Champaign, IL, USA
Prairie Research Institute

The Midwestern Regional Climate Center is a cooperative program between the National Centers for Environmental Information and the Illinois State Water Survey in Champaign, Illinois.  This position provides applied climatology to develop and provide climate information and data analysis for the Midwest, using a combination of UNIX/LINUX shell scripting, application programming in a variety of computer languages (e.g., Python, R, Perl, Java, C++), GIS data visualization, and SQL database interaction.


The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Our research and service programs provide citizens, industries, and government agencies at all levels with timely, science-based information and analyses necessary to manage our water resources wisely for economic development and a sustainable environment.   Learn more at


ISWS is seeking to hire a Climatology Software Developer (Official Title: Senior Scientific Specialist, Climatology to provide climatology data analysis, computational programming, and support for product development for the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC).


The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Create and/or modify programming and visualization code that can manipulate atmospheric and environmental datasets (both gridded and station).
  • Create climatologically relevant figures and diagrams using atmospheric and environmental datasets.
  • Work with stakeholders and MRCC staff to design and enhance new and existing products.
  • Perform statistical analyses on atmospheric and environmental data using statistical software and programs.
  • Work closely with the Head of the Climate and Atmospheric Science section, the State Climatologist Office and other staff to support data needs, product development, research and scientific investigation.
  • Participate in related atmospheric science investigations and services.
  • Contribute to technical/scientific reports for service and/or research projects as needed.
  • Contribute to development and management of investigative tools and resources that would be accessed by diverse audiences including researchers, professionals, and the public.
  • Contribute to project publications/reports and peer-reviewed articles, including supply figures, analysis findings, literature review summaries, etc.
  • Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.
  • Supervise and provide task assignments for students and hourly employees.
  • Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of PRI.

Required Qualifications:


Education:  Master’s degree in atmospheric science or related field or a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science or related field and two years of experience in a related field. Computer science discipline with at least 9 credit hours of atmospheric science related coursework. Alternate degree will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. A valid driver’s license and access to transportation.


Experience: Experience working with observational scientific data that utilized statistical and exploratory data analysis skills. Experience with developing online tools and/or resources that utilized observational scientific data. Experience with creating and/or modifying programming and visualization code that can manipulate atmospheric and environmental data sets (both gridded and station.)


Preferred:  Master’s degree in atmospheric science or related discipline and two years of experience working with observational scientific data in climatology.


Knowledge requirements: Python or Perl programming languages; UNIX/LINUX operating systems; large datasets of point and/or gridded scientific data. Effective communication, personal relations, collaboration, organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a divers and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgement, and strong conflict resolution skills. Proficiency in commonly employed software and databases. Preferred: UNIX/LINUX shell scripting; knowledge of observational meteorological/climatological data; visualization packages such as NCL or GrADS; JSON data manipulation; statistical software such as R or Matlab.


Environmental Demands:

The work of this position takes place in an office setting. The work is sedentary and involves remaining in a stationary position for extended periods of time working at a computer, using a keyboard and mouse, and using repetitive hand motions.




This is a regular full-time academic professional appointment, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding. The starting date is negotiable and salary is commensurate with experience and skills.



Please complete your candidate profile at and upload a cover letter, CV/resume, and the contact information for three professional references must be received by January 5th 2020.  Interviews may be conducted before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after that date.  All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. 

For further information regarding application procedures, you may contact Jon Freiman at or 217-244-2687. 


The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

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