Enviromental Scientist II - NEON Surface Atmosphere Exchange

The Surface-Atmosphere Exchange (SAE) Environmental Scientist will be part of the NEON Science Team that is responsible for operating, maintaining, and ensuring the success of a national program to generate > 180 standardized data products from 81 sites throughout the US for over 30 years.


Date posted

Feb. 26, 2024 11:15 am

Application deadline

Mar. 26, 2024 5:00 pm




  • United States

Job description

Battelle manages and operates the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) program, which is solely funded by the National Science Foundation. A 30+ year project dedicated to understanding how changes in climate, land use and invasive species impact ecology, the observatory’s scientists and engineers are collecting a comprehensive range of ecological data on a continental scale across 20 eco-climatic domains representing US ecosystems.  Our teams use cutting-edge technology, including an airborne observation platform that captures images of regional landscapes and vegetation; mobile, relocatable, and fixed data collection sites with automated ground sensors to monitor soil and atmosphere; and trained field crews who observe and sample populations of diverse organisms and collect soil and water data.  Once structures are completed, a leading-edge cyberinfrastructure will calibrate, store and publish this information.  The Observatory includes more than 500+ personnel and is the first of its kind designed to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at continental scales.

Job Summary

The Surface-Atmosphere Exchange (SAE) Environmental Scientist will be part of the NEON Science Team that is responsible for operating, maintaining, and ensuring the success of a national program to generate > 180 standardized data products from 81 sites throughout the US for over 30 years. The Science Team develops, maintains, and improves field and lab protocols, derives data processing and data QA/QC algorithms, develops and maintains data analysis pipelines, works with external analytical laboratory partners, and collaborates with NEON Cyberinfrastructure software engineers to produce and publish high quality data products for the research, education, and decision-making communities. 

The SAE Environmental Scientist will be an integral part of NEON’s Terrestrial Instrument System (TIS) Science Team, which is responsible for delivering scientific design solutions, software and data products for 47 NEON terrestrial sites. Core responsibilities of the SAE Environmental Scientist include delivering high-quality eddy covariance data products for public use in scientific research, actively contributing to and developing components of eddy4R (an R-based code package for eddy covariance data processing) by modularizing, hardening, and improving its performance, supporting integration into NEON’s data processing pipeline, and coordinating across teams to ensure delivery of high-quality data. Additionally, this position will support development of data processing and QA/QC algorithms, monitor data quality, perform manual data review and flagging, and provide support for resolving data quality issues for the eddy covariance and related data products. The successful candidate will also pursue collaborations with scientists and data users, both internally and externally, to support algorithm development, quality improvements, and use of NEON data and infrastructure. Interactions with the science community will include interacting with the SAE and Atmospheric Stable Isotope Technical Working Groups, addressing external inquiries and requests, and contributing to scientific manuscripts and proposals. 


  • eddy4R (https://github.com/NEONScience/eddy4R) codebase maintenance and development, including modularization (hierarchical workflows, packages, functions with controlled terminology), hardening (sensitivity tests, failsafes), performance improvement (profiling, vectorizing, file-backed objects, parallelization), and microsystems integration (Pachyderm)
  • Collaborative eddy4R coding, including feature additions, bug fixes, and integrating community code contributions
  • Identify and address ways to improve data quality and contribute to sensor and infrastructure development, including sensor selection and testing, for eddy covariance, atmospheric stable isotope, and meteorological data products in collaboration with other NEON teams and data users
  • Participate in the larger NEON science community, supporting the active engagement between the Observatory and the broader science community in support of its mission (e.g., attending conferences, working groups)
  • Support planning, moderating, and tracking of science code development tasks and other activities related to the bundled eddy covariance data products
  • Participate in weekly Surface Atmosphere Exchange team coordination and planning meetings
  • Work across and effectively communicate with a multidisciplinary team including Science, Engineering, Calibration and Validation Lab, Field Science, and CyberInfrastructure
  • Manually review and quality flag eddy covariance and related data products, as needed, and develop and update documentation for end users 
  • Format and submit data to AmeriFlux for co-hosting of NEON data products. Interact with and respond to requests for information and/or other issues from AmeriFlux staff and data users.
  • Participate in discussions with the Surface Atmosphere Exchange and Atmospheric Stable Isotope Technical Working Groups
  • Support scientific publications and proposals 
  • Support Field Science staff in achieving eddy covariance and atmospheric stable isotope data quality targets 
  • Contribute to other deliverables as needed

Required Education, Experience, Knowledge, and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science, ecology, environmental science, or a related field with 2 years of experience or master’s degree or PhD
  • Experience operating flux tower instrumentation and analyzing eddy covariance data
  • Strong working knowledge of programming in R and/or Python
  • Experience with open science/reproducible science workflows, including code sharing on platforms such as GitHub
  • High level of attention to detail, with a self-directed and goal-oriented work style
  • Demonstrated skills in management and analysis of large, multivariate datasets
  • Patient listening skills, clear and succinct self-expression
  • Ability to speak in public to a diversity of audiences including scientists, science educators, college/university faculty, college-level students, and funding agency (NSF) program directors.
  • Strong problem solving and analytical skills
  • Proven ability to write and edit technical content, scientific literature and/or scientific proposals for public delivery
  • Willingness to travel occasionally to field sites, conferences, etc.


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