PNNL Careers

Chief Scientist, Multi-Scale Ecosystems Science


Job Description

Job ID: 307833
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Job Description

The Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate is seeking a senior scientist to lead our growing research portfolio in multi-scale ecosystems science, with a focus on hydro-biogeochemical processes and interactions, from molecular to local and regional scales. The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience in understanding local and regional hydrologic and biogeochemical cycles and their interactions with broader Earth system processes. Of particular interest is understanding the dynamics of interactions at the terrestrial-aquatic interface, including watersheds and/or coastal systems, in the context of environmental change. Demonstrated experience in leading teams in laboratory and/or field observations, working with interdisciplinary teams including process and Earth system modelers is desired. The successful candidate will lead a science enterprise advancing scientific discovery with a focus on integrating molecular level understanding of microbe-plant-soil-atmosphere interactions and related mechanistic understanding into predictive process models at a variety of scales. This position will also be part of the leadership team in developing and executing the broader PNNL research strategy for integrated Earth systems science.

Discipline, principal job duties/expectations, and qualitative and quantitative measures of performance that exceed the Functional Descriptor:

• Both independently and in collaboration with internal and external peers and project teams, the position will provide leadership to projects sponsored at PNNL by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other sponsors. Experience with DOE Office of Science programs is preferred. Proven ability to work with a team to understand and integrate advances in a variety of scientific disciplines, including biological, hydrological, and geochemical science, with advanced modeling and computation, is a plus. The position will also lead and support strategic planning for PNNL internal investments and new programs in this scientific area, as well as help develop and enhance our strategy for building collaborations and partnerships with regional, national and international scientific institutions.

• This position features access to extensive research capabilities across PNNL, including those housed at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) and Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility, both DOE science user facilities accessed through various user access programs. This position will also have access to facilities and capabilities housed at PNNL’s Marine Science Laboratory, in Sequim, WA (DOE’s only Marine Science Laboratory).

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

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Experience: BS 9+ years’ experience, MS 7+ years’ experience, PhD 5+ years’ experience
• Technical Expertise: National or international authority. Applies extensive and diversified knowledge of scientific or engineering principles in broad areas of assignments and related fields.
• Level of Responsibility: Exercises an identifiable expertise by making significant and progressive contributions.
• Breadth of Technical Knowledge: Advances state of the art technologies and concepts.
• Position level will be decided based upon assessment

Preferred Qualifications

• PhD in ecosystems or environmental science or a related field, with at least 12 years of experience, including some field and/or laboratory experimental work. A substantial track record of peer-reviewed publications in peer-review journals and funding are position prerequisites.
• The successful candidate will be an internationally recognized expert in biogeochemistry and/or hydrology with an emphasis on understanding terrestrial-aquatic ecosystems (e.g., riverine, wetlands, coastal). Prior experience in applying integrated measurement-to-modeling approaches to key ecosystem and/or environmental science challenges is essential. This position requires individuals with a substantial record of independent contributions to research programs and extensive experience in science and project leadership roles.

The candidate will:
- possess the ability to lead dynamic, multi-disciplinary teams of scientists and manage complex projects.
- have a demonstrated record of strong leadership qualities, scientific talent, team building and motivation skills, and project management, as well as a proven commitment to the mentoring and development of junior scientific staff.
- have obtained recognition via publications, awards, lecture invitations, or other honors.
- have a track record for interdisciplinary research (hypothesis and discovery-based), independent grant funding, a strong publication record, and technical synergy with ongoing programs at PNNL. Topics of research focus should include, but not necessarily be limited to, carbon and biogeochemical cycling, hydrology, riverine and/or coastal processes, terrestrial ecology, and multi-scale modeling.

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 307833
Directorate: Earth & Biological Sciences