Scientist (Hydrologic Research and Applications aided by Earth-orbiting Satellites)

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Pasadena, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
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Job Details

Job ID: 12458

How much fresh water do we have on Earth? How can we use the unusual vantage point of orbiting satellites to better understand how Earth’s fresh water stores and fluxes are evolving? How does the Earth’s water cycle influence extreme weather and climate? What links the water cycle to other components of the Earth system? Your mission—your opportunity—is to bring us closer to answering these questions! If you’re driven to discover new insights in how the Earth works, invent new tools and methods to advance science and its usage to benefit society, and inspire future generations of scientists and leaders, you’re ready for JPL!

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. We offer a work environment unlike any other: we resolve challenges on national and international levels, address global problems such as climate change, inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.

You can learn more about Earth Science programs at JPL at the following sites:, https//, and about JPL’s Terrestrial Hydrology Group at


You will work as a full-time scientist in a dynamic team environment responsible for developing and leading a unique portfolio of scientific research and applied sciences activities in your hydrologic and remote sensing field of expertise, while collaborating with the existing expertise at JPL including its Terrestrial Hydrology group. You will contribute to maximizing the science return of current and future NASA missions, such as GRACE-FO, SMAP, ECOSTRESS, SWOT and NISAR, and imagining the next generation of satellites transforming the way we monitor and learn about the hydrological cycle. Furthermore, you will help formulate the strategic objectives and goals for the Terrestrial Hydrology group and its contributions to JPL and to NASA.

You will be expected to seek funding through competed solicitations, publish journal articles, broadly communicate the results of your research, and mentor junior researchers, postdoctoral scholars and/or students.


  • PhD in hydrology or a related science or technical subject area with at least 2 years of post-degree experience.
  • Demonstrated record of peer-reviewed publications related to science and applications for hydrology and remote sensing of the terrestrial water cycle
  • Excellent oral (including public speaking) and written communication skills.
  • Experience building and/or working in collaborative, diverse and inclusive team environments
  • Strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated through mentorship, listening and effective communication

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced knowledge of methodologies used for improving science and its applications in hydrology and remote sensing, including but not limited to modeling approaches, observational techniques (in situ and remote), and their combination in the form of scientific analyses, data assimilation, machine learning, etc.
  • Experience (or a strong interest) in writing proposals for research solicitations in Earth Science
  • Strong interest in the justification, formulation, and implementation of new satellite missions.
  • Leadership experience (or potential) related to the execution of a research program, the coordination of a research team, or the organization of community efforts
  • Ability to articulate a vision for hydrologic remote sensing and its applications and communicate it to an audience of non-experts

Complete applications will include a 1-page cover letter describing the applicant’s vision for their role at JPL in the general field of Earth Science with a focus on Terrestrial Hydrology and outlining an interest in satellite mission formulation, a curriculum vita including a bibliography of refereed publications and other research experience, a 2-page statement on research experience, vision and objectives of your research in relation to JPL’s missions, and contact information for three professional references. Applications received by November 16, 2020 will receive full consideration

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JPL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, protected military or veteran status or any other characteristic or condition protected by Federal, state or local law.

In addition, JPL is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

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The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federal facility. Due to rules imposed by NASA, JPL will not accept applications from citizens of designated countries or those born in a designated country unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S or have other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). The Designated Countries List is available here.