position will be located at the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research in Silver Spring, MD.



Program Management

  • The Program Specialist III supports the OOM Division Director for budget planning and execution; competitive awards (e.g. contribute to development of topics and calls for proposals; support relevant review processes); review and processing of work plans; annual planning; and requests for information about the ARP portfolio. She/he will be responsible for collecting OAR Arctic related information and activities to present regularly to NOAA Leadership. The Program Specialist III assists with the planning and development of presentation materials for senior-level strategic planning meetings. She/he plans meeting logistics for on and off-site meetings to engage with the ARP research community and other stakeholders. She/he supports the writing and editing of reports and other products from ARP meetings and workshops. The Program Specialist III supports communication with the ARP research community about program strategy, research accomplishments, and how these relate to ARP goals.

 Science Management

  • The Program Specialist III provides coordination and support for research activities that are funded annually by the ARP. This will include serving as the point of contact for planning of ship recruitment and logistics (e.g. NOAA, and/or Coast Guard ships) and providing support for, and review of, principal investigators’ field study plans. The Program Specialist III leads the development of ship-time proposals and submission via the NOAA Vessel Prioritization, Allocation and Scheduling System (VPASS). She/he coordinates and schedules planning and data synthesis meetings where outcomes from ARP studies will be discussed. She/he collaborates with agencies supporting fieldwork through the Field Operations Working Group to develop a matrix of vessel traffic in the western Arctic. The Program Specialist III contributes to the preparation and writing of data synthesis products from ARP activities. The Program Specialist III supports the annual publication of NOAA’s Arctic Report Card and the BAMS State of the Climate Report – Arctic Chapter and may be required to develop original products (i.e. graphics, tables, summary reports and peer-reviewed publications) based on ARP-generated data and information. The Program Specialist III interfaces with OOMD and NOAA communication, outreach, and public affairs offices during the development and release of both publications. She/he assists with development of press releases, press conference scripts, media responses, communications, and outreach materials for these publications and other ARP efforts.  


  • The Program Specialist III participates in relevant IARPC task teams, generates reports, and represents ARP at various meetings and may contribute as a team co-lead, developing appropriate strategic vision and annual plans, convening meetings, and reporting on activities. She/he will help maintain current partnerships, and identify new opportunities with potential partners in the Federal government, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions. The Program Specialist III supports the Executive Director of the US Arctic Observing Network (US AON) and participates in monthly US AON Board meetings. The Program Specialist III supports the Pacific Arctic Group (PAG) as well as at other bilateral bodies, local and regional bodies, and meetings as requested.

 Professional Development

  • The Program Specialist will identify one or more professional development opportunities (e.g. coursework, conferences, joining a professional organization) that will improve or increase her/his understanding, capabilities, or skillset needed to be successful in this position.


What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience:

  • Master’s degree and background in environmental science and at least three years of relevant program experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Strong understanding of the Arctic system and scientific challenges for the region.
  • Skill in synthesizing and summarizing complex data and information from a number of sources (e.g. observations; models; and scientific analyses reports, and published papers).
  • Skill in assessing Arctic/Alaska constituent needs and in modifying activities to meet those needs to support societal benefit areas.
  • Skill in preparing technical and administrative reports, and giving oral and written presentations.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills and ability to present complex topics to senior leadership and non-scientists.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally up to 10% of the time.

Desired but Not Required:

  • Ph.D. in oceanography, meteorology or climate science
  • Strong Oceanography background


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 requirements.


What’s in it for You:

  • Compensation
  • PTO
  • Paid Holidays
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Benefits (Medical, Dental, Vision)
  • Retirement Plan
  • And more!


EEO/AAP Statement:

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.

Please note that all jobs are automatically removed once the application deadline passes. Jobs without a deadline are automatically removed after 30 days.