Earth Research Scientist

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Berkeley, CA, US

Berkeley Lab’s Energy Geosciences Division has an opening for an Earth Research Scientist.  

The purpose of the job is to conduct research into water, soil, and rock geochemistry in both pristine and contaminated Earth systems.  The successful candidate will conduct research in terrestrial biogeochemistry so as to understand and predict hydrological and biogeochemical controls on contaminant and nutrient export to river systems, with a focus on a broad diversity of elements and chemical compounds and thereby necessitating a breadth of analytical techniques. In other cases, the successful candidate will also conduct experimental and analytical studies of geochemical processes in clay-rich and carbonate-rich sedimentary systems. Proposal development activities, participation in collaborations and external and Lab advisory committees, and the ability to manage internal technical staff are essential.  Synthesizing and presenting results as peer-reviewed journal articles, LBNL reports, conference papers, and presentations is also part of the role.

What You Will Do: 

  • Conduct research into watershed and contaminant plume biogeochemical function through laboratory characterization and experimentation principally focused on field derived samples;
  • Develop conceptual biogeochemical models for watershed and contaminant plume function and elucidate these through designing and conducting laboratory experiments, as well as geochemical analyses;
  • Where appropriate, engage in geochemical sampling at various field sites under study at Berkeley Lab;
  • Manage the Aqueous Geochemistry Analytical Recharge facility at Berkeley Lab, including the maintenance and use of analytical equipment such as ICP-MS, TIC/TOC, and ion chromatography, sample preparation (e.g. microwave digestion), and the promotion of a safe laboratory environment.
  •  Interaction with a team of biogeochemists, microbiologists, hydrologists, and geophysicists to produce synergistic research that improves the understanding of research topics of interest to the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Timely publication of research results in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Presentation of research results at national and international conferences.

What is Required:

  • Ph.D., or equivalent work experience, in geochemistry or chemical engineering; 
  • 7 years minimum professional experience in geochemical experimentation, analysis, and characterization;
  • Deep knowledge of biogeochemistry of both natural and contaminated aqueous, soil, and rock systems required;
  • State of science knowledge of analytical and characterization methods for aqueous biogeochemistry required;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and prepare research data;
  • Demonstrated ability to safely conduct and perform individual and collaborative research and effectively interact with a broad/diverse range of colleagues;  
  • Effective problem-solving, decision-making, organizational and analytical skills;  
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

To be fully considered please provide the following materials in your application:

  • Cover Letter
  • Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Statement of Research – Statement addressing past and/or potential contributions to the Scientific Mission of the Energy Geosciences Division. (3 page limit)

The posting shall remain open until the position is filled, however for full consideration, please apply by close of business on March 31, 2020.


  • This is a full-time career appointment, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.
  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
  • Work will be primarily performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

Learn About Us:
Berkeley Lab (LBNL) addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. 

The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
 Working at Berkeley Lab has many rewards including a competitive compensation program, excellent health and welfare programs, a retirement program that is second to none, and outstanding development opportunities. To view information about the many rewards that are offered at Berkeley Lab- Click Here.

Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. Berkeley Lab is in compliance with the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4. Click here to view the poster and supplement: “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law.”

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and other underrepresented groups presently considering scientific research careers.