Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Post Doctorate RA - Climate & Energy Integrated Modeling in COLLEGE PARK, Maryland

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 306021

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 Postdoctoral Research Associate to focus on quantitative computational modeling of global, national and sub-national energy-environment-economy interactions in the context of climate change and climate change response strategies. The team at JGCRI employs state-of-the-art model-based simulations on energy-environment-economy to formulate policies and inform decisions for a broad range of public and private organizations.

The focus of this research will be on the decision and policy questions associated with both national and international efforts to undertake deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in a changing and evolving world. Providing billions of people with reliable energy while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions and responding to a changing climate is one of the most important challenges for current and future generations. Examples of research areas and questions the successful candidate might pursue include the following:

What technologies will be most important for achieving near-, mid- and long-term greenhouse gas emissions reductions? How will recent development (e.g., advances in renewable energy, the shale gas revolution, ratification of the Paris Agreement) influence approaches to climate mitigation?

How effective will current national commitments be at limiting warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius? How might these commitments be strengthened or extended?

How will climate mitigation interact with efforts to meet long-term sustainable development goals? What are the tradeoffs between a low-carbon energy system, particularly biofuels, and production of agricultural crops or the protection of unmanaged lands? How would water requirements for low-carbon technologies shape future energy technology deployment required to reduce emissions?

As the climate evolves, how will efforts to reduce emissions interact with efforts to adapt to a changing climate? 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 use and development of PNNL/JGCRI’s Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM), and other modeling tools used at JGCRI. GCAM is an open source and community-based integrated assessment 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 central role in cutting edge interdisciplinary research in close collaboration with senior researchers at JGCRI as well as collaborators in academia and other research organizations, and publish 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 research on energy, economic, agricultural and natural ecosystems, 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 PhD within the past five years (60 months) or within the next 8 months from an accredited college or university.


Preferred Qualifications

The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. degree in engineering, economics, operations research, management science, computer science, public policy, or related field. GPA of 3.5 is preferred. Background in quantitative, computational, or 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 and/or energy, and some programming experience is a strong 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 and a list of references 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: 2016-11-11

Closing Date: 2016-12-16