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Software Developer

Drexel University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Closing date
Oct 15, 2021

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Job Details

Title:  Software Developer

Location: The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA 19103

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is seeking an Environmental Software Developer for the Environmental Data Science (EDS) Section. 

About Drexel 

Drexel is one of Philadelphia's top 10 private employers, a comprehensive global research university and a major engine for economic development in the region. With over 24,000 students, Drexel is one of America's 15 largest private universities. Drexel has committed to being the nation’s most civically engaged university, with community partnerships integrated into every aspect of service and academics.

Drexel University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and believes that an inclusive and respectful environment enriches the University community and the educational and employment experience of its members. The University prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, status as a veteran or special disabled veteran, gender identity or expression, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions and any other prohibited characteristic.

About the Academy

The Academy of Natural Sciences was founded in 1812 for "the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences".  Since then, it has sponsored global expeditions, conducted pioneering environmental and systematics research, and amassed remarkable collections containing more than 18 million specimens from around the world and a peerless library and archive. Since 2011 its academic enterprise has been further strengthened through its affiliation with nearby Drexel University – a leading private non-profit research institution that focusses on innovation and entrepreneurship and provides a unique cooperative education program for its undergraduate and graduate degree students. 

Today the Academy is one of the most important natural science institutions in the world. However, the world is changing fast and the Academy – directed by its Strategic Plan 2019-24 - is changing with it.  Over the next five years the Academy will become a “force for nature” and advance its mission: “to understand the natural world and inspire everyone to care for it”. In so doing the Academy will build on its fundamental belief that diversity and inclusion generates better ideas, inspires creativity, and is essential to building a positive workplace so that in time it can become an institution that is of, by and for all Philadelphians.

Job Summary 

One of the core focal areas in carrying out the mission of the Patrick Center for Environmental Research Environmental Data Science (EDS) Section is providing software development capacity to those working to improve water quality and our natural world.  Our team’s goal is to build products that empower our conservation partners and enable them to be more effective at their mission focused work.  Software Developers filling this position are a vital part of helping the EDS actualize its vision and mission.  The prospective developer must be focused on creating software products that are truly innovative in the environmental space, balance user specified requirements with organizational mission, and ensure products are deployed as a means to improve our natural world. 

Essential Functions 

  • Leadership & Management:
    • Ensure ongoing excellence of product and service delivery.
    • Actively engage and energize project stakeholders in integration of EDS’ core products into our partners’ programmatic work.
    • Lead, manage, and collaborate openly with other developers of varying skillsets on EDS team and within our network of project partners.
    • Ensure product development meets the overlapping needs of EDS partners and stakeholders.
  • Project Management:
    • Successfully create project briefs and project plans.
    • Within budget and timing constraints, accurately forecast estimate project milestone and completion dates.
    • Manage client scope and expectations.
    • Conduct weekly status updates on progress toward project deliverables.
  • Design:
    • Create accurate and detailed user flow charts that capture and outline how individuals will leverage new and existing products and features.
    • Create low and high-fidelity UI/UX specifications that reflect fulfilment of the product requirements.
    • Collaborate with designers within the EDS network to ensure development specifications fulfill user need.
  • Product Development:
    • Expand revenue generating product lines for EDS that help fulfill common software needs among local, state, and federal government as well as non-governmental agencies.
    • Manage and enhance current product roadmaps for EDS.
    • Lead the ongoing design and development of functionality enhancements as they relate to the EDS product roadmaps.
    • Maintain all server and repositories as well as conduct systematic updates as required to ensure all EDS products/services are available to their respective users.
    • Design and deploy software iteratively in web and mobile environments.
    • Conduct research on new and trending approaches and code libraries that can be used opportunistically to improve EDS suite of services and products.
    • Maintain and expand the organization’s inventory of mission focused products to generate revenue that supports operations and development.

Required Qualifications 

  • A minimum of 2-3 years of experience in a similar role
  • Strong drive to build outcome-oriented software that improves the environment
  • Exemplary knowledge and desire to understand policy issues facing water quality and the environment
  • Effective communicator
  • Approaches problem solving in an open and collaborative way
  • Willingness and ability to manage and communicate effectively with EDS development team
  • Deep understanding of applying software development in the environmental space
  • Effective manager possessing the ability to keep projects on track and mitigate scope creep.

Preferred Qualifications 

EDS’ software developer works on a variety of development projects ranging from mission focused product development, data journalism/visualization, as well as research and development.  The following skill sets outline suggested proficiencies:

  • Experience leveraging the following tools (or equivalent) for managing software development projects
    • OmniPlan
    • OmniGraffle
    • Basecamp
    • Github for organizations
  • Experience in web development using the following languages:
    • HTML
    • JavaScript
    • CSS
    • Python
    • Java and/or Swift
  • Experience deploying project using the following or comparable resources/approaches:
    • PostgreSQL
    • Flask Restless or comparable
    • Custom API development
    • AngularJS
    • Jupyter Notebook
  • Experience creating web mapping applications using the following products, services, and frameworks:
    • Docker 
    • QGIS and GDAL
    • Mapbox APIs

Physical Demands 

  • Typically sitting at a desk/table
  • Lifting demands less than or equal to 25lbs 


Center City, Philadelphia, PA

Additional Information 

This position is classified as Exempt with a salary grade of L. For more information regarding Drexel’s Professional Staff salary structure,  

Special Instructions to the Applicant 

All applications must be submitted via DrexelCareers for consideration.  Please apply here:

Please make sure you upload your CV/resume and cover letter when submitting your application. 

Review of applicants will continue until a suitable candidate pool is identified. 


Drexel is a comprehensive global research university ranked among the top 100 in the nation. With approximately 26,000 students, Drexel is one of America's 15 largest private universities. Drexel has built its global reputation on core achievements that include: Leadership in experiential learning through Drexel Co-op. A history of academic technology firsts. Recognition as a model of best practices in translational, use-inspired research. Founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, Drexel now engages with students and communities around the world via: Three Philadelphia campuses and other regional sites. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the nation’s oldest major natural science museum and research organization. International research partnerships including China and Israel. Drexel Online, one of the oldest and most successful providers of online degree programs. Drexel is one of Philadelphia's top private 10 employers, and a major engine for economic development in the region. Drexel has committed to being the nation’s most civically engaged university, with community partnerships integrated into every aspect of service and academics. Drexel’s ongoing strategic plan, "Transforming the Modern Urban University," guides the University's 21st-century trajectory.
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