Communications Coordinator

CIRES/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)
Boulder, CO, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
10+ Years
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.
Job Summary

CIRES and the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) seek an engaging communicator to strategize and implement external and internal communications for multiple audiences across the nation.


The Communications Coordinator (CC) fulfills a critical role in the implementation of NIDIS, a federal multi-agency partnership that coordinates drought monitoring, forecasting, and planning and information at national, state, and local levels. Its mission is to help the nation to move to a more proactive approach to managing drought risks and impacts, and to improve long-term drought resilience.


The CC helps lead the effort to create and promote content on drought-related research, ideas, news, and events. S/he will conceptualize, write, design and edit drought-related information and materials for NIDIS that effectively describe and promote the program, appealing to decision makers, the general public, technical experts, and the media.


This information must engage these audiences visually as well as via written materials, as appropriate to the subject matter, with careful attention to tone and accuracy.


Specific tasks include ongoing creation of news items for the U.S. Drought Portal (, the NIDIS website) and biweekly e-newsletter, developing branding materials, utilizing social media and other forms of outreach, writing content and editing reports, creating an annual report, and working with regional program coordinators to organize, refresh, and implement locally relevant information.


The CC works closely with the NIDIS Web Content and Development Coordinator, whose work focuses on the U.S. Drought Portal. Together, the Web Content Coordinator and CC will develop and implement a comprehensive plan for NIDIS internal and external communications, incorporating input from NIDIS Program Office staff, the web development team, regional information coordinators, and partners nationwide. The comprehensive communications strategy will describe and promote the NIDIS program on multiple platforms, using fresh ideas and an innovative approach.


The NIDIS program is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


This position is based at NOAA’s David Skaggs Research Center in Boulder, Colorado. Some out-of-state travel is required.

Who We Are

At CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, more than 800 environmental scientists work to understand the dynamic Earth system, including people’s relationship with the planet. CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and the University of Colorado Boulder, and our areas of expertise include weather and climate, changes at the Earth’s poles, air quality and atmospheric chemistry, water resources, and solid Earth sciences. Our vision is to be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable future environment by advancing scientific and societal understanding of the Earth system.

Physical Sciences Division

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be
  • Spearhead development of NIDIS internal and external communications strategy
  • Create, organize, edit, and update written and visual material that promote NIDIS objectives, using multiple platforms
  • Create content, edit, and produce project or initiative-related documents
  • Summarize technical information in easy-to-grasp formats, including infographics
  • Coordinate content planning and execution with colleagues and partners, including facilitation of timely and appropriate review practices
  • Review and update regional information about drought related to NIDIS’s nine regional Drought Early Warning Systems
  • Develop branding materials and communications outreach package
  • Maintain NIDIS social media accounts, bi-weekly e-newsletter, and utilize other means of engagement to expand current audiences and attract new ones
  • Respond to public and media inquiries
What You Should Know

CIRES commits to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

What We Can Offer

CIRES can offer a competitive compensation package, commensurate with experience.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be Creative. Be Professional. Be Boulder.

What We Require
  • Ten years of professional experience in communications, showing a range of formats and approaches
  • B.A. or B.S. in Journalism, Communications, Technical Writing, Information Management, Digital Media, Marketing or related degree
  • Excellent project management skills, with demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects and re-prioritize on the fly
  • Demonstrated ability to render technical information into an understandable and appealing narrative and/or visual presentation, while retaining accuracy of the information
  • Professional experience designing documents, layouts, infographics, and other materials
  • Advanced or expert proficiency with InDesign
  • Expertise in using plain language, and the ability to edit others’ writing to reflect the same
  • Creative approach in generating story ideas and planning coverage over the long term as well as in response to developing events
  • Strict attentiveness to detail and vigilance about accuracy
  • Proven track record coordinating and collaborating productively with all partners, local and remote
  • Active and innovative use of social media in a professional capacity
  • Professional experience using Google Apps, Microsoft Office Suite, Constant Contact or similar e-mail marketing program
What We Would Like You To Have
  • Professional experience in Web design and development
  • Demonstrated professional multimedia experience (video, podcast, photography, other)
  • Professional experience with any/all of the following: Drupal 7 and Drupal 8, Adobe Creative Suite, Google Analytics
Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Resume or CV
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position
  3. List of contact information for 3 references who will be willing to write a confidential Letter of Recommendation for you. 
    • Should you be short-listed or the finalist, only 1 letter will be required. In advance, please notify your references that you have listed them as possibly providing a Letter of Recommendation. If a Letter of Recommendation is needed for your application, you will receive an email from the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department, asking you to specify which one of the references you would like to be contacted. Your reference will receive the email from CU Boulder Campus Human Resources, and then the reference will be able to upload the Letter of Recommendation through the link provided in the email.This process is time-sensitive and it is important to inform the reference to upload the letter as quickly as possible. This Letter of Recommendation will be kept confidential and viewable only by the search committee.
  4. Three (3) writing samples, demonstrating a variety of approaches to a variety of audiences.
  5. Two (2) multi-media or other presentation which do not rely on written words as the primary means of communication.

If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version as an optional attachment.

The position will remain open until filled. Applications will be screened as they are received.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Name: Nancy Lathrop

Posting Contact Email: