Earth Scientist 3

at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Springfield, Illinois, United States

Job Description


The Coastal Sciences Division, headquartered at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Sequim Marine Research Operations on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, is the Department of Energy’s only marine research laboratory. This unique facility and the capabilities of its researchers deliver science and technology that is critical to the nation’s energy, environmental and security future.

Building upon a history of research related to marine and coastal resources, environmental chemistry, water resources modeling, ecotoxicology and biotechnology-and more recently, national and homeland security-the MSL is emerging as a leader in these three areas:

+ Enabling sustainable development of ocean energy

+ Understanding and mitigating long-term impacts of human activities, including climate change, on marine resources

+ Protecting coastal environments from security threats


PNNL is hiring an earth scientist focused on the challenges of achieving national and regional offshore renewable energy and coastal resilience goals in a sustainable, equitable way. We expect the position to work closely with existing members of our fast-growing research, analysis, and engagement capability aligned to the blue economy and ocean climate action.

Studies the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and/or interactions of these systems with human activities. Uses scientific principles, instrument measurements, computer models, data analysis, and knowledge of policy and regulatory drivers to study the environment and/or develop solutions to environmental problems. Leverages knowledge and tools from fields such as ecology, biology, physics, chemistry, geochemistry, soil science, geology, hydrology, atmospheric science, economics, and/or integrated assessment.

Specific topics of interest for this position include:

+ Offshore wind – Permitting, environmental research, and stakeholder engagement to ensure outcomes supportive of coastal community goals.

+ Marine energy – Supporting growing DOE programs focused on marine energy applications in the blue economy, in particular applications to support coastal community climate resilience goals.

+ Coastal ecology – Engaging with PNNL’s coastal ecology team to develop strategies to address ecosystem challenges associated with renewable energy development, including offshore wind, marine energy, and hydropower.

+ Energy landscapes – Support and manage elements of emerging research focused on energy landscapes and transmission infrastructure to enable environmental, economic, and cultural co-benefits.

In addition to supporting and managing active projects and blue economy efforts, the candidate will also help develop and grow blue economy and ocean renewable energy capabilities within PNNL’s Coastal Science Division by pursuing business development and collaboration opportunities with regional and national stakeholders.

+ Principal investigator or co-PI on projects or tasks, while integrating capabilities of work team members.

+ Select and develop technical approaches on assignments with occasional oversight on complex problems.

+ Make key contributions in setting technical direction.

+ Develop and optimize ocean climate action capabilities at the division level.

+ Contribute to the local organization through mentorship of junior staff and taking on operational assignments.

+ Generate new ideas for proposals and business development opportunities while leading development of technical section of small to medium proposals.

+ Build effective project teams with membership across a group, expertise domain, and/or directorate.

+ Acquire funding for self with programmatic impact at the sector and division level.


Minimum Qualifications:

+ BS/BA and 5+ years of relevant work experience OR

+ MS/MA and 3+ years of relevant work experience OR

+ PhD with 1+ year of relevant experience

Preferred Qualifications:

+ U.S. offshore wind regulatory and/or direct industry experience is preferred.

+ Established regional and national reputation with specialization in the ocean renewable energy sector including but limited to coastal community engagement, climate resilience, and the interplay between energy development and cultural/ecological/economic systems.

+ Established leadership role in professional community including professional societies, other laboratories, academia, and industry.

+ Experience working with the department of energy and partner agencies supporting or managing research topics related to ocean climate action and the blue economy.

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Not applicable.

Additional Information

Not applicable.

Testing Designated Position

This is not a Testing Designated Position (TDP).

About PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to the values of Integrity, Creativity, Collaboration, Impact, and Courage. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven people come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors; here is your chance to be one of them!

At PNNL, you will find an exciting research environment and excellent benefits including health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State-the dry side of Washington known for its stellar outdoor recreation and affordable cost of living. The Lab’s campus is only a 45-minute flight (or ~3-hour drive) from Seattle or Portland, and is serviced by the convenient PSC airport, connected to 8 major hubs.

Commitment to Excellence, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Equal Employment Opportunity

Our laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment dedicated to solving critical challenges in fundamental sciences, national security, and energy resiliency. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. In support of this commitment, we encourage people of all racial/ethnic identities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), protected veteran status, and any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, and/or local laws.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures and in employment. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, contact us at .

Drug Free Workplace

PNNL is committed to a drug-free workplace supported by Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs.

If you are offered employment at PNNL, you must pass a drug test prior to commencing employment. PNNL complies with federal law regarding illegal drug use. Under federal law, marijuana remains an illegal drug. If you test positive for any illegal controlled substance, including marijuana, your offer of employment will be withdrawn.

Mandatory Requirements

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries, you will be required to disclose this

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Job Posting: JC251849464

Posted On: Dec 01, 2023

Updated On: Dec 11, 2023

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