Scientific Research Assistant-Physical Climate Risk

Falmouth, Massachusetts (US)
Apr 19, 2021
May 19, 2021
Career Level
Education Level
Relocation Cost
No Relocation

Scientific Research Assistant-Physical Climate Risk
Falmouth, Massachusetts or Remote

SUMMARY: Woodwell Climate Research Center (Woodwell) is a leading independent climate research institute, with a mission to advance science-based climate policies through scientific research and outreach. The keys to Woodwell’s success are the quality of its research and the ability to deliver that science to policymakers and decision makers.

Woodwell seeks to a hire a scientific research assistant to join our climate risk group. Your role will be in support of ongoing efforts to understand the nature and extent of near-term physical risk to ecosystems, economies, societies, and associated social justice impacts. You will work with a range of external partners; from municipalities to businesses, asset management companies, environmental nongovernmental organizations and national security think tanks. Successful candidates will have experience using global/regional climate model simulations and Earth observations to quantify physical risk across a suite of climate perils: from flooding to famines, hurricanes to heat stress, and sea level rise to severe wildfire risk. This position requires familiarity in working with geospatial data, “big data” analytics and advanced programming skills—with emphasis on familiarity with Linux and cloud-based computing using Google Cloud Platform and Google Earth Engine.


  • Process and analyze multi-temporal geospatial data, primarily climate model output and climate observations.
  • Develop metrics of climate stress to inform physical risk and downstream consequences on human systems.
  • Harmonize global climate model output with observational databases.
  • Consider societal impact of climate change, including environmental and climate justice inequities.
  • Develop current and future maps of various climate risk indices.
  • Work in a highly collaborative, fast-paced, cross-disciplinary environment to analyze, synthesize, and present results.

Desired Qualifications and Experience:

  • M.S. (preferred) or B.S. (with commensurate experience) degree in physical or environmental science, geography, mathematics or a science-related discipline, with demonstrated strong data analysis skills.
  • Experience managing large (terabyte scale) data volumes for analysis and visualization in a Linux environment and/or Google Earth Engine and/or other cloud-based platform.
  • Ability to develop programming code (e.g., R, Python, and/or Matlab) and to learn new skills as needed.
  • Knowledge and interest in global climate change and climate social justice research.
  • Ability to assess and implement appropriate computational needs
  • Excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills.
  • Ability to work independently and in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Experience using a hydrodynamic or flood risk model (ideally LISFLOOD) is preferred.

Application Deadline: May 7, 2021.

Desired Start Date: As soon as possible.  

Fixed-term: This is a one-year fixed-term position. The position is funded for 3 years, renewal beyond fixed-term is contingent upon satisfactory job performance.

Classification and Compensation: This is a full-time, salaried, exempt position, the salary range is competitive. Woodwell offers a generous benefits package.

Location: Falmouth, Massachusetts or remote.

Application Instructions: To apply, please email your cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references in one PDF to  Please type CSRA21-2 in the subject line.

Located on a 10-acre campus near the village of Woods Hole, the Woodwell Climate Research Center (Woodwell) is a private, non-profit research center. Woodwell is a leading source of climate science that drives the urgent action needed to solve climate change. Woodwell has 60+ staff members, and attracts some of today’s top experts on global climate change science.

Woodwell is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, mental, or physical disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, familial status, veteran status, or genetic information. Woodwell is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for all individuals in employment practices, services, programs, and activities.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Woodwell


Climate change is the greatest challenge of our lifetimes. Woodwell Climate Research Center (Woodwell) understands that the climate crisis—from causes to consequences—is inextricably linked with persistent social injustice. Effectively addressing either requires addressing both. The climate crisis demands that we bring to bear all of the knowledge, expertise, innovation, and creativity that we can collectively muster, and those who have been marginalized and disproportionately impacted must be heard.

The work Woodwell does—the questions we ask, the ways we seek answers, and the strategies we put forward—is stronger when shaped by a diversity of knowledge, perspectives, and experiences. We strive to welcome, respect, and amplify differing voices. We value individuals as they are, with all their differences in race, age, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, language, and mental and physical abilities.

Woodwell acknowledges that our organization, and the scientific community more broadly, have a long way to go in living up to these ideals. We approach the work of improving our organization with the same ambition and commitment to systemic change that we bring to addressing climate change.

We will inevitably make mistakes, but we will continue to listen, learn, and do this critical work. We understand that this work requires an ongoing commitment from each and every one of us. We are actively engaged in building and sustaining an equitable and inclusive culture within our organization, and in fostering greater diversity in climate science.