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Visiting Scientist I in Greenbelt, MD at Universities Space Research Association

Date Posted: 6/23/2018

Job Snapshot

  • Employee Type:
  • Location:
    Greenbelt, MD
  • Job Type:
  • Experience:
    Not Specified
  • Date Posted:

Job Description

This will be a full time, 1-year Post-Doctoral position within the Ocean Ecology Laboratory (Code 616) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to support PACE Project Science, the PACE Science Data Segment (SDS), and the Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG) and their roles in producing, evaluating, and distributing bio-optical and biogeochemical properties from satellite ocean color data records.

This position will specifically focus on processing and evaluation of existing field oceanographic data with the goal of developing and improving satellite methods for derivation of metrics related to phytoplankton community composition and particle size distributions. 


Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Compilation and analysis of relevant field and satellite data;
  • Remote-sensing algorithm development, verification, and refinement;
  • Collaboration with the PACE mission, OBPG, and external science partners on analyses and interpretation of results; and,
  • Presentation of results in relevant conferences and peer-reviewed journals.
  • Present results of work as publications in referred journals and presentations.
  • Responsible for publishing one peer-reviewed scientific paper per year.
  • Preparation of reports of own scientific and other activity for purposes of annual reports to NASA, annual GESTAR report, and annual evaluation of GESTAR staff/scientists.
  • Engage the academic community in research work through research collaborations, visits, invited guests, workshops, conferences, etc.
  • Develop an awareness of NASA’s mission needs and address them to the best of ability.
  • Maintain an awareness of funding opportunities in area of expertise through internal and external funding agencies; seek and obtain funding to ensure continuation and growth of research efforts.
  • Complete all trainings as scheduled
  • Other job related duties as assigned

Required Qualifications:


Ph.D. in oceanography or related field


  • Demonstrated experience in bio-optics, remote-sensing, and phytoplankton taxonomy;
  • Demonstrated publication record in peer-reviewed literature as first author.


Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:  

  • Proficiency in Matlab, Python, IDL, or equivalent software;
  • Experience in SeaDAS or related satellite data-processing software;
  • Function independently or as part of a team, with minimal direct supervision.
  • Propose credible and innovative research projects, develop the necessary skills to perform the work, and carry out the research, providing the required reporting to the granting agency in a timely fashion.
  • Proven ability to communicate scientific results through presentations and scientific publications is essential.
  • Proposal writing experience, a plus.
  • Good oral and written communication skills.


  • Communicate effectively by speaking, listening and write in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques; communicate with a broad range of scientists and engineers in a high-pressure, results-oriented context.
  • Speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization.
  • Work cooperatively and effectively with others in a research environment to set goals, resolve problems and make decisions that enhance team effectiveness.
  • Establish priorities and make effective decisions daily to promote the advancement of science.
  • Solve Problems: Assess problem situations to identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions and make recommendations and/or resolve the problem.


Working Conditions:

Work will be performed in an office or computer lab environment.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit; talk or hear.  Keyboarding for large time spans each day may be a significant part of this position.




Applicants should apply to the posting at and include a letter of interest, resume, or curriculum vita.  Review of candidates will begin immediately.  Additional information on USRA can be found at

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity