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Bayi Glacier in Qilian Mountain, China (Credit: Xiaoming Wang, distributed via

Job advertisement Research Scientist for Wildland Fire Science and Applications

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European Geosciences Union

Research Scientist for Wildland Fire Science and Applications

Research Scientist for Wildland Fire Science and Applications

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Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a division of the California Institute of Technology, and a leading research and development center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). JPL has a wide-ranging charter for robotic space exploration, Earth observation, astrophysical research, and technology development. JPL also manages and operates NASA’s Deep Space Network, a worldwide system of antennas that communicate with spacecraft and conduct radar and radio astronomy studies. JPL is based in Pasadena, CA, and employs approximately 6,000 Scientists, Engineers, and support personnel.


Pasadena, United States of America


Relevant divisions
Climate: Past, Present & Future (CL)
Geomorphology (GM)
Natural Hazards (NH)

Full time


Competitive salary and generous benefits package

Required education

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

30 November 2022

Job description

What are the conditions leading to megafires? How can we quantify the impact from wildland fires to ecosystems and air quality? What is the likelihood for major impacts from wildland fires and prescribed burns on multiple spatiotemporal scales? What measurements and models can improve the predictability of wildland fire risks? How can decision makers for wildland and fire management be provided with the right data at the right time in the right format? How can we use satellites to better understand how wildfires are affecting climate and vice-versa? What satellite and/or suborbital remote sensing data are most useful for pre- and post-fire needs by end-users? These are the questions our society needs answers for. This can be your mission— your opportunity—to enable the community to answering these questions! If you’re driven to discover new insights in how the Earth works as system, apply and invent new tools and methods to advance science and its usage to benefit society, and inspire future generations of scientists and leaders, you’re ready for JPL!

We offer a work environment unlike any other: we resolve challenges on national and international levels, address global problems such as climate change, inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.

You can learn more about Earth Science programs at JPL at the following sites:, and

In this role, you will work as a full-time scientist in a dynamic team environment responsible for developing and leading a unique portfolio of scientific research and applied sciences activities, while collaborating with the existing expertise at JPL including its Earth Science Section. You will contribute to maximizing the science return of current and future NASA missions, such as NISAR, SBG, and AOS as well as shaping the next generation of airborne and satellite measurements transforming the way we monitor and learn about wildland fires. Furthermore, you will become an active contributor to NASAs Wildland Fire Sense program. You will be expected to seek funding through competed solicitations, publish journal articles, broadly communicate the results of your research, and mentor junior researchers, postdoctoral scholars and/or students.

The following qualifications are required:

  • PhD in earth science or a related technical subject area with at least 5 years of postdegree experience.
  • Demonstrated record of peer-reviewed publications related to wildfire science and/or applications connected to remote sensing data.
  • Excellent oral (including public speaking) and written communication skills.
  • Experience building and/or working in collaborative, diverse and inclusive team environments
  • Strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated through mentorship, listening and effective communication
  • Advanced knowledge of methodologies used for enhancing science and its applications in fire-related remote sensing, including but not limited to modeling approaches, laboratory techniques, observational techniques (in situ and remote), and their combination in the form of scientific analyses, data assimilation, machine learning, etc.
  • Experience with use of remote sensing for fire-prediction and/or fire damage assessment

The following qualifications are preferred:

  • Experience (or strong interest) in writing proposals for research solicitations in Earth Science
  • Strong interest in the justification, formulation, and implementation of new airborne and/or satellite missions * Leadership experience (or potential) related to the execution of a research program, the coordination of a research team, or the organization of community efforts
  • Ability to articulate a vision for wildfire science and applications through remote sensing and its applications and communicate it to an audience of non-experts

Complete applications will include a cover letter describing the applicant’s vision for their role at JPL in the field of Earth Science with a focus on wild land fire science and impacts, a curriculum vita including a bibliography of refereed and other work, a statement on research experience and research objectives, and contact information for at least three professional references. Please combine all documents into one PDF.

Review of applications will begin December 2022 and will continue until the position is filled.

To view the full description of this unique opportunity and apply, please visit: