Post Masters Research Associate (Sustainable Hydropower Operations)

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Richland, WA, USA 🇺🇸

Job Description


PNNL’s Earth System Science Division enables energy independence and national security through leadership in earth systems science, engineering, and decision analytics. Our work focuses on solving complex problems in the dynamic Earth system. Our interdisciplinary scientists steward a breadth of efforts that encompass research on plants to groundwater science and coastal zones, to storm prediction.

Our research focuses on understanding and mitigating operational risks at the interface of human and natural environments. This includes predicting the impacts of natural hazards and extreme climate events on Earth and human systems, along with the impacts of wildfire, flooding, sea level rise and storm surges. We focus on understanding and mitigating environmental contamination and increasing the resiliency, security and sustainability of water resources. We provide geointelligence through advanced sensing and data analytics to forecast complex system behaviors and operational performance to understand human-natural systems. This includes informed decision making and enhanced community resilience, advanced monitoring, and remote sensing of environmental systems for energy and national security. It also includes developing energy systems, including geothermal energy, sustainable oil and gas production, storage and utilization, along with carbon sequestration.

Driven by a “science-to-solutions” philosophy, we provide scientific leadership and technology to enhance national security, mitigate natural hazards and optimize disaster response. In the critical areas of energy, environment, intelligence, and defense, we deliver insights and decision support through the development of tools and solutions.


Join a dynamic team of scientists and engineers focused on sustainable hydropower. The Operational Systems Engineering Group within the Earth Systems Science Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) seeks applications for a Post-Master’s Research Associate position. The selected candidate will be motivated to contribute to dynamic research that bridges ecological and engineering disciplines. The successful candidate will be comfortable working with a diverse set of research staff and project tasks and possess the appropriate analytic and task management skills to contribute to the research activities.

The applicant must have interest and relevant experience in one or more of the following areas: 

  • Aquaculture
  • Water resource management
  • Fisheries/aquatic ecology
  • Environmental science/engineering

The successful candidate will assist with aquaculture and operation of PNNL’s Aquatic Research Laboratory and will participate in various research projects that may span a wide variety of scientific areas depending on qualifications.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Candidates must have received a Master’s degree within the past 24 months or within the next 8 months from an accredited college or university. 
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 required.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • MSc in Environmental Science, Fisheries Research, Water Resource Management, Water Infrastructure Engineering, Aquaculture, or related fields.
  • Preferred overall GPA of 3.5.
  • Experience working with live fish is desirable but not required.
  • Knowledge of aquaculture and fish husbandry is desirable but not required.
  • Ability to work well, both independently and in a team setting.
  • Contribute to portions of journal papers, reports, software, proceedings, scientific and technical products. May contribute to the development of intellectual property leading to publications, copyrights and/or patents.
  • Effective written and oral communication is required for this position as well as strong interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate effectively on diverse, multidisciplinary teams.
  • Experience with data collection, analysis, and report writing is desirable.

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Not Applicable.

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 [email protected]

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.

Mandatory Requirements

Battelle requires employees to have a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, subject to accommodation.  Applicants are required to disclose their vaccination status following a conditional offer of employment and must attest to being fully vaccinated with a Center for Disease Control (CDC)-approved COVID-19 vaccination, or provide documentation of need for medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.