Sr. Scientist in Experimental Hydrogeology/Hydrology/Geophysics

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge, TN, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
10+ Years
Degree Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


The Earth Systems Science Section within the Environmental Sciences Division, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL),, is seeking a science leader in experimental hydrogeology, hydro-biogeochemistry, and/or geophysics. We seek a colleague who designs and leads research involving interactions among hydrology, stream ecology, and biogeochemistry. You will be joining a diverse and highly qualified team consisting of experimental biogeochemists, aquatic and terrestrial ecologists, field researchers, computational hydrologists, and terrestrial ecosystem modelers to resolve questions regarding how the structure and function of streams and watersheds influences elemental cycles. Our team develops forward-looking, high-impact research and values open engagement (sharing of data, code, and resources) with the scientific community. We are interested in highly qualified candidates who bring unique skills to the Earth Systems Science Section’s existing capabilities, will contribute to existing programs, and can develop new research concepts in experimental hydrology and hydrogeology. This will be a full-time research staff position for a creative and highly motivated individual with potential for scientific growth and career advancement.

ESD is an interdisciplinary research and development organization with more than 60 years of achievement in local, regional, national, and international environmental research. Our vision is to expand scientific knowledge and develop innovative strategies and technologies that will strengthen the nation’s leadership in creating solutions to help sustain the Earth’s natural resources. Our scientists conduct research, develop technology, and perform analyses to understand and assess responses of environmental systems at the environment-human interface and the consequences of alternative energy and environmental strategies.

The ESS section is world-renowned for large-scale experimental manipulations and is currently leading the US DOE flagship ‘Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Changing Environments’ (SPRUCE) field experiment ( ESD staff also lead the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE) Arctic project (, and we are an integral partner in the NGEE Tropics research project ( We also lead the Critical Interfaces Science Focus Area (CI-SFA,, which investigates the role of hydrology on the transformation of redox-sensitive elements, such as mercury, in a flowing stream system. ESS staff also lead the development of multiple land system components in the US DOE Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM,

Major Duties/Responsibilities:

You will have responsibility for collaboratively leading field and laboratory scale experiments of hyporheic exchange through the application of a variety of experimental techniques, including non-reactive and reactive tracers, geophysics, isotopic signatures, sensor networks, novel observational tools, and other novel approaches to research. Additional responsibilities will include maintaining detailed scientific records, analyzing experimental data, presenting results within the research group and at national and international conferences, and preparing manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, you will be expected to develop new research concepts and projects in the area of watershed hydrology, biogeochemistry, and stream ecology in collaboration with ESD and external researchers. The nature of our scientific work is highly multidisciplinary, and projects will be carried out in close collaboration with scientists from a variety of scientific backgrounds, including geochemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and related fields to investigate the biogeochemical transformation of trace elements, nutrients, and contaminants in a stream system.

Minimum Qualifications Required:

  • 10 years of post-PhD experience
  • PhD in hydrogeology, stream hydrology, geophysics, watershed hydrology, geomorphology, biogeochemistry, or related discipline.
  • Experience with conducting stream or river corridor studies of hyporheic exchange is highly desired
  • Demonstrated ability to lead colleagues in collaborative projects
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, an ability to work as a part of a team, and be comfortable in a multi-disciplinary environment
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and a strong record of publication in high-quality, peer-reviewed, international journals
  • Positive, creative, and self-starting
  • Physical fitness level commensurate with work in hot, cold, or wet conditions in remote field locations. A post-offer, pre-hire physical will be required for this position.

At a minimum, we request that applicants include an updated CV and list of references as part of the application packet.

This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email .

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.