Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Post Bachelors RA - Climate & Energy Research in COLLEGE PARK, Maryland

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 305979

Directorate: Earth & Biological Sciences

Division: Joint Global Change Research Institute

Group: Integrated Human-Earth SS Team


Job Description

The Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI) of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), located at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, seeks a Post-Bachelors Research Associate to focus on energy and climate research using JGCRI’s integrated assessment modeling tools. The team at JGCRI is a world leader in integrated assessment of climate change, and employs the best available science to inform decision makers – including national and foreign governments and international organizations – on the implications of environment-energy-economy policies, energy R&D strategies and global perspectives of Human-Earth systems science. The successful candidate will support research at the intersection of energy, technology, climate, and policy. Examples of research areas and questions include the following;

Technology, Greenhouse Gas Mitigation and Adaptation: International efforts to reduce emissions are one of the most important challenges facing global society. A wide range of issues persist that will influence mitigation possibilities and approaches in the coming decades, and beyond. For example, how can mitigation be undertaken in ways that best link to other societal goals such as reductions in air pollution or energy use? How might near-term mitigation actions create a foundation for deeper reductions beyond 2030? What technologies will be most important for achieving near-, mid- and long-term emissions reductions? As the climate evolves, how will efforts to reduce emissions interact with efforts to adapt to a changing climate? Can mitigation and adaptation be aligned?

Energy, Socioeconomic, and Related System Evolutions: Greenhouse gas emissions ultimately depend on changes occurring in the global energy and related systems. Providing billions of people with reliable energy while constraining greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most important challenges for current and future generations. Examples of important scientific questions include the following. How might more abundant natural gas supplies influence international trade of fossil fuels and the evolution of national energy systems? How would early deployment of carbon capture and storage technology help reduce emissions? What form of bioenergy supply pathways is most effective at providing low emission energy and affordable and competitive cost? How sustainable are different levels of bioenergy production? What are the possibilities for near-, mid- and long-term implementation of energy-efficient technologies in buildings, industry, and transport systems? How will mitigation interact with climate impacts and adaptation in energy, land, and water systems?

Answering these and related research questions requires an integrated systems perspective about how energy, economy, technology, climate, and policy interact at global and regional levels. The successful candidate is expected to focus primarily on the development and utilization of PNNL/JGCRI’s GCAM integrated assessment model, and other modeling tools used at JGCRI. GCAM is an open source and community-based model used around the world for research focused on quantitative analysis of energy systems and technology; agriculture, land-use and water systems; international and national climate policy analysis; bioenergy and biofuels policy; and the impacts of climate change on energy, agriculture and economy. The successful candidate will take a supporting role in cutting edge interdisciplinary research in close collaboration with senior researchers at JGCRI and coauthor the scientific findings in high impact scientific journal.

JGCRI houses an interdisciplinary team of researchers dedicated to understanding interactions across energy, agriculture, land-use, economic, water and climate systems with an aim towards addressing national and global 21st century challenges. JGCRI researchers publish their findings in leading scientific journals and work with U.S. Federal agencies, state governments, industry, foundations, and universities. JGCRI researchers are leaders in the international and national climate and global change research communities through prominent roles in integrated assessment of energy and agricultural systems and water resources. The work environment at JGCRI is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary. Located in College Park, Maryland, JGCRI is a partnership between the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory managed by Battelle Memorial Institute for the US Department of Energy, and the University of Maryland at College Park.


Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must have received a Bachelor’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

The successful candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, economics, operations research, management science, computer science, public policy, or related field. GPA of 3.5 is preferred.

Background in computer modeling (integrated assessment modeling, energy modeling, or economic modeling) or related quantitative research is highly desirable. Research experience in the field of climate change or energy, and some programming experience is a strong plus. Foreign Language skill, particularly in Chinese or Vietnamese, is also a plus. Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to work in a team environment are necessary.

Applicants must attach a cover letter describing how their education, skills and experience align with this position’s duties and submit with their resume with reference to this position announcement.


Equal Employment Opportunity

PNNL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer that is committed to hiring a diverse, talented workforce. EOE Disability/Vet/M/F/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity. Staff at PNNL must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States.


Directorate: Earth & Biological Sciences

Job Category: Post-Graduates and Post-Docs

Group: Integrated Human-Earth SS Team

Opening Date: 2016-10-28

Closing Date: 2016-12-27