Research in the Atmosphere
Last Update: September 22, 2009
Note: This is a dynamic “working” document and additions and corrections are
available when issued by CIRA Management.
Updates since last revision:
a. Staffing Plan Procedures- see page 31
b. Satellite Earthstation Naming Conventions removed.
c. Page 23- note about presentations in the CIRA Director’s Conference
d. Page 11- note that CIRA Fellows may serve as supervisors in special cases
The purpose of this manual is: (a) to aid CIRA and its staff to efficiently complete their
research objectives, and (b) to set forth policies and procedures applicable to The
Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State
University. It is not the intent of this manual to restate policies and procedures
established by the University, the College of Engineering or available elsewhere (such as
the Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Staff Manual, the State Classified
Personnel Handbook, and the Human Resource Services Manual).
The organization of this manual is straightforward. After a brief welcome to CIRA
identifying its Mission, History, Major Research Initiatives and Organization, the manual
focuses on four policy and procedures sections. The first section ―New Employee
Information‖ describes CIRA’s working environment and the general policy and
procedures that are followed. Next, the manual focuses on developing a ―Research
Orientation‖ within CIRA including the technical editing of proposal and reports. The
third section addresses the ―Administrative Orientation‖ of the Director’s Office and
overall CIRA budgeting and costing. Lastly, a website reference is made to
―Infrastructure Matters,‖ the key to obtaining and using your CIRA computer system
whether in a research or administrative mode.
Please note that all policies and procedures are developed and distributed by the CIRA
Manager with review and approval by the Director of CIRA. They are also periodically
reviewed and approved by CIRA’s Advisory Board.
Assistant Director and Manager
II. WELCOME TO CIRA
A. The overarching Vision for CIRA is:
To conduct interdisciplinary research in the atmospheric sciences by entraining
skills beyond the meteorological disciplines, exploiting advances in engineering
and computer science, facilitating transitional activity between pure and applied
research, leveraging both national and international resources and partnerships,
and assisting NOAA, Colorado State University, the State of Colorado, and the
Nation through the application of our research to areas of societal benefit.
B. Expanding on this Vision, our Mission is:
To serve as a nexus for multi-disciplinary cooperation among CI and NOAA
research scientists, University faculty, staff and students in the context of NOAA-
specified research theme areas in satellite applications for weather/climate
forecasting. Important bridging elements of the CI include the communication of
research findings to the international scientific community, transition of
applications and capabilities to NOAA operational users, education and training
programs for operational user proficiency, outreach programs to K-12 education
and the general public for environmental literacy, and understanding and
quantifying the societal impacts of NOAA research.
The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), originally
established under the Graduate School, was formed in 1980 by a Memorandum of
Understanding between Colorado State University (CSU) and the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In February 1994, the
Institute changed affiliation from the Graduate School to the College of
Engineering as part of a CSU reorganization plan.
D. Major Research Initiatives
CIRA’s research support comes from a variety of sponsors, but primarily the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of
Defense (DOD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and
the National Science Foundation (NSF). CIRA’s research effort is focused on the
following 5 themes and 2 cross-cutting areas:
1. Satellite Algorithm Development, Training and Education
2. Regional to Global Scale Modeling Systems
3. Data Assimilation
4. Climate-Weather Processes
5. Data Distribution
1. Assessing the Value of NOAA Research via Societal/Economic
2. Promoting Education and Outreach on Behalf of NOAA and the
E. Organizational Chart
III. NEW EMPLOYEE INFORMATION
Human Resource Services
All CIRA Human Resource services are the responsibility of CIRA’s HRS Manager,
1. Screening and Selection of New Employees
CIRA adheres to all CSU and state new-hire screening and selection processes and
regulations. When hiring Administrative Professional employees, CIRA complies
with Affirmative Action and follows regulations established by the CSU Office of
Equal Opportunity and Diversity http://oeod.colostate.edu/search_procedures.aspx.
When hiring State Classified employees, CIRA follows the State of Colorado
screening and selection process http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/dhr/select/index.htm.
When hiring Postdoctoral Fellows and Hourly employees, CIRA follows all processes
and regulations stipulated in the CSU Human Resource Services Manual
All new CIRA Administrative Professional, State Classified, and Postdoctoral
positions must be approved by the Director via the CIRA New Position Request Form
before any screening and selection activities may begin. All screening and selection
activities must route through the HRS Manager.
All Hourly employee appointments must be approved by the Assistant Director (for
hourly rates <$20) or the Director (for hourly rates >$20) via the CIRA Hourly
Employee Request Form before any screening and selection activities may begin. All
screening and selection activities must route through the HRS Manager.
When new positions become available they will be posted to the CIRA website at the
following location as well as in various advertising venues:
Additionally, interested parties may submit their email address at the above
referenced website to register for automatic alerts as new opportunities at CIRA are
All CIRA appointments and re-appointments are approved by the Director and
processed by the HRS Manager.
a. Administrative Professionals
CIRA hires all Administrative Professional employees on a 12-month
appointment (assignment category ―special‖), which is renewed via re-
appointment at the start of each CSU fiscal year (July 1). All re-appointments are
contingent upon sufficient research funding and in collaboration with the
CIRA conducts re-appointments in accord with the timeline and guidelines
published by the CSU College of Engineering. CIRA further stipulates that
supervisors of CIRA Administrative Professional employees complete a CIRA
Reappointment Form, rate the employee’s performance and route the form to the
Director for review. Each year in approximately February, the HRS Manager
initiates the reappointment of CIRA Administrative Professional employees via e-
mail prompt to supervisors. On or before July 1, all Administrative Professional
employees receive a letter from the Director in which the employee’s duration of
re-appointment, percentage of Full-Time Equivalence, and salary are stated, and
to which a copy of the employee’s CIRA Reappointment Form (completed by the
employee’s supervisor) is attached. All re-appointments must be certified via
employee signature on a CSU Academic Faculty/Administrative Professional
Certification Form, and failure to sign a certification form will result in automatic
assignment termination (on existing appointment end date) and delay in receipt of
future pay check(s). Should an employee be remotely located or out of office at
the time of reappointment, the HRS Manager will fax or e-mail the certification
form to the employee. The employee can then sign the document and return via
USPS land mail. Faxed or scanned versions of the signed form will not be
accepted since original signature is required.
Detailed information about the rights, responsibilities and benefits of
Administrative Professional employees may be found in the CSU Academic
Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual:
and the CSU Benefits Summary Plan Booklet:
The payroll schedule for Administrative Professional employees may be found at
this link: http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/payroll/Salary/PaySchedSlry.pdf
b. State Classified Employees
As per state and university policy, State Classified assignments do not require
annual re-appointment, however all new State Classified employees are required
by the State of Colorado to successfully complete a 12-month probationary
period. All State Classified employees are required to complete monthly time
sheets, attain supervisors’ signatures, and submit to the HRS Manager. Each
State Classified employee is individually responsible for updating his/her
timesheets (HRS Manager does not distribute updated timesheets each month).
Fully-executed timesheets are filed centrally.
Detailed information about the rights, responsibilities and benefits of State
Classified employees may be found in the CSU State Classified Handbook
http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/relations/handbook.html and the State of Colorado
Employee Benefits Home Page
http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/dhr/benefits/index.htm. The payroll schedule for
State Classified employees may be found at this link:
c. Postdoctoral Fellows
CIRA hires all Postdoctoral Fellows on a 12-month appointment (assignment
category ―temporary‖), which is renewed annually and coincides with the date of
hire. All re-appointments are contingent upon sufficient research funding,
positive recommendation by the Technical Advisor, and in collaboration with the
Director. The HRS Manager initiates the reappointment of Postdoctoral Fellows
via e-mail prompt to the Technical Advisor and supervisor.
Postdoctoral Fellowships are deemed by the University as temporary assignments,
intended to last ideally no more than four years. When fellowships adjourn, and
contingent on available research funding, CIRA may provide outstanding
Postdoctoral Fellows an opportunity to enter a permanent CIRA position within
the Research Scientist/Scholar career track found at this link:
Entry into the Research Scientist/Scholar career track is not an automatic
transition, nor is it a promotion; it is a new CIRA position that is reserved for
cases in which Postdoctoral Fellows have demonstrated exceptional performance
during their fellowship. CIRA Fellows within 6 months of the end of their
fellowship who desire to be considered for a permanent position at CIRA as a
Research Scientist/Scholar must submit the following application materials to the
1. Letter of Request for Promotion to permanent position
2. Letter of Support from Technical Advisor and/or Supervisor
3. Curriculum Vitae
4. List of Publications including Invited Presentations
The Director reviews all application materials, performance evaluations, and past
contributions to the Annual Report and awards or rejects promotion requests
within 45 days. Postdoctoral Fellows are notified of his decision via e-mail.
Detailed information about the rights, responsibilities and benefits of Postdoctoral
Fellows may be found in the CSU Academic Faculty and Administrative
http://www.facultycouncil.colostate.edu/files/manual/table.html and the CSU
Benefits Summary Plan Booklet
Sections of the manuals that do not apply to postdoctoral fellows (ie. leave
policies) specifically state that Postdoctoral Fellows are not eligible. The payroll
schedule for Postdoctoral Fellows may be found at this link:
d. Hourly Employees
CIRA hires Student and Non-Student Hourly employees on an as-needed basis
contingent upon the availability of funds. Hourly Employees are not subject to
annual reappointment. The payroll schedule for hourly employees may be viewed
at this link: http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/payroll/Hourly/PaySchedHrly.pdf
1. Student Hourly Employees
CSU defines the term ―Student Hourly‖ as an undergraduate or graduate
student of CSU in good standing, accepted for enrollment in a regular,
certificate/degree-seeking program, and carrying at least 1 Resident
Instruction (RI) credit per term during the academic year (RI = in a
classroom and seated at a desk; not on-line or distance learning).
Individuals enrolled in the CSU GUEST program do not qualify for
Student Hourly employment.
During the summer, students are not required to register for credits if they
were registered the prior spring and are registered for the coming fall, or
are admitted for fall. Per state regulation, any time a student hourly
employee takes less than 6 RI credits during the academic year, and/or
takes less than 3 RI credits during the summer semester, SERP (7.5% of
gross earnings) and Medicare (1.45% of gross earnings) are withheld from
each paycheck during that semester.
Students who withdraw from school and/or fail to register for at least 1
Resident Instruction (RI) credit per term during the academic year, are no
longer eligible to work as a Student Hourly employee. They are, however,
eligible to work as a Non-Student Hourly employee, subject to the CSU
terms and conditions of that employee category. Likewise, students who
graduate and do not immediately enroll in a regular, certificate/degree-
seeking program (i.e, do not go to CSU Graduate School), are no longer
eligible to work as a Student Hourly employee, but may work as a Non-
Student Hourly employee.
2. Non-Student Hourly Employees
CSU defines the term ―Non-Student Hourly‖ as a student of an institution
of learning that is not CSU, such as Fort Collins High School, Front Range
Community College, etc. This includes individuals enrolled in the CSU
CIRA adheres to CSU policy in that non-student hourly employment is
restricted to those individuals employed to meet unexpected work loads or
other short-term situation, and that non-student hourly employment is
limited to six months in any twelve month period. This is a per-employee
limit and all time worked for CSU, whether for one department (CIRA) or
several, is counted toward the allowance. No person under the age of
FOURTEEN is permitted employment at CSU. CIRA adheres to federal
child labor laws and the employment standards for 14- and 15-year olds at
this link: http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/employment/childlabor.html
CSU defines an associate as an individual who is affiliated with the university
such that access to CSU’s network and computing resources is required.
Associates cannot be paid through the CSU Oracle HRS computer system. To
establish network and computing resources, the HRS Manager registers
Associates in the CSU Oracle HRS computer system and then Associates register
for an eID the day after the assignment is fully approved.
Associate appointments are renewed via re-appointment at the start of each CSU
fiscal year (July 1), and the HRS Manager initiates reappointment via e-mail
prompt to the associate. All re-appointments must be certified via associate
signature on a CSU Associate Certification Form, and failure to sign a
certification form results in automatic assignment termination (on existing
appointment end date) and suspension of associate privileges. Should an
associate be remotely located or out of office at the time of reappointment, the
HRS Manager will fax or e-mail the certification form to the associate. The
associate will sign the document and return via USPS land mail. Faxed or
scanned versions of the signed form will not be accepted (original signature
f. Affiliates of CIRA
CSU defines an affiliate as an individual employed outside of CSU who has a
strong and continuing relationship with CSU and whose training, experience, and
activities contribute actively to the program of the department. The CIRA
definition of an affiliate differs slightly from the CSU definition in that CIRA
Affiliates sometimes include individuals employed within CSU. CIRA
recognizes several types of affiliates as follows:
g. Advisory Board Members
The CIRA Advisory Board consists of the Director of ESRL, the Director of
NOAA/ NESDIS/STAR, the CSU Vice President for Research (VPR, chair of the
board), the Dean of the CSU College of Engineering, the Head of the CSU
Department of Atmospheric Science, the Director of CIRA (a non-voting
member), and a scientist, well qualified to evaluate the program of CIRA, judge
its performance, and suggest changes, to serve as an ad hoc advisor. The board
meets at least once per year and is responsible for making recommending
directorship of CIRA to the CSU VPR, reviewing and approving policies,
research themes, and priorities of CIRA, preparing the biennial evaluation of
CIRA programs and activities, and reviewing the CIRA budget.
CIRA Fellows are scientists of established national and international
reputation who are either members of the CSU teaching/research faculty
or are staff members of NOAA. Fellows normally hold office for three
years and are selected and appointed by the Director (with advice of the
CIRA Advisory Council). Their charge is to serve as members of the
CIRA Advisory Council and they are responsible for maintaining
cooperation between sponsoring institutions, creating and maintaining
high scientific standards in CIRA, considering Postdoctoral Fellows for
appointment, and adopting and/or modifying appropriate by-laws for the
operation of CIRA. In essence, the Fellows are a distinguished group of
scientists whose expertise and experience represent a key underpinning to
the success of CIRA.
*Note that CIRA Fellows (who are not on CIRA payroll) may serve as
supervisors to CIRA employees in special situations.
i. Advisory Council Members
Members of the Advisory Council consist of CIRA Fellows appointed as follows:
A member of CSU staff appointed by the head of CSU Department
of Atmospheric Science
A member of NOAA staff appointed by the Director of ESRL
A member of NOAA staff appointed by the director of NOAA/
A member of NOAA staff appointed by the Fellows of NOAA Staff
A member of the CSU staff appointed by the fellows of CSU Staff
The director of CIRA.
Academic faculty members who have completed ten years or more of regular full-
time or regular part-time service as faculty of CSU are eligible at the time of their
retirement for an emeritus/emerita title equivalent to their highest professorial rank.
At CIRA, a similar designation may be assigned by the Director to an individual who
retires from the Institute. Such a designation is a means to acknowledge significant
contributions to the overall CIRA mission, and to permit them ongoing privileges.
Among these would be use of CIRA facilities for continued research collaboration as
needed, participation in any future CIRA colloquia/seminars, etc.
3. Core Business Hours
CIRA employees are CSU professionals. As such, they do not qualify for overtime
and are expected to work, at a minimum, 40 hours a week if they are employed full-
time. CIRA follows the holiday schedule set by CSU. All CIRA employees are
expected to be at the worksite during core business hours, set by the Director as 9:00
a.m. to 3:00 p.m. of each business day. These hours are established so meeting
attendance and collaborative activities can be conducted effectively. CIRA
employees are expected to follow the spirit of this policy in accomplishing their own
work assignments. Exceptions to these core business hours may be approved by the
Director upon justification in writing by the individual's supervisor. A general
exception to these hours is provided to CIRA employees who work directly with
National Park Service employees.
4. Lunch Breaks
CIRA employees are expected to take a lunch break (one half-hour minimum) away
from their normal work space. Leaving early at the end of the day in lieu of taking a
lunch break is not permitted.
5. Office Closures
CIRA adheres to the CSU policies and procedures outlined in the Emergency and
Severe Weather Notification Policies and Procedures Manual. Snow days and other
publicly announced exceptions to normal business hours are determined by local
facility managers. In Fort Collins, exceptions to normal business hours are
determined by either the Director, Acting Director, or Deputy Director (contingent
upon the circumstances) in concert with CSU managers and coordination with the
Department of Atmospheric Science. In Boulder, exceptions to normal business
hours are determined by the Associate Director in concert with the local NOAA
laboratory managers. CIRA employees located elsewhere will follow the direction of
federal managers since the issue may concern workplace safety. Office closures will
be announced via e-mail to CIRA employees located in Fort Collins, and employees
in Boulder will receive similar notification from the Associate Director.
6. Leave of Absence/ Vacation
CSU regulation forbids unauthorized absence of employees from the campus. It is the
responsibility of the Director to have at their offices at all times, information on the
whereabouts of employees (such as dates of leave of absence/vacation, dates, location
and contact information during official CSU/CIRA travel) so that they may be
reached in the event of administrative necessity or family emergency. This
responsibility is delegated by the CIRA Director to the HRS Manager. Furthermore,
each employee is responsible for notifying his or her supervisor of any absence.
At CSU, only Faculty, Administrative Professional, and State Classified employees
are eligible for leave of absence. All leave of absence from CIRA must be requested
and approved. Even unplanned sick leave must be properly documented after-the-
fact. All Central Services employees must post their approved leave to the Staff
Calendar located in the online Public Folders. Leave may not be posted to the Staff
Calendar before an employee’s supervisor has approved the absence. All leave of
absence records are maintained by the HRS Manager.
*In the special case of Postdoctoral Fellows who do not have the opportunity to earn
leave, arrangements for time away from the workplace should be made in cooperation
with the Federal technical advisor with the caveat that the CIRA supervisor be made
a. Annual Leave and Sick Leave
Annual and sick leave for Administrative Professional and State Classified
employees is accrued as defined in the CSU Academic Faculty and Administrative
Professional Manual and CSU State Classified Handbook (respectively). Unless
special circumstances exist, annual leave must be planned and requested as far in
advance as possible. Those CIRA employees working on collaborative projects
with local federal managers (technical managers of the federal project) are
expected to inform federal managers of the intended leave.
Employees who request annual and/or sick leave must complete and submit to
their supervisor, a Request for Leave of Absence Form (―leave card‖). At CIRA
in Fort Collins, Request for Leave of Absence Forms are located atop the
mailboxes, at the reception desk by the front door of the CIRA Building, and in
Marilyn Watson’s office. At CIRA in Boulder, Request for Leave of Absence
Forms may be obtained from the departmental secretary. Employees of the
Boulder branch who are located off-site use an electronic version of the Request
for Leave of Absence Form.
Upon completion of the Request for Leave of Absence Form, employees certify
that they have checked their current leave balances and accrual rates and
sufficient balances exist to cover the requested leave. Hence employees who
request leave are understood to have personally verified their leave balances.
(Recall this tally may be reviewed each month on the CSU pay stub- which is one
month behind- see below).
Supervisors must approve or reject leave requests based upon current work
demands and document such action on the Request for Leave of Absence Form.
Data on all approved leave cards are entered into the into the CSU Oracle HRS
computer system. Annual leave balances are updated each pay period with the
previous month’s data and are reported on CSU pay stubs (with the exception of
employees with accrued annual leave who change employment status to less than
half-time (49% FTE or less) without a break in service; their annual leave
balances do not appear on pay stubs).
It is CIRA policy to encourage employees to use annual leave regularly so that a
good balance may be attained between work time and time away from the office.
CSU regulations mandate that Administrative Professional employees may accrue
a maximum of 384 hours (48 days) of annual leave and that hours accumulated in
excess of that limit be forfeited on July 1 of each year.
b. Tracking Holiday Leave for Part-Time Employees
Per CSU policy, employees earn leave in proportion to the percentage of Full-
Time Equivalency (FTE) of their appointment. For example, an employee who
works 60% FTE earns annual leave at the rate of 12.8 hrs/month versus the 16
hours/month earned by an employee who works 100% FTE. Employees at 49%
FTE or less earn no leave.
In respect to holidays, CSU policy states that for employees who work less than
full-time as a short work-week (ie. in Mon, Tue, Wed, out Thur & Fri) and whose
normal ―day-out-of-office‖ falls on a CSU holiday, holidays ―float‖ into their
normal work schedule. (This does not apply to employees who work less than
100% FTE as a regular, 5-day work-week.) As in the case of annual leave, part-
time employees earn a percentage of holiday time in proportion to the percentage
of their appointment. For example, an employee who works 75% FTE earns 6
hours of time off for a holiday versus the 8 hours earned by an employee who
works 100% FTE. CIRA policy requires that the supervisor and part-time
employee working a short work-week create their own agreement as to how they
track and use holiday leave time.
7. Compensatory Time
CIRA policy corresponds to CSU policy in that comp time is not permitted for
Administrative Professionals, Postdoctoral Fellows, Non-Student Hourly employees,
or Student Hourly employees, and acceptance of compensatory time off in lieu of
cash payment for overtime is a condition of employment for CSU State Classified
employees. CIRA policy agrees with CSU policy in that that State Classified
employees may accumulate up to 40 hours of overtime (60 hours of compensatory
time) at any point, but further stipulates that State Classified employees must attain
their supervisor’s approval via completed State Classified Comp Time Request Form
prior to working overtime.
8. Dress Code
CIRA is a professional workplace with a ―business-casual‖ standard. Employees are
expected to wear clean and well-maintained attire appropriate to the type of work
they do. Supervisors should take employees’ varied work assignments and working
conditions into consideration and discuss appropriate dress with individual employees
as needed. Unacceptable attire includes, but is not limited to the following:
any garments shorter than mid-thigh
extremely low-rise pants
t-shirts with explicit or offensive messages
9. Personnel Forms
The HRS Manager is responsible for the control and availability of all forms relating
to Human Resource issues and activities.
10. Personnel Records
Pertinent personnel information for each employee (i.e. appointment documents,
position descriptions, resume, miscellaneous notes and correspondence, performance
evaluations) is collected, maintained, and stored in a personnel binder by the HRS
Manager. Only CIRA Management has the authority to review an individual’s
personnel binder. Requests for specific employee information must be directed to
the Assistant Director who evaluates each request on a case-by-case basis.
Personnel binders under lengthy review by CIRA Management must be returned to
the office of the HRS Manager at the close of each business day.
11. Hourly Payroll
Hourly Payroll is processed by the HRS Manager. All hourly employees must
submit time sheets by the close of business on the Friday prior to the Tuesday
payroll deadline. Timesheets require both employee and supervisor signatures.
12. Conflict of Interest Disclosure
The State of Colorado, the Board of Governors, Colorado State University, and the
Federal Government (where Federal contracts and grants are involved) all have
policies that require disclosure in respect to employees’ associations with businesses
and organizations external to the CSU (potential conflicts of interest). CIRA requires
all Administrative Professional employees and Postdoctoral Fellows to complete an
Annual Role and Responsibility Survey upon initial employment and by May 15 of
each subsequent year. In approximately February of each year, the HRS Manager
prompts the Annual Role and Responsibility Survey via e-mail and concurrently
provides the required form. Should an employee’s commitments change throughout
the year, it is that employee’s responsibility to request an Annual Role and
Responsibility Survey and to record changes in commitment on the form. Annual
Role and Responsibility Survey forms are available from the HRS Manager.
13. Performance Evaluations
a. Annual Evaluations
1. Administrative Professional Employees
The annual performance evaluation of CIRA Administrative Professional
employees is conducted in accord with the timeline and guidelines
published by the CSU College of Engineering. CIRA further stipulates
that Administrative Professional employees complete self-evaluation
forms, route to supervisors who add comments to the form, and route to
the Director for review and signature. Each year in approximately
February, the HRS Manager initiates the evaluation of CIRA
Administrative Professional employees via e-mail prompts to employees.
2. State Classified Employees
The annual performance evaluation of CIRA State Classified employees is
mandated by the State of Colorado via the Performance Management
Program (PMP). CIRA adheres to the regulations and follows the protocol
of the PMP. Information relevant to the annual evaluation of State
Classified employees may be found at this link:
year in approximately March, the HRS Manager initiates the evaluation of
CIRA State Classified employees via e-mail prompts to employees.
3. Postdoctoral Fellows
The annual performance evaluation of CIRA Postdoctoral Fellows is
similar to that of Administrative Professional employees in terms of
procedure and timeline. Postdoctoral Fellows complete self-evaluation
forms, route to Technical Advisors who add comments to the form, route
to supervisors who add comments to the form, and route to the Director
for review and signature. Each year in approximately February, the HRS
Manager initiates the evaluation of Postdoctoral Fellows via e-mail
prompts to employees.
4. Hourly Employees
It is CIRA policy to evaluate Student Hourly employees and Non-Student
Hourly employees annually every June via hardcopy Hourly Evaluation
Report form, which may be attained from the HRS Manager. Each year
in June, the HRS Manager initiates the evaluation of hourly personnel via
e-mail prompts to supervisors.
b. Mid-Year Evaluations
All new employees at CIRA receive a mid-year review by their supervisor half-
way through their first year of employment. Beyond the first year, mid-year
reviews are conducted only on an as-needed basis. For existing employees at
CIRA who transition into new positions (ie. transition from Postdoctoral Fellow to
Research Scientist), mid-year evaluation is conducted or evaded at the discretion of
the supervisor. The HRS Manager initiates mid-year reviews via e-mail prompts to
14. Salary Adjustments
a. Administrative Professional Employees
CIRA considers Administrative Professional employees for salary adjustment twice
each year: once during the annual evaluation process to coincide with the
University Salary Raise Exercise (SALX), and once mid-year. Candidates are
considered based upon one or any combination of the following reasons:
3. Added duties/responsibilities
4. Exceptional performance
5. Critical retention
Supervisors may request details in respect to the submission of candidates for
consideration for salary increases from the HRS Manager and then recommend
candidates to the Assistant Director. The means by which a supervisor may request
consideration of their supervisee is by the annual review process (for new FY start)
or via communication with the Assistant Director for mid-year consideration.
b. State Classified Employees
Salary adjustments (―Achievement Pay‖) for State Classified employees are strictly
regulated by the State of Colorado, and CIRA adheres to those regulations and
follows protocol mandated by CSU. Information relevant to salary adjustments for
State Classified employees may be found at this link:
c. Postdoctoral Fellows
Except in cases of unique circumstance, CIRA considers salary adjustments for
Postdoctoral Fellows annually at the time of reappointment, which coincides with
date of hire. (The HRS Manager initiates the reappointment of CIRA Postdoctoral
Fellows via e-mail prompts to Technical Advisors and supervisors.) Technical
Advisors recommend salary adjustments (and reappointments) to the Deputy
Director (who is also the supervisor of most CIRA Postdoctoral Fellows) via e-
mail. Salary adjustment recommendations should be stated in this format: ―I
recommend that Dr. Doe’s annual salary be raised x% from $x,xxx to $x,xxx
effective upon reappointment.‖
d. Hourly Employees
Except in cases of unique circumstance, CIRA considers salary adjustments for
Student Hourly employees and Non-Student Hourly employees annually every
June. (The HRS Manager initiates the evaluation of hourly personnel via e-mail
prompts to supervisors.) Supervisors recommend salary adjustments in the
―General Comments‖ section of the Hourly Evaluation Report form at the time of
the employee’s annual evaluation. Recommendations should be stated in this
format: ―I recommend that John’s hourly wage be raised x% from $x.xxx to $x.xx
effective (state date).‖ Supervisors are encouraged to consult with the HRS
Manager in respect to matching effective dates of salary adjustments with pay
15. Visas and US Permanent Residency Petitions
In regard to processing employment authorization documents for foreign national
employees, CIRA works with the CSU Office of International Programs
www.international.colostate.edu, and complies with all guidelines and procedures
mandated by that office. Contingent upon the type of petition, CIRA provides
limited financial support and administrative assistance. This breaks down as
a. H-1B Visa, including portability and extension
The HRS Manager assists employees with assembly of the H1B visa petition
packet, and CIRA pays the $320 USCIS processing fee and $400 CSU ISSS
administrative fee. Employees are required to pay the $300 USCIS I-539
application processing fee for dependents, and any additional costs incurred
during petition (couriers, credential evaluations, etc.). As required by law,
CIRA pays the $500 anti-fraud fee for 1st-time H1B petitions. In situations
in which ―rush‖ visa processing is desirable, CIRA pays the $1,000 USCIS
premium processing fee only upon Director’s approval of a memo from the
employee’s supervisor in which the business need for premium processing is
clearly defined and justified.
b. J-1 Visa, including extension
The HRS Manager assists employees with completion of USCIS DS2019
form, and employees pay either the $90, $45, or $20 ISSS exchange visitor
administrative fee (dependent upon J1 classification), $180 Homeland
Security SEVIS fee, $340 USCIS dependent employment authorization fee,
and any additional costs incurred during petition (consulate processing fee,
couriers, credential evaluations, etc.).
c. O-1 Visa
The HRS Manager assists employees with completion of USCIS I-129 form
and employees pay the $400 CSU ISSS administrative fee, $320 USCIS I-
129 processing fee, and any additional costs incurred during petition
(consular processing fee, couriers, credential evaluations, etc.).
d. E-3 Visa:
The HRS Manager assists employees with the required verification of
employment letter but CIRA does not provide financial support of any
e. TN Visa
The HRS Manager assists employees with the required verification of
employment letter but CIRA does not provide financial support of any
f. Permanent Residency Petitions
In respect to permanent residency, the CSU Office of International Programs
assists employees in permanent positions with employment-based permanent
residence. The Office of International Programs does not assist employees in
temporary positions (hourly positions or postdoctoral fellowships) and likewise
does not assist employees filing in categories in which they can self-petition, such
as the ―extraordinary ability‖ or ―national interest waiver‖ categories. CIRA
adheres to the policies of the CSU Office of International Programs, but when an
individual is self-petitioning, CIRA allows the HRS Manager to provide
employees with administrative assistance in attaining needed letters of support
from CIRA supervisors and/or colleagues. Also relevant to cases in which an
individual is self-petitioning, if the CIRA Director determines that the employee’s
permanent residency is in the best interest of the research project for which the
employee works, CIRA will pay to the employee up to $1,250.00 to help defer the
costs of preparing the petition, conditional upon submission of receipts(s).
For petitions requiring employer sponsorship, CIRA provides limited financial
support and administrative assistance. This breaks down as follows:
1. Basic Labor Certification
The HRS Manager places required position announcements and assists
employees with the DoL ETA9089 questionnaire packet and USCIS I-
140 form. CIRA pays for the cost of advertising, and as required by law,
the $2500 CSU ISSS administrative fee. CIRA does not assist
employees in filing the USCIS I-485 application, and employees pay for
the $1010 USCIS I-485 application fee, $475 USCIS I-140 filing fee,
and all other associated fees (for medical exams, credential evaluations,
couriers, optional legal council, etc.).
2. Outstanding Professor/Researcher
The HRS Manager assists employees with the USCIS I-140 form.
Employees pay for the $475 USCIS I-140 filing fee, $2500 CSU ISSS
administrative fee, and all other associated fees (for credential
evaluations, couriers, optional legal council, etc.). If the Director
determines that the employee’s permanent residency is in the best
interest of the research project for which the employee works, then
CIRA will pay to the CSU Office of International Programs, $1,250.00
(half of the ISSS administrative fee).
CSU defines a visitor as an individual who participates as a member of the academic
faculty for a short period of time while on leave from another institution of higher
education or private agency. Visitors do not participate in a retirement program and
are not eligible for fringe benefits or the CSU study privilege. CIRA adheres to
CSU’s definition of a visitor and further clarifies that CIRA visitors include
individuals who participate as members of CIRA research teams while on leave
from other institutions of higher education or private agencies. CIRA categorizes
visitors as follows:
a. Guest Visitors
Visitors who enter CIRA for a few hours or daily during core business hours to
attend meetings, conferences, symposia, etc. are considered guest visitors.
Generally these visitors require no work space or travel arrangements; however
when CIRA-funded travel is requested and approved by the Director, the
meeting/conference/symposium organizer should coordinate travel arrangements
with the CIRA Travel Coordinator. It is the responsibility of the
meeting/conference/symposium organizer to host, accommodate, and account for
guest visitors, and they do not need to register with the HRS Manager.
b. Partially-Accommodated Visitors
Visitors who are hosted by a CIRA researcher, require a work space and
associated accommodations (fax machine, telephone, computer) while at CIRA,
but do not require CIRA-funded travel arrangements are considered partially-
accommodated visitors. It is the responsibility of the hosting CIRA researcher to
plan the arrival of the partially-accommodated visitor at least one week in
advance, announce the planned visit to the HRS Manager at least one week in
advance of arrival, and work with the Facilities Manager to arrange for a work
space and associated accommodations. All partially-accommodated visitors must
register with the HRS Manager, and all foreign national, partially-accommodated
visitors must show proof of authorized US entry (stamped passport, visa, etc.).
c. Fully-Accommodated Visitors
Visitors who are invited to CIRA, require a work space and associated
accommodations (fax machine, telephone, computer) while at CIRA, and require
CIRA-funded travel arrangements are considered fully-accommodated visitors. It
is the responsibility of the hosting CIRA researcher coordinate travel
arrangements with the CIRA Travel Coordinator at least one month in advance,
announce the planned visit to the HRS Manager at least one week in advance of
arrival, and work with the Facilities Manager to arrange for a work space and
associated accommodations. All fully-accommodated visitors must register with
the HRS Manager, and all foreign national, fully-accommodated visitors must
show proof of authorized US entry (stamped passport, visa, etc.).
Upon approval by the Director, fully-accommodated visitors who require access
to CSU’s network and computing resources can be registered as CSU Associates.
To establish network and computing resources, the HRS Manager registers
Associates in the CSU Oracle HRS computer system and then Associates register
for an eID the day after the assignment is fully approved.
17. The CIRA Biz Hub
The concept of the Hub is to be the point of contact for any administrative support
tasks CIRA scientists require including: printing, copying, faxing, errands, typing,
editing, meeting coordination, etc. The Biz Hub is located at the front desk in the
main CIRA building and is run by the Biz Hub Coordinator who is responsible for
coordinating reception coverage, signing out the parking passes and coordinating
front desk support. The Biz Hub Coordinator will ensure all requested work is
completed on time and to the requestor’s satisfaction. The Hub may be reached via
an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning the main line: 491-8448 or the
current Biz Hub Coordinator, Laura Leinen.
18. Departures (Resignations or Terminations)
When an employee separates from CIRA via resignation, termination, or retirement,
s/he must inform the immediate supervisor and the HRS Manager. Appropriate
actions are taken to ensure a smooth transition. Individuals separating from CIRA
must complete the following actions:
1. Meet with the immediate supervisor and discuss finalization of research
activities and/or reports.
2. Capture all hard drive information on DVD for storage, and submit to the
3. Meet with the HRS Manager and discuss the departure process and
payment of accrued leave balances.
4. Return keys and entry cards to the Facilities Manager on the last physical
day at CIRA.
5. Return the CSU Travel Visa credit card to the HRS Manager on the last
physical day at CIRA.
6. Return the CSU Acquisition Card (ACARD) to the Procurements
Coordinator and Accounting Assistant on the last physical day at CIRA.
CIRA does not provide email for employees after retirement. Exceptions are for
employees doing active consulting or working part time.
*All Facilities issues are the responsibility of the Facilities Manager, Marilyn
1. Office Keys/Entry Card Keys
CIRA offices should be locked after hours or if the individual is away for an extended
time during regular office hours. The Facilities Manager maintains control of keys
throughout CIRA. Keys are ordered upon request of the supervisor or by direction of the
The CIRA building is unlocked Monday through Friday from 7:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.,
except for holidays when the doors remain locked. Entry to the CIRA building is by
card key after business hours and all day on holidays. All card key holders are
automatically granted access to the CIRA building Monday through Friday from 7:00
A.M. to 7:30 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Extended hours of access need to be
approved by the supervisor of the staff member and by CIRA management.
The Facilities Manager issues cards, sets up and changes access, and maintains the card
key system. The Director or Manager determines who is issued a card key.
CIRA has installed a video camera security system throughout the CIRA building and in
other areas where CIRA staff have offices. This is to provide heightened security for
CIRA/CSU property. The Infrastructure Manager is responsible for both the imagery
collection and maintenance of the system. Please also note that to ensure security,
computer room access in approved by CIRA management on a case-by-case basis.
All regular CIRA employees are to have access to a telephone. Telephone service to an
office is ordered by the Facilities Manager upon request from the supervisor. Whether it
will be an individual or shared line is decided by the Director or Department Manager.
Student hourly staff members are not assigned their own telephones.
a. Long Distance Authorization Codes
The Facilities Manager can order Long Distance Authorization Codes for new
employees and for current employees working on new projects. A request from
the employee’s supervisor and a fund number should be provided for this service.
Each request is subject to Director-level approval.
The Facilities Manager can also order Voicemail service for a phone line upon
request from the employee’s supervisor and pending Director-level approval.
Each request must be accompanied by a fund number for the monthly charges.
A department code is required to use the fax machine. The Facilities Manager or the
Assistant to the Director can provide this code. Long distance faxes require a CSU long
distance authorization code that will assign charges for the calls to a CIRA account
specific to the individual using the fax machine (see Long Distance Authorization Code
Copying equipment is available to all CIRA personnel for assigned duties. The copy
machines require an account code to initialize each use. The digital copier also requires a
code for copy jobs sent from an employee’s workstation. The Finance Team will set up
these codes in the machines and is responsible for retrieving the copy count each month
to charge to the various CIRA projects.
6. Equipment loans (including media equipment)
CIRA equipment is not to leave the building without authorization from the Director’s
Office. The Facilities Manager can direct an individual to the correct source for
permission. Media equipment may be checked out as well.
Media equipment is located in the CIRA Director’s Conference Room. Various means of
projection are available for presentation: the slide projector, overhead projector,
television with VCR and computer with video projector connected to the CIRA LAN are
kept ready to be used-- even on short notice.
The setup of equipment is to be arranged through the Facilities Manager. Testing of
equipment with the presentation software/materials is requested in advance to avoid
problems at the time of the conference.
7. Cell Phones for Projects
CIRA maintains cell phones not only for management use, but also for science project
use in the field. The Facilities Manager can arrange cell service to support project needs
and will check out the equipment with accessories for the period of the project. Advance
notice of two weeks is requested to allow time for preparation of service and equipment.
8. Video-teleconferencing equipment
The Video-teleconferencing system is located in the CIRA Director’s Conference Room
(Room 113). This room may be scheduled online. If problems arise, the Infrastructure
Team is to be notified to remedy the problem prior to the conference call.
9. Director’s Conference Room (Room 113)
All reservations are entered into an online calendar system. This room is usually used
for technical or administrative meetings of 5 or more persons and will remain locked
when not in use. This room is not to be used for individual lunches or breaks, but will
be used for organized departmental functions.
10. Presentations: CIRA provides a projector, computer, and screen for presentations.
Presenters can bring a notebook computer or use the CIRA provided computer. CIRA
highly recommends that presenters verify projector operation, computer operation and
compatibility, sound, and Internet connectivity at least 20 minutes prior to meetings.
Presenters using a laptop should allow additional time to setup Wifi and video operation.
This allows any problems to be discovered and remedied before guests arrive.
11. Mail services
Incoming mail is received and outgoing mail is picked up at the CIRA mailbox area
Monday through Friday at approximately 2:15 PM. Personal mail cannot be sent
through the university mail system. Outgoing mail must have a university fund number
designated for postage billing. Central Receiving on main campus should be informed
ahead of pickup time for any large box(es) or bulk shipments that are to be sent out (call:
12. Department vehicle
CIRA keeps a state fleet vehicle for business use (ie, trips to main campus, to scientific
meetings, etc). This vehicle is checked out to the staff and is maintained by the Facilities
13. Main campus parking passes
CIRA keeps CSU ―A‖ lot parking passes to be used by personnel in the pursuit of their
interactions with the main CSU campus departments. The Biz Hub staff can check out
these passes to the staff.
14. Special cleaning requests
The Facilities Manager can arrange for special cleaning for important meetings at the
CIRA building. Advance notice is requested to allow time to prepare the facility as
15. Maintenance issues
CIRA building maintenance and repair issues are to be dealt with by the Facilities
16. Temperature Controls
The Facilities Manager is responsible for the temperature control within the building.
Any temperature problems are to be directed to that individual.
All furniture is purchased through consultation and arrangement by the Facilities
IV. RESEARCHER ORIENTATION
A. Principal Investigator Responsibilities
For a complete guide on Principal Investigator responsibilities, please review the
Principal Investigator’s Manual at: http://www.research.colostate.edu/policy/
B. Funding Opportunities
One aspect of the Proposal Coordinator’s responsibilities is to inform CIRA team leaders
of the latest Requests for Proposals (RFP). By enrolling in a service provided by OSP,
the Proposal Coordinator can receive email notifications of the latest RFP’s and pass
them along to team leaders. PIs can also enroll. Simply go to the OSP website, and
choose the ―SMARTS/GENIUS‖ program at the following address:
C. Proposal Coordination and Tracking
*Handled by the CIRA Proposal Coordinator, Laura Leinen.
The Proposal Coordinator assists all CIRA PIs in the submission of proposals to a
sponsor. When all the necessary components of a proposal are assembled, the CIRA
technical review has been completed, and the Finance Team has approved the budget, the
proposal goes to the CSU Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) for a final review prior to
1. In order that the proposal progresses smoothly through the aforementioned steps,
the following proposal sections should be turned in to the Proposal Coordinator at
least 10 days prior to the due date:
a. A statement of work (the body of the proposal).
b. A budget (the Proposal Coordinator can assist in the budget
c. A budget comments section providing an explanation of why each cost is
included in the budget, and the details showing the cost calculations.
d. The proposed start and end dates of the proposal.
e. The sponsor’s due date (when it must be received by the sponsor).
f. A name and address to which the complete proposal will be sent.
2. Once those materials have been gathered, the Proposal Coordinator shall:
a. Review the budget.
b. Enter the proposal into the automated PASS system on OSP’s website.
c. Prepare the OSP ―PBS Budget Sheets.‖
d. Prepare the necessary cover sheets.
e. Submit the proposal for review by the Finance Manager.
f. Once approved, the ―business section‖ of the proposal is sent to
email@example.com for their review.
g. Collect the signatures of the P.I., the CIRA Director, and the Dean of
h. Take the completed proposal to OSP for signature and for remaining
certifications to be included in packet.
i. Take the final packet for copying and mailing to sponsor.
j. Answer any questions and serve as an intermediary between OSP and the P.I.
k. Maintain the hard copy files and programs to track proposals and projects.
D. Editorial Services
Editorial services are available to all CIRA staff through coordination with the Biz Hub
staff. This can include editing manuscripts for grammatical structure, readability and
flow, coordinating graphics, reviewing galley proofs and possible web publishing.
E. Publicity and Interviews
Periodically, CIRA employees are contacted by the local media for an interview
regarding some weather-related subject or about our research activities. As professionals,
it is CIRA policy to welcome and accept these opportunities to inform the general public
on environmental issues. We must also recognize the responsibility of giving correct and
reliable information. If you are not the best person to respond to an inquiry, please refer
inquiries to the appropriate person. Always give proper credit to others within the
organization who are associated with the subject, as well as those from other
Issues associated with CIRA research need to be treated in a different manner than
general professional topics. Two specific instances will help clarify the policy. First, any
time you receive a contact from the media because you are a CIRA employee (you were
called at work), you need to let CIRA management know about the request (through the
Deputy Director or the Assistant to the Director). Preferably, this should be done before
the interview. The concern is that the entire story is told; most researchers and staff are
not aware of the total activities of CIRA. We want to insure that old news is not
propagated and that everyone involved in a specific research area receives the appropriate
credit. CIRA management has established a special liaison with the CSU Public
Relations Department to improve our total communication to the media and general
public, and Assistant to the Director has the responsibility for interacting with the Public
Relations Department at CSU regarding interviews. (In Boulder, contact the appointed
public affairs officer.)
If you are engaged in a discussion as a weather (or other) professional while on your
personal time, you are not representing CIRA. In this situation, your comments or
viewpoints are made as a professional, and do not represent CIRA. If the discussion were
to continue and eventually involve CIRA programs or policies, then the same policy as
stated above concerning media interviews would become applicable. Reference internal
memo from the Director dated [5/30/97]
F. Release of Data/Software/Hardware Designs
Reference internal memo from the Director dated [5/30/97]
No CIRA employee may provide software, data, engineering designs, etc to anyone
outside of the organization without the written permission of the Director. Please see the
memo in the Appendix.
1. Project/Proposal Budget Review
The Finance Team is responsible for reviewing each new proposal budget for
appropriateness of cost items and accuracy of the budget presentation.
2. Infrastructure Billing
All Infrastructure costs are divided into the following categories.
Base Infrastructure & Consulting—charged to everyone who works in Fort Collins.
It includes ACNS charges (fiber and Internet), the cost of central servers (domain,
web, FTP, DNS, print server, support, etc), e-mail, networking, central printers, and
high level IT consulting for strategic planning. Support is provided by the
Infrastructure manager. Backup support is provided by the IT professional and/or
IT--includes hardware, software, and support to operate and maintain the Windows
desktop systems in CIRA. Support is provided a full time IT professional. Backup
support is provided by the Infrastructure manager and/or Linux administrator. It
does not include hardware associated with Linux or the Earth Station.
Linux—Includes hardware, software, and support to operate and maintain the Linux
cluster and Linux desktop systems. Support is provided by a full time Linux
professional. There is no backup.
Earth Station—Includes hardware, software, and support to operate and maintain
the satellite and internet collected Meteorological data. It also includes all archive
and retrieval costs. Support is provided by the Infrastructure manager. There is no
Actual expenses are computed within each category. Each includes hardware, fees,
and salary associated with those activities. Next we compile the work hours of time
used by each individual by project and by cost center area. We do this by analyzing
every individual and every project and the coverage of each individual by project.
This gives us a total sum of work hours for each cost center that could then be
divided by the cost center costs. This gives us the actual rates for each cost center.
*All Procurement Requests are handled by CIRA’s Procurement Coordinator,
Requests for office supply products, office machines, furniture, services for repair
or retrofitting electrical, mechanical or other building products for the department
should be routed to the Facilities Manager (Marilyn Watson).
Requests for computer hardware/software for the department should be routed to
the CIRA Infrastructure Manager (Michael Hiatt);
Requests for items for employees associated with NPS should be routed to their
Administrative Assistant (Helene Bennett);
Requests for items for the employees working with the RAMM Branch should be
routed to their Administrative Assistant (Kathy Fryer);
Requests for items for CG/AR should be routed to the CG/AR Program Assistant
(Loretta Wilson); and
Requests for all other CIRA items (publications, books, continuing education
tuition, etc.) for the department should be routed to the Assistant Manager of
Finance and Accounting (Chris Musgrave);
A CIRA/CSU Purchase Request Form will be completed for every CIRA/CSU
procurement involving an ACARD or IMO. Procurement Coordinators may skip
this step when initiating a purchase via SciQuest, but individual requesters must
submit a Purchase Request Form in all cases. The forms are available from the
Completed purchase request forms and photocopies of vendor's sales information
will be turned in to Procurement Coordinators. NOTE: Requesters may not
directly create Purchase Requisitions or IMO's. Procurement Coordinators will
then complete the purchase via SciQuest if possible, or via ACARD or IMO if
SciQuest is impractical for the transaction. Once the purchase has been approved,
Coordinators will forward copies of the transaction documents to the initial
Once the product arrives, requesters will forward all available documents (receipts,
invoices, etc) to the appropriate Procurement Coordinator for handling.
Procurement Coordinators will forward original invoices to Accounts Payable and
will forward other purchase paperwork and copies of invoices to department
Finance Manager for storage in department files.
Certain purchase requisitions requests require a sole source justification be attached.
This is required when ordering specific furniture, media equipment, or externally
contracted research services.
4. Official Function Expenditures
The general policy on Official Functions at CIRA (as advised by internal CSU
auditors) is that official function expenditures are to be kept to a minimum. Some
of the guidelines to steer these decisions are as follows:
In general, official functions expenditures will not be drawn from research project
funds. The exception would be for large group activities, including external
reviews, specifically identified in the original research proposal.
The large majority of CIRA official functions will fall into the category of
refreshments for seminars and staff meetings. Occasional expenditures are allowed
if we are hosting visitors contributing to CIRA’s mission. These lunches, dinners
and related activities require explicit written approval by the Director in advance.
*It is important for all individuals who might be approached by some requesting
expenditures to understand and communicate this situation. *
As each of the authorized ACARD holders for official functions carry out their
duties, they are direct representatives of the Director. The Director must serve the
official functions needs of all groups in CIRA and therefore the others must do the
General information pertaining to DPO's, Purchase Requisitions, or IMO's can
be found at: http://www.purchasing.colostate.edu.
5. CIRA Travel Procedures
These travel procedures are designed to aid in effective coordination and processing
of all CSU/CIRA travel documents as required by the Travel Desk of the CSU
Business and Financial Department.
A. A CIRA/CSU Pre-Travel/Training Request Form must be completed for every
Traveler, for every CIRA/CSU business trip. Forms are available from Travel
Coordinators. Completed forms must be submitted to Travel Coordinators.
Travel Coordinators must route completed CIRA/CSU Pre-Travel/Training
Request Forms to travelers' supervisors and to the Principal Investigator of the
project by which the travel is funded. Approval must be obtained from both
the Traveler's supervisor and the Principal Investigator prior to
commencement of travel.
B. Except in rare cases to be pre-arranged with CIRA Travel Coordinators, only
CIRA Travel Coordinators may purchase airline tickets. Travelers are
encouraged to access the internet, identify preferred flights, and provide
preferred flight information to CIRA Travel Coordinators.
C. If meeting/conference registration is required, Travelers must complete
registration paperwork and submit to Travel Coordinators. Travel
Coordinators must procure conference registration fee payments and must
forward registration paperwork and payments to conference hosts.
D. Other Travel Issues:
1. Passports: CIRA will approve the purchase of passports only if the travel
is at the request of the sponsor. Purchase of a passport for optional travel,
such as to an international conference, will not be approved.
2. Rental cars must be purchased via CSU travel VISA Credit Card, not the
traveler’s personal credit card.
3. To the greatest extent possible, all official CIRA travel should be arranged
so as to minimize loss of both personal and normal work-day time. In
most cases involving out of state destinations, travel to the meeting site on
the previous day is necessary. However, in some cases travel to the
meeting site on the day of the meeting (e.g., trips to Boulder from Fort
Collins, depending on meeting time) is practical. Returning from the
meeting site on the last day of the meeting, when practical in lieu of
annual leave, is also required.
In accord the professional appointment at CIRA and in adherence to CSU
policy, there is no compensatory time allowed for travel occurring outside the
time of normal business hours, or for travel that necessarily occurs on a
weekend or CSU-recognized holiday. All circumstances involving special
requests, exceptions, allowances, or other arrangements established between
employees and their supervisors in this regard are subject to review and final
decision by the Director of CIRA.
Also in adherence to CSU policy, for non-local travel the traveler must
declare annual leave for any additional days required as a result of elected
alternative travel that is less expedient than travel by commercial air. In
addition, whenever a mode of transportation is chosen for the convenience of
the traveler, amounts claimed for lodging, meals and other allowable
miscellaneous expenses are limited to the equivalent of those that would have
been incurred using the more expedient means of travel.
E. Travel Preparation Procedure:
1. Prior to Travel:
a. Traveler will fill out a CIRA/CSU Pre-Travel/Training Request
Form and submit to Travel Coordinator.
b. Travel Coordinator will obtain signature approval from Traveler's
supervisor and CIRA Director.
c. Travel Coordinator will prepare CSU Pre-Trip/Travel Voucher
d. Travel Coordinator will obtain signature approval on completed
CSU Pre-Trip/Travel Voucher form from CIRA Account Approver
e. CIRA Account Approver (Lance Noble) will route CSU Pre-
Trip/Travel Voucher from to Travel Coordinator.
f. Travel Coordinator will obtain signature approval on completed
CSU Pre-Trip/Travel Voucher form from CIRA Dept. Higher
Authority (Mary McInnis-Efaw or Steve Miller or Graeme
g. Travel Coordinator will make travel arrangements for Traveler and
will purchase electronic airline tickets (e-tickets) via CSU-
approved Travel Agency with the CSU Ghost Card.
h. Except in cases in which a Traveler indicates no need/desire for a
travel itinerary, Travel Coordinator will provide Travelers with a
travel itinerary, including reservation confirmation numbers and e-
ticket record locator numbers.
2. Upon Completion of Travel:
a. Traveler will submit original, itemized receipts to Travel
b. Travel Coordinator will complete CSU Post-Trip/Travel Voucher
c. Travel Coordinator will review completed CSU Post-Trip/Travel
Voucher form with Traveler and will obtain Traveler's signature
d. Travel Coordinator will obtain signature approval on completed
CSU Post-Trip/Travel Voucher form from CIRA Account
Approver (Lance Noble).
e. CIRA Account Approver (Lance Noble) will route CSU Post-
Trip/Travel Voucher form to Travel Coordinator.
f. Travel Coordinator will attach original receipts and original, fully
signed CSU Pre-Trip /Voucher form to CSU Post-Trip/Voucher
form and will route all documents to CSU Travel Desk for
g. CSU Travel Desk personnel will review and approve the CSU
Post-Trip/Voucher form and attached documents and will process
Traveler's reimbursement for payment via electronic funds transfer
within 30 days.
h. CSU Travel Desk personnel will send a completed Notice of
Adjustment form Travel Coordinator via campus mail, should
adjustments be made to Traveler's reimbursement.
i. Travel Coordinator will provide Traveler with a copy of completed
Notice of Adjustment form immediately upon receipt.
F. All Travel Coordinators will maintain detailed files on all Travelers' trips.
G. Travel Coordinators: The Traveler will work with the Coordinators below to
arrange their trip:
*If the trip is funded by a CIRA project, but the Traveler is not a CIRA employee,
s/he should work with their own department’s travel coordinators.
*If the trip is funded by a non-CIRA project, the Traveler should still work with a
CIRA Travel Coordinator.
*If the trip is funded by more than one CIRA project, the Traveler should work
with the Coordinator whose project represents the greater funding portion of the
Biz Hub Staff (Holli Knutson) for most CIRA research travel.
Jennifer Raab for all Boulder employees’ travel.
Helene Bennett for all National Park Service-associated travel.
Kathy Fryer for all RAMM Branch-associated travel.
Loretta Wilson for all GeoSciences and Vonder Haar travel.
V. ADMINISTRATIVE ORIENTATION
A. Budgeting and Staffing Patterns
The Finance Manager, together with the Director of CIRA, is responsible for the
preparation of the annual Departmental, Revolving, and External Sales Budgets. The
Finance Manager is also responsible for the preparation of the continually evolving
staffing pattern for all CIRA employees.
1. The Staffing Pattern process begins with:
a. A definition of specific research themes and programs of CIRA and
selecting appropriate staff to fill them;
b. Recognition that all areas and persons in the Dept. of Atmospheric
Research do not fit in CIRA;
c. Recognition that all research in CIRA is proposed and funded by
external sponsors; and
d. Recognition that the participation of CIRA supervisors and PIs/Project
Leaders in the Staffing Pattern Process is critical as a function of
CIRA’s ―matrix management‖ approach.
2. These above points lead to an understanding that every appointment within
CIRA is specified as ―subject to available funds in research collaboration with
the Director of CIRA.‖ In short, this acknowledges the unique nature of the
soft money environment and the necessity of collaboration between project
leaders and CIRA management in conscientiously supervising all staff.
3. Items 1 and 2 focus and delimit the research staff at CIRA to allow orderly
4. Additional guidelines include:
a. The administrative and infrastructure support staff at CIRA is limited
to 7-10% of the volume of ongoing CIRA research; excluding those
funded directly from research projects via direct charges for special
support services required by (and passing audit by) the research
b. All major research institutes such as CIRA require discretionary IR&D
funds to explore new areas and collaborations. This is accomplished
via scientific visitors and post-docs collaborating with CIRA research
leaders and/or federal research partners.
5. Expectations of Research Staff must be clearly communicated at the time of
selection and appointment of all staff; and must be reviewed and discussed
individually at least once per year.
6. Within the Research Scientist ranks the expectations (at the middle and upper
a. Participation and co-leadership about ½ time in a major research
program or theme of CIRA;
b. Professional development and interaction with peers (worldwide) in
the individual’s specialty area;
c. At least 3 peer-reviewed journal publications of research results each
year with related reports and presentations;
d. Ability to independently author and co-author research proposals
within CIRA’s mission to support about ½ of their appointment each
e. Work well in a research team environment as required.
7. Within the Research Associate ranks the expectation (for middle and upper
levels not associated with infrastructure support) are:
a. Participation and (occasional) co-leadership in one or more of the
major research themes or programs of CIRA;
b. Ability to provide unique research skills to enable the CIRA research
to attain high performance and competitiveness;
c. Work well in a research team environment; and
d. Maintain and enhance their professional skills of special value to
8. Items 6 and 7 ensure that orderly and prudent staffing of research can be
done. They also provide the basis for annual review of reappointment; with
part-time, limited term, LWOP or non-reappointment options. Employees
who perform to expectations are the key to the entire process.
9. In the sponsored research (―soft money‖) environment of CIRA and other
such institutes, the timing of external research project initation, renewal and
ending is highly variable. Thus, the Annual Research Staffing Plan- while
developed for the CSU fiscal year- must be drafted 3-4 months in advance;
put into action; then reviewed 3-4 months later with appropriate actions taken.
10. The Staffing Plan should include appropriate notes meta-data distinguishing
between research funds in hand; those pending a submitted proposal approval;
and those merely in the discussion/proposal writing phase. Other information
on individual staff past and current performance; and the status of the budgets
of current and potential external sponsors are also used by CIRA leaders to
develop the plan.
The staffing process is very complex and differs from employee to employee.
In the spring of each year we begin with the current staffing plan and use that to develop
the plan for the next year.
1. NPS: For the NPS group the majority of the employees are funded by a single
project and they continue on that project. If necessary we contact the NPS
assistant to request information on specific employee staffing.
2. NOAA-Boulder: For the NOAA-Boulder group the majority of the employees
are funded by a single project and they continue on that project. If necessary we
contact the Associate Director to request information on specific employee
3. NOAA-Ft Collins: The administrative assistant for the RAMM group provides a
staffing plan for their employees.
4. CG/AR: CG/AR CIRA staff representative provides the staffing for the CG/AR
For employees that don't fit one of those categories we piece together a first draft staffing
plan from the information we have and send it to either the employee supervisor or the
employee themselves to review and provide feedback/approval.
Once the initial plan is in place it requires constant monitoring throughout the year to
input changes, watch for problems and request updates for employees that were not fully
staffed at the beginning.
All communications regarding staffing are kept a notebook organized by employee so
that we can quickly find documentation in case questions arise and also to use in
developing the initial staffing plan for each year.
B. Master Spreadsheet
Prepared on a monthly basis, the Master Spreadsheet summarizes most of the active
projects within CIRA and projects additional costs by expense category through the
remainder of the CSU fiscal year. The staffing pattern is integrated into the Master
C. Records Retention
The retention of administrative support records will be consistent with university and
federal audit policies. Technical records will be maintained as long as practical at the
direction of the Director of CIRA.
The Financial Manager maintains all the financial files for back-up expense and revenue
documentation and works closely with the Department Manager on Internal and External
D. Director’s Office Concerns
The Office of the Director shall provide administrative support to the Director or Acting
Director, Deputy Director and Associate Director as well as overall support to the
Institute, the CIRA Advisory Board and the CIRA Advisory Council. This Office
provides first line of response on general Institute matters and matters directly related to
the Director and Deputy Director.
The Assistant to the Director shall be the initial point of contact relating to the
administrative support function for the Director’s Office and shall, on behalf of the
Director or his/her designee, be responsible for the following functions:
a. Activities calendar
The Assistant to the Director is responsible for making all entries to the Director’s
calendar. In the absence of the Assistant to the Director, a member of the
Department Manager’s staff or the Assistant to the Director’s administrative
assistant (respectively) are responsible for making entries. Whenever there is an
update to the calendar, 2 copies are printed: 1 (3-holed punched) copy goes to the
Director for his binder; 1 goes into the calendar binder kept by the Assistant to the
Director. The Director’s electronic version of the calendar is backed up into the
Director’s ―Calendar‖ personal folder whenever a change is made.
All Correspondence prepared for the Director or Deputy Director is either filed in
electronic or hard copy form. The electronic copy is kept by the Assistant for the
Director in a folder under the Director’s or Deputy Director’s name entitled
―Correspondence‖ by year.
All mail for the Director is either reviewed if electronic, or opened and screened if
physical, by the Assistant to the Director who decides if other personnel in the
Institute can handle the correspondence or if it needs to go directly to the
All Director’s Office travel is handled by the Central Services Travel Coordinator.
See section IV. G. 4. (page 15) for policy and procedures relating to CIRA travel.
All information regarding Committees and Boards on which the Director serves is
kept in individual files. These files are kept in the office of the Assistant to the
Director. The Assistant to the Director also maintains a current list of all
Committees and Boards on which the Director serves.
f. NOAA Annual Report
A compulsory CIRA Annual Report is due to NOAA each year by September
30th. This report consists of research highlights, research project updates, reports
on fellows, personnel, any special items, and a detailed bibliography for all
projects active during the past fiscal year (July 1-June 30). The Assistant to the
Director is responsible for the compilation of the information, the composition of
some sections, the coordination of the printing, and the submission to NOAA.
Preparation assistance is also obtained for data entry, technical proofreading, and
g. Special reports
1. The Associate Director of CIRA Boulder submits a Boulder Group Research
2. The CIRA National Park Service Supervisor submits a Research Update
3. The Deputy Director submits a Center for Geosciences Research Update
4. The NOAA/NESDIS/RAMM Team Leader submits a Research Update
5. The CIRA Infrastructure Manager submits a Research Update
6. The NOAA/NESDIS/RAMM Team Administrative Assistant submits a listing
of all Seminars/Classes/Meeting Presentations for the Team
7. The National Park Service Administrative Assistant submits a listing of all
Seminars/Classes/Meeting Presentations for the NPS
8. The Assistant Manager for Human Resources submits the Personnel Listing
and the short bios on the Post Doctoral Fellows
9. The NOAA Project Manager compiles and submits the Project Bibliography
(See below for procedure)
The Assistant to the Director is responsible for compiling or writing the
1. Working with the Deputy Director on choosing items for the Research
2. Preparing the Board and Council Listings
3. Seminars, Meetings, Workshops, Courses
4. The NOAA annual and five year report which includes compiling all
components putting in printer-ready format, assisting on the cover design,
interfacing with the printer, and final transmittal to NOAA by September 30th.
h. Office Space Assignments
The Director of CIRA has the responsibility for all office and space assignments
at CIRA. The Department Manager working with the Facilities Manager and the
Assistant to the Director carry out these assignments.
E. Infrastructure Matters
The intent of this information is to provide a short overview, policies, and who to
contact for assistance.
CIRA’s Infrastructure contains over 200 workstations, a gigabit network, dozens
of specialized servers, a satellite earthstation, modeling clusters, and associated IT
Michael Hiatt is the Manager of the Infrastructure and Satellite Earthstation.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Office: ACRC 101
1. CIRA Website
The number one place to get information about CIRA is through CIRA’s webpage
2. Windows Network
CIRA’s primary computer platform is a network of Windows XP/2003
workstations and servers. Please contact Michael Hiatt to get an account.
Karll Renken is CIRA’s primary workstation IT person. He is available to help
with computer hardware, software, and printers:
Email: email@example.com, Office: ACRC 101
3. Satellite Earthstation
The earthstation collects and archives GOES, AVHRR, and MSG data. CIRA also
archives other Meteorological data sets from tape and the Internet. Please contact
Michael Hiatt for assistance on using the earthstation.
4. Linux Workstations and Clusters
In addition to Linux workstations, CIRA operates a 32-bit and 64-bit Linux
modeling cluster. Adam Carheden provides support for Linux users.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Office ARCR 004
Phone: 970-491-8956 (office), 970-556-2914 (cell)
Please refer to the web document at http://www.cira.colostate.edu/services/email/
6. File Management
The best way to organize files is to keep them in one central place. Please create a
top-level folder by your last name either at the root of the C: drive or in the My
Documents folder. Sub-folders provide a good way to further organize the files.
7. FTP vs. Attachments
The easiest way to share a file is to attach it in email. CIRA’s internal mail system
can handle attachments up to 35MB. Outside mail servers are much more
restricted, sometimes as low as 1MB. Please keep this in mind when sending
attachments to external recipients. Also note that sending files with extensions
like ―exe‖ or ―bat‖ will be rejected by the mail servers since they appear to be
viruses. In cases where files are larger than 35MB, CIRA provides an FTP server
(ftp.cira.colostate.edu). Again, please only create a single root folder by your last
name. Outside users can access this server using the username ―guest‖ and the
All data, including e-mail, is your responsibility to backup! CIRA will provide
USB memory devices. Please contact Karll Renken to get backup hardware.
9. Internet Help
Google! Please don’t underestimate how much Google can help you in your day
to day tasks. Most computer problems are well documented on the Internet.
10. Upon Your Departure:
Please backup your data and take it with you. Unless you instruct otherwise, your
computer workstation will be ―re-cycled‖ for the next user and your account(s)
I. Distribution of CIRA Data, Software, and Hardware
ISSUED May 30, 1997
TO: All CIRA Personnel
FROM: Tom Vonder Haar
RE: Distribution of CIRA Data, Software, and Hardware
There is a long-standing policy at CIRA regarding no release of CIRA-related data,
software, or hardware designs to anyone outside of CIRA without the WRITTEN
permission of the CIRA Director.
What you ARE able to release to your colleagues throughout the scientific community
would be any final report, any publication or reprint, the CIRA Newsletter, CIRA website
information, and samples of data that CIRA can produce.
The difficulty arises if one gives datasets, software, or hardware/firmware to outside
groups wherein a normal competitive research environment these assists may become
competitive with ideas and proposals from CIRA.
We cannot be benevolent gift-givers to the outside world because it might cause
difficulties with the funding of a research proposal that would pay the salaries of your co-
workers. We simply cannot take any chances.
Therefore, the release of these items must be authorized and forwarded through the
II. This is an important policy for many obvious reasons; and, if you have any
questions regarding this policy, I urge you to contact your supervisor immediately
or contact the Director's Office. CIRA E-Mail Policy
Electronic Mail represents important information exchanged to conduct business. CIRA
uses Microsoft’s Exchange Server to host local and Internet mail.
The following is an extract of the VPRIT’s policy dated July1, 1997. These policy issues
are still valid and should be understood by all CIRA employees:
All e-mail, received or posted through CSU’s internet services, are public. There
is no such thing as private communications using CSU services. As such the
University retains the right to read or ―inspected‖ by the University.
As a public record e-mail communications should be backed up and retained
according to State law. Currently retention of e-mail is only for technical and
operational purposes i.e., not for document archival purposes. You are encouraged
to delete e-mail that is not considered public.
All though e-mail is considered public record for purposes of University
management and monitoring, there is also an expectation that the documents are
considered confidential. This means the documents are by definition intended to
be shared by sender and named recipients. Only the sender and recipient can
disclose the contents.
Use of CSU’s internet is considered a privilege and not a right. As such abuse of
the system can become a matter of legal action or disciplinary procedures. Some
of the instances of abuse are as follows:
o Misrepresentation of identity. (Use your own address and no other)
o Using e-mail for purposes that violate federal law. This would include
pornography and pirating copy righted material (music for example)
o Using the system for commercial purposes
o Sending patently harassing, intimidating, or abusive/offensive material.
An example would be getting into a ―flame‖ war with someone on a chat
room. You are entitled for free speech but using a CSU address means you
are representing the University. A complaint from your ―flame war‖
adversary can lead to the termination of your e-mail privilege.
o Intercepting, disrupting, or altering e-mail.
o Volume abuse – propagation of chain letters, broadcasting inappropriate
o Accessing, copying or modifying other’s e-mail or computer files without
o Interfering with other’s work by the use of viruses, worms etc.
III. Note that personal use of e-mail is permitted but it must be done with
prudence and discretion.General Infrastructure Policies
No one in CIRA is allowed to open up their computer for inspection, repair, or
upgrades. This is for safety as well as consistency in computer configuration.
Furthermore, no one in CIRA is allowed to reconfigure or load operating systems.
These tasks are performed by the Infrastructure Group.
CIRA is primarily a Windows based infrastructure. Support for other operating
systems should be checked before used.
Hardware requirements need to be requested to the Infrastructure Group and are
provided based on funded research.
No one is allowed to load applications on their computers without permission. If you
want a new application, please ask first.
CIRA uses a standard software suite including Microsoft Office. Unless other
arrangements have been made, you must use these software applications. This makes
systems administration and document exchange easier.
CIRA does not allow any software package to be copied or taken for use outside of
CIRA. This is a violation of vendor software licenses and is illegal. If you have a
justified use for a software package outside of CIRA, please get permission and
additional licenses will be purchased.
No games shall be installed or played on CIRA computers for any reason.
Any employee caught downloading or viewing pornography will be terminated.
All of the computers systems have CD-ROM readers. These CD-ROM units can read
both digital and audio CDs. You may play audio CDs using headphones as long as
you are not bothering anyone around you and you are still able to perform your work
duties. The use of headphones in the common areas is not permitted.
No food or drink is allowed in any of the common lab areas.
Students who work at CIRA may use the computer labs to do school work as long as
permission has been obtained from your supervisor and it does not interfere with
Please log out of computer when you are done using it by using "CTRL-ALT-DEL".
This allows others to use the computer.
In the event of a facility wide power outage:
1. Save your work and close all programs.
2. If the power is off for more than 1 minute, please shutdown the computer.
3. You may shut off the UPS if the beeping is bothering you.
4. When reliable power is restored, turn the UPS and computer back on and
5. Central systems (Internet, web, FTP, email, data collection, etc) will be
restored as soon as possible, typically within 30 minutes. Please be patient.
IV. Linux Clusters
CIRA maintains various Linux Clusters for use by the research groups that funded their
If you need access to Linux machines or clusters, please contact Adam Carheden
Linux clusters may be accessed by ssh or NoMachine.
Data on the clusters may also be mounted on CIRA-provided Linux workstations via the
NFS protocol. Please contact Adam Carheden <email@example.com> if you
wish to access data on the clusters via NFS.
The MPICH parallelization library is available on CIRA’s clusters , but we do not use job
scheduling software. When submitting MPI jobs, please be respectful of others by using a
machinefile to run your jobs on nodes not already in use. When running non-paralle/non-
mpi jobs, please run them on the highest number nodes as MPI uses the lower number
nodes by default. Please e-mail Adam Carheden <firstname.lastname@example.org> if you
need assistance in submitting jobs or working with others to use cluster resources.
Data on CIRA’s clusters follow the same backup policy as all other machines at CIRA.
The IT Infrastructure group only backups up the operating system and applications, not
user data. Users are responsible for backing up their own data. Please contact Adam
Carheden <email@example.com> if you need assistance.
a. Further documentation can be found at http://www.linux.cira