You are viewing a preview of this job. Log in or register to view more details about this job.

Post Doc Research Associate - Mass Spectrometrist

Job Description


PNNL's Earth System Science Division enables energy independence and national security through leadership in earth systems science, engineering, and decision analytics. Our work focuses on solving complex problems in the dynamic Earth system. Our interdisciplinary scientists steward a breadth of efforts that encompass research on plants to groundwater science and coastal zones, to storm prediction.
Our research focuses on understanding and mitigating operational risks at the interface of human and natural environments. This includes predicting the impacts of natural hazards and extreme climate events on Earth and human systems, along with the impacts of wildfire, flooding, sea level rise and storm surges. We focus on understanding and mitigating environmental contamination and increasing the resiliency, security and sustainability of water resources. We provide geointelligence through advanced sensing and data analytics to forecast complex system behaviors and operational performance to understand human-natural systems. This includes informed decision making and enhanced community resilience, advanced monitoring, and remote sensing of environmental systems for energy and national security. It also includes developing energy systems, including geothermal energy, sustainable oil and gas production, storage and utilization, along with carbon sequestration.
Driven by a “science-to-solutions” philosophy, we provide scientific leadership and technology to enhance national security, mitigate natural hazards and optimize disaster response. In the critical areas of energy, environment, intelligence, and defense, we deliver insights and decision support through the development of tools and solutions.


The Earth Systems Predictability & Resiliency Group is seeking a highly motivated individual with a strong ethic of service to the scientific community and a commitment to both scientific excellence and national impact on critical scientific and technical problems.
This opening is to support the goals of the Environmental Signatures Team, which broadly encompasses tracing natural and anthropogenic processes (including investigations of contaminant fate and transport and migratory behaviors) as well as National Security applications such as nuclear safeguards.
The candidate should have significant, hands-on experience in isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) or gas phase mass spectrometry. This could include work with light stable isotopes (e.g., C, N, O, S, Cl) or noble gasses. Pertinent additional experience would include actinide and/or lanthanide analyses, PGE isotope ratio measurements, measurements of the isotopic variations of the transition elements by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) or multi-collector inductively coupled plasmas mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS). Additional skills that would be of value include clean lab work, design or modifications to mass spectrometers, separations and purification work (ion or solvent exchange, distillation), and development of laser ablation (LA-ICP-MS) or LA-LIBS methods.
The successful candidate will work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and will have access to state-of-the-art research equipment within several laboratories at PNNL, including a suite of seven multicollection mass spectrometers and associated supporting analytical instruments and facilities. Applicants must be willing to learn and employ safe techniques for handling hazardous materials. Candidates must be able to work with colleagues in a dynamic laboratory environment on the implementation of experimental procedures.
The candidate is expected to have a Ph.D. in geochemistry, isotope geology, analytical or nuclear chemistry, or a related field. The incumbent must have experience working in a wet-chemistry laboratory around potentially hazardous acids, bases, and materials. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are also required and must be demonstrated via a strong publication record in peer reviewed journals.


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:
  • Candidate must have the ability to obtain a future security clearance, which requires US citizenship
  • Advanced level of knowledge and direct working experience on isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) or gas phase mass spectrometry including method development.
  • Direct working experience with triple oxygen isotopes and clumped isotope systems.
  • Experience with constructing peripherals, ideally laser fluorination lines.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills as evidenced by scientific publication and conference presentations.
  • The ideal candidate is a well-organized, self-starter, with a high capacity for attention to detail. Time management skills are essential to balance activities among several concurrently operating projects.