PNNL Careers

S&T Communications Partner, Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change


Job Description

Job ID: 307546
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Job Description

The Invitation

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to collaboration and work–life balance. Dynamic, adaptable people come to PNNL to work smarter and work together on high-impact projects and initiatives for the U.S. Department of Energy and many other sponsors. They focus on meaningful work, innovation and outcomes. At PNNL, you’ll find a positive, fast-paced environment and excellent benefits including pension, matching 401(k), tuition reimbursement plans, health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State, an area known for its outdoor recreation, thriving wine industry and affordable cost of living.

The Opportunity

Help build and implement a strategy that improves the communication of PNNL’s extraordinary work in atmospheric and Earth system science! The S&T Communications group – within PNNL’s Communications Division – is a newly formed team focused on delivering stellar customer service, counsel and communications strategy to leaders across the Lab’s Science and Technology mission areas. We’re currently seeking a highly proactive and strategic S&T Communications Partner to guide and oversee the communications strategy, coordination and production of deliverables for the Lab’s Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change (ASGC) division. This is a unique role for a strong communicator who also has extensive experience building and implementing a communications strategy, particularly related to atmospheric science, climate change science, Earth system modeling, integrated assessment, and related fields.

As an S&T Communications Partner, you will form and nurture collaborative relationships with senior executives to develop a keen understanding of their audiences and goals and with world-class scientists to better understand and communicate the importance and impact of their work. Working with researchers, managers, and fellow communications staff, you’ll ensure that each communications project or product is aligned with the Laboratory’s mission, vision and communications strategy; is appropriate for the intended audience; stimulates a preferred action; and meets the division’s budget, goals and expectations. You will also suggest strategies, objectives and tactics that continually evolve the quality and impact of the Division’s communications efforts.

The Ideal Candidate

If you are a strong communicator who also has extensive experience leading scientific or technical communications strategy – particularly related to atmospheric science, climate change science or a related field – we want to connect with you! Specifically, we’re looking for candidates who have experience developing and implementing creative and compelling approaches that will resonate with our audiences. Ideal candidates will also be excellent planners and project managers that can work effectively and proactively in a matrixed organization to move ideas from concept to implementation.

Authority and Accountability

As a Communications Counselor, Strategist and Primary Point-of-Contact (30%):
-Build and maintain outstanding relationships with researchers and managers within the ASGC division, including staff who work in atmospheric measurement and data science, Earth systems analysis and modeling, and integrated assessment; regularly connect and coordinate with sponsor relationship managers to align efforts.
-Develop, leverage and maintain knowledge of the subject matter and trends in atmospheric, climate, and Earth system science, as well as related fields.
-Maintain a keen understanding of the audiences related to the Lab’s work in atmospheric science including funding sponsors, scientific associations, external collaborators, trade media and other stakeholders with whom we want to amplify our impact.
-Understand, convey and further ASGC’s goals in atmospheric sciences, climate change science, and Earth system modeling.
-Collaborate with fellow S&T Communications Partners in related mission areas (S&T Partner for Earth and Biological Sciences, S&T Partner for Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program, etc.) to recognize joint-opportunities and to coordinate and strengthen communications efforts.
-Serve as the point person for ASGC division communications needs.
-Create and maintain editorial calendars; anticipate important meetings, events, publications and engagements and proactively initiate communications efforts for the ASGC division.

As a Communications Professional and Project Manager (60%):
-Provide substantial communications support to ASGC—this includes writing or collaborating with Communications Division peers on content for ASGC highlights, documents and letters; drafting presentations; writing and staging content on the ASGC website; maintaining the ASGC SharePoint site; tracking/reporting the impact of ASGC communications efforts, etc.
-Ensure that each communications project or product is aligned with the Laboratory’s mission, vision and communications strategy; is appropriate for the intended audience; stimulates a preferred action; and meets the partners’ goals and expectations.
-Using project management/workflow software, originate projects and collaborate with Communications Division managers to ensure that resources are allocated to complete the project or product. Oversee day-to-day production details related to each project or product as needed, ensuring quality and on-time delivery of all components.
-Organize and review any currently available content at the start of each project or product. Serves as facilitator and scheduler of the project.
-Send drafts, proofs or staging links to those within the ASGC division, receive their changes and feedback, mark up proofs using appropriate notations and pass along feedback to appropriate team members. Clearly convey feedback respectfully, in writing and orally.
-Accept accountability for final signoff of ASGC communications materials, approving quality and fit-for-purpose of each deliverable; Alert communications team members to ASGC staff/managers feedback and take the lead in problem solving with ASGC staff/managers and fellow Communications staff; Look for opportunities to improve and enhance communication and service to partners.

As a Member of PNNL’s Communications Division (10%):
-Report regularly to the Science and Technology Communications Manager and Director of Communications on the projects, priorities and initiatives related to the Lab’s ASGC division.
-Represent the Communications Division at ASGC team meetings.
-Attend and contribute to Communications staff meetings.
-Recommend new approaches, policies and procedures to effect continual improvement.
-Advocate for strategic communications processes and results-oriented tactics.
-Demonstrate exemplary customer service.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Preferred Qualifications

-Established contacts with major scientific publications, editors, bloggers and influencers covering the atmospheric science, climate change science or Earth system modeling domains.
-Experience formulating media outreach plans or social media plans.
-Active professional society membership and roles.
-Familiarity with project management software.
-Ability to develop compelling editorial content that tells the stories of PNNL scientists and their work in a gripping, persuasive manner.
-Proven excellent written, oral, interpersonal and project management skills with the creative talent to refine complex technical scientific content into short, crisp, clear and impactful messages; experience leading, overseeing and/or editing the work of other communicators.
-Understanding of and experience in communicating the scientific field of atmospheric science, climate change science or Earth system modeling.
-Ability to understand and support the scientific mission of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and related funding organizations.
-Experience interacting with and understanding the needs and mission relevance of sponsoring agencies including Department of Energy Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research (BER); the ability to integrate their wants, needs and preferences into communications strategy.
-Keen understanding of current challenges, opportunities and trends in the scientific atmospheric science, climate change science or Earth system modeling.
-Proven track record of effective collaboration with and strategic support for managers that includes offering counsel and building action-oriented communications strategies.
-Demonstrated success developing and implementing strategic communications plans and principles.
-Strong customer service orientation and comfort and familiarity working with scientists and engineers.
-Experience building communications strategy for major events and initiatives.

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 307546
Directorate: Communications and Information Technology
Division: Communications
Group: S&T Communications

Minimum Qualifications

-Bachelor's degree plus 5 years of experience; or advanced degree plus 2 years of experience.
-Bachelor's degree in communications, marketing, public relations, English, or journalism, Environmental Science, Earth Science, or similar.