University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Student Assistant I in Boulder, Colorado

Student Assistant I

Tracking Code


Job Description

Job Title:Student Assistant I

Location:Boulder, CO

Type:Casual (as needed/no benefits)

Application Deadline:

Initial consideration will be given to applications received prior to August 31, 2018. Thereafter, applications will be reviewed on an as-needed basis.


Only local candidates will be considered for this position. Students interested in this position must have at least one year left in their degree program.

Work Authorization:

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.

Who We Are:

Located in Boulder, Colorado, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is one of the world’s premier scientific institutions, with an internationally recognized staff and research program dedicated to advancing knowledge, providing community-based resources, and building human capacity in the atmospheric and related sciences.

The Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL) is one of the seven laboratories that make up NCAR. CISL’s dedicated teams support and advance the geosciences with world-class computing, data management, global networks, and research in mathematics and computational science.

What You Will Do:

CISL is seeking motivated students from 2-year colleges, technical or vocational schools and 4-year colleges and universities who are interested in gaining a wide range of experience and exploring careers in Information Technology (IT) and High-Performance Computing (HPC).No IT or computing skills required, just a willingness to learn.Students will be trained and mentored in skills that span networking, user support, Linux administration, facilities management, and more. Students will work hands-on with CISL staff and rotate through different roles to assist technical staff with a variety of functions. Students are required to commit to a schedule of 10–20 hours per week during the school year; full time is possible during breaks and summer.


  • In the User Support Section, students will help solve user’s problems and respond to user support requests managed in CISL’s service desk system, answer phones, update documentation in CISL’s wiki, and have the opportunity to use and help support NCAR’s HPC systems.

  • In the High-End Services Section, student will work with senior HPC software engineers on how to maintain and enhance the capabilities of the various supercomputers, file systems and tape storage systems at NCAR. The student will also participate from time to time in the installation, maintenance, administration, troubleshooting and enhancement of supercomputer systems, operating systems software and related HPC software. The student will also be provided with the opportunity to assist experienced teammates on porting and running NCAR applications on experimental and emerging High Performance Computing (HPC) systems that we bring into our HPC futures lab (HPCFL).

  • In the Network Engineering and Telecommunications Section, students will work with engineers and technicians on a variety of active projects including infrastructure design and installation, CAD and GIS documentation, network port and phone activation,w network labeling, network statistics and metrics, and through these activities will learn what networks do and why the world needs them.

  • In the Enterprise Services Section, students will gain hands on and mentoring experience in Data Centers and how to manage them and a range of enterprise IT services.

  • In the Data Support Section, students will learn how and why professional data management is conducted by participating in ongoing activities with the NCAR Data Curator and Stewardship Coordinator. By assisting data engineers at the Research Data Archive (, students will also learn and practice skills in data archive building, access development, and basic user support. Related responsibilities may include: answer user email questions, update RDA social media feeds, review website documentation.

  • CISL student assistants are part of the UCAR and NCAR community. They are expected to contribute positively to the UCAR/NCAR community and to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to a professional environment. Within their scheduled work hours, students are expected to fully participate in CISL functions during normal office hours.

What You Need:

Education and Years of Experience:

  • Currently enrolled in a 2-year or 4-year College, University, or Professional School.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Must be currently enrolled in an accredited US 2-year or 4-year college, technical and/or vocational school.

  • Ability to work at least 10 and up to 20 hours per weekduring normal business hours(8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) in Boulder, CO, during the academic year.

  • Ability and willingness to work within guidelines, restrictions, and policies of the organization and assigned work groups.

  • Ability to interact with mentors and peers in a manner that supports collaboration and inquiry.

  • Ability to work with diverse staff.

  • Good problem solving skills.

  • Good oral and written communication skills.

  • Willingness to learn and use computing tools and programs.

  • Overt curiosity to explore new things.

Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • The ideal candidate will have a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher. For first-year students, a 2.8 high school GPA or higher.

  • Exposure to or working knowledge of basic office and communication software (e.g., email, web browser).

Applicant Notes:

In addition to a resume, all applicants MUST submit a not-to-exceed one-page cover letter clearly describing each of the following four items:

  • Why you are interested in the program

  • How this program addresses your educational and career goals, and what you expect to gain if selected

  • Your interests and any skills applicable to the duties of the position

  • Information on how your personal background and life experience (including social, cultural, familial, economic, educational or other opportunities or challenges) may help you make unique contributions to the program. CISL is dedicated to enhancing the diversity of future science support communities and workforce.

  • Anticipated availability during business hours during the school year

This cover letter is REQUIRED of all applicants in order to be considered for the program. Applicants who do not submit a cover letter that addresses the above four topics will be automatically disqualified from consideration for the program.

  • For questions about the internship, please email David Hart, CISL User Services Section Manager,

  • For questions about the application process, please email Courtney Gibson, UCAR Talent Acquisition Specialist, atcgibson@ucar.eduor call 303-497-8722.

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.

Job Location

Boulder, Colorado, United States

Position Type


Appointment Type

Casual (C) (As-needed/no benefits)