CIRES/ Western Water Assessment: Colorado/ Wyoming Research Integration Specialist

Western Water Assessment (WWA) is encouraging applications for a full-time Associate Scientist


Date posted

July 20, 2021 12:00 am

Application deadline

Sep. 20, 2021 12:00 am


Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder


  • United States

Job description

Western Water Assessment (WWA) is encouraging applications for a full-time Associate Scientist to serve as the Colorado/Wyoming Research Integration Specialist, with a focus on integrating social science expertise throughout the program’s activities. The position will be located within the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) campus.

Western Water Assessment, a NOAA Regional Integrated Science and Assessments (RISA) program, conducts innovative research in partnership with decision-makers in the Rocky Mountain West, helping them make the best use of science to manage for climate impacts. WWA works extensively with researchers and partners in the fields of water management, natural hazards management, and municipal planning, among others. The WWA team includes the program Director, Managing Director, Utah Research Integration Specialist, and additional research and associate scientists. The team also includes a broader set of program Principal Investigators and other research partners who bring research expertise across a range of topics including social science, climate change, hydrology, and climate assessment at the University of Colorado and beyond.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.


The qualified candidate will expand the WWA team’s social science expertise while connecting with and helping to meet the climate adaptation and resilience-building needs of partners in Colorado and Wyoming. Overarching responsibilities for this position will include:

  • Integrating social science expertise throughout WWA program activities, including finding opportunities to use existing activities in the service of larger social science research objectives;
  • Developing and conducting research projects that explore social science dimensions of climate adaptation and resilience, including measuring and tracking resilience of communities and water systems
  • Engaging in projects that support increasing resilience in Colorado and Wyoming, with a particular focus on engaging with frontline communities (e.g., Latinx, Indigenous, and small rural communities) and smaller water systems; and
  • Engaging directly with stakeholders to identify and help to meet their information needs in collaboration with WWA colleagues and other regional specialists, including delivering presentations about climate impacts and adaptation.

Specific projects will include working directly with regional water providers to explore their perceptions of system resilience; convening cross-scale conversations with water and land managers to support peer learning, and assessing current and future research needs among frontline communities in Wyoming. The Colorado/Wyoming Research Integration Specialist will also participate in future program evaluation activities in collaboration with a professional evaluation team, including tracking “resilience metrics” across projects. As a member of a RISA program, the Research Integration Specialist will also engage with social scientists and other researchers from RISA programs across the country.


  • A graduate degree in geography, environmental studies, sociology, economics, or another interdisciplinary social science field (MS degree is required at a minimum, Ph.D. is preferred).
  • Experience conducting and publishing social science research, and an understanding of the social science landscape of climate adaptation and resilience.

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