Open position: Biological Oceanographer Research Assistant – Deadline when position is filled

Science Systems and Applications, Inc (SSAI) is seeking a Biological Oceanographer Research Assistant to work on an exciting project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD.  The position will involve extensive interaction with scientific staff and managers as well as scientists from a variety of government agencies, research institutions, and other organizations. The Principal Duties of the Biological Oceanographer Research Assistant will be:

  • Perform sample collection, analysis and data processing of phytoplankton physiology (fast repetition rate fluorometry; FRRF), primary productivity, and biogeochemical properties (bulk carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus pools).
  • Collection and analysis of sample optical measurements, including filter pad particle absorption and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) absorption.
  • Deployment on two or more coastal or open ocean research cruises per year (10- to 35-day duration each).
  • Perform field data quality screening and data re-processing including quality assurance and quality control on absorption coefficients of particles and CDOM, HPLC pigments, phytoplankton physiological parameters, and primary productivity.
  • Analysis and synthesis of field data and preparation of peer-reviewed manuscripts.

 Other Duties

  • Participate in or lead development of field measurement protocols.
  • Participate in data reduction and provide support for preparation of reports and publication of results in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Organize instruments, sampling gear, and logistics for, and participate in, shore-based and oceanographic fieldwork throughout the world to collect high-quality measurements of biogeochemical and optical properties.  
  • Develop in-house capabilities and expertise in biogeochemical and optical instrumentation and field data collections and analysis to support multi-mission science data product validation.
  • Perform data processing from raw biogeochemical and optical measurements to final data products along with quantification of measurement uncertainties.
  • Prepare and organize field/lab measurements and associated metadata into data files for submission.
  • Perform routine laboratory instrument maintenance, operation, and organization. 
  • Ensure proper laboratory safety is met and manage/organize laboratory space.
  • Develop and document software tools required to accomplish duties.
  • Prepare reports and technical documentation on work performed.
  • Participate in scientific meetings and workshops.

Required Qualifications:

  • MS in Earth or environmental sciences, biology, oceanography, or closely related science discipline or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience with using data analysis tools (e.g., MATLAB, Python, R) and proficiency in computer programming.
  • Knowledge of laboratory and field bio-optical measurements
  • Knowledge of chemical laboratory processes and safety protocols 
  • Experience with UV-Vis spectrophotometers and other optical instrumentation used to collect absorption measurements. 
  • Good problem-solving skills; attention to detail; ability to learn quickly, to work efficiently and independently, and to engage in sea-going research. 
  • Previous experience working on oceanographic research cruises, ideally collecting biological and biogeochemical samples.
  • Competence in data extraction, reduction, and processing from specialized research instrumentation. 
  • Strong organizational skills and capacity to work effectively in a team environment.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Must be able to meet requirements to obtain a badge and IT credentials at NASA GSFC.
  • US Citizenship or Permanent Residency required.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Strong computer programming skills, including the Python data science stack (e.g., Numpy, Pandas, Matplotib), as well as MATLAB, and R.
  • Strong statistical skills and knowledge: proficiency in applying statistical methods for data analysis, including hypothesis testing, regression analysis, and time series analysis. 
  • Expertise in fast repetition rate fluorometry and UV-Vis spectrophotometry.
  • Expertise with biogeochemical sample collection at sea, laboratory analysis, and data processing.
  • Expertise with optical instruments used to collect measurements of inherent optical properties and processing data collected by those instruments.
  • Experience with imaging flow cytometry and standard flow cytometry
  • Willingness to stay abreast of advances in a range of disciplines related to aquatic ecology and biogeochemistry.

Find more information on this opportunity and apply here.

via SSAI
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