Research Space Scientist - AST, Planetary Studies

Greenbelt, Maryland
GS13, GS14, GS15
Oct 10, 2018
Nov 08, 2018
GS19D0003; GS19D0005
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The Science & Exploration Directorate, Solar System Exploration Division, Planetary Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Laboratory (Code 698) is seeking a scientist to conduct research into the dynamics of Ocean Worlds and Icy Worlds in our and other solar systems. 

The applicant will formulate research plans and hypotheses and develop a novel or complex research approaches for studies of long-term equilibrium dynamics for tidally active ocean worlds (Enceladus, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, and Titan) as well as potential ocean worlds (e.g., Triton, Pluto, Ceres), developing implications for habitable environments on these planets. The applicant would also perform a comparative planetology approach to link ocean world research to broader research on other bodies such as the Moon, Io, exoplanets, and Early Earth.

The research will involve studying the origin, composition, structure, and evolution of the bodies of the solar system such as the planets and their satellites, asteroids, meteorites, and comets and comparisons to relevant terrestrial analogs where appropriate.  Duties may also include playing a leading role in mission development for future planetary exploration.

The applicant will plan research that represents a systematic attack on problems recognized as difficult and unyielding to investigation and will independently conceive and propose for research support to address problems of broad scope and complexity requiring subdivision into separate phases; analyses data and interprets results.  The science research results will be shared through publication in requirements documents, or professional papers, invited talks and seminars, and presentations at scientific conferences. 

The applicant is expected to serve as support for the development of approaches for conducting investigations of ocean worlds and planetary bodies where geophysical processes can be linked to ocean worlds.  Provides significant contributions for current and future mission development, operations, and subsequent data analysis.

For additional information please contact:  Dr. Terry Hurford at