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NASA PACE Project Applications Deputy Coordinator
Reference #:21-3073
Open Date:4/2/2021
Location:Greenbelt, MD
US Citizenship Required:No
Job Description:

Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI)  is seeking a Project Applications Deputy Coordinator to work closely with the PACE Project Applications Coordinator in support of NASA's PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem) mission (  It is the responsibility of the PACE Project Applications Deputy Coordinator to support and assist the PACE Project Applications Coordinator to implement the NASA PACE Applications Program and serve as a liaison for the PACE Project, NASA’s PACE Science and Applications Team, and the PACE Early Adopter Team to integrate and bridge the gap between the PACE mission’s scientific program and applied science applications for societal benefit. The ideal candidate has expertise in atmospheric science and familiarity with aerosol and cloud remote sensing data products.

PACE Project Applications engages stakeholders and user communities to apply PACE data to practical societal needs. The goal of the PACE Applications Program is to foster new partnerships and out-of-the-box thinking that will generate innovative solutions that aid society. These efforts support the NASA Applied Sciences Program.

The PACE mission payload consists of three instruments. The primary instrument is the Ocean Color Instrument (OCI), which consists of two spectrometers that continuously span the ultraviolet to orange and orange to near- infrared spectral regions, with an additional seven discrete shortwave infrared bands. PACE will incorporate two small multi-angle polarimeters each with spectral ranges that span the visible to near-infrared region. Thus, the mission will be capable of performing radiometric and polarimetric ocean and atmosphere surveys, returning a range of biogeophysical data from which properties of the ocean and atmosphere can be produced to add to other critical climate and Earth system variables. With advanced global remote sensing capabilities, PACE will provide high quality observations that contribute to an extended time series of satellite data records on ocean ecosystems, including coastal and inland waters, and atmospheric properties of aerosols and clouds—all of which have substantial value beyond basic science and research. Global measurements from PACE will be essential for understanding ocean biology, biogeochemistry, and ecology, cloud and aerosol dynamics, and can potentially support terrestrial biogeochemistry and ecology. These measurements will enable advanced understanding of delicate ocean ecosystems, understanding of vulnerable coastal regions, quantification of the atmosphere-ocean carbon cycling, unparalleled characterization of ecosystem change and function, improved characterization of clouds, aerosol properties, air and water quality, and cross-disciplinary studies of atmospheric, terrestrial, and aquatic processes and interactions.

Duties of the PACE Project Deputy Applications Coordinator:

  • Collaborate with the PACE Project Applications Coordinator.
  • Be responsible for the organization and execution of all PACE project applications strategies and activities, as described in the PACE Applications Plan, in support of and in coordination with the PACE Applications Coordinator and Project and Deputy Project Scientists.
  • Manage and coordinate the PACE Early Adopters Program to build partnerships and identify key stakeholders whose decisions could benefit from the use of PACE data and whose applied research would benefit from pre-launch involvement in the PACE mission.
  • Work with the PACE Applications Team to conduct periodic assessments of the PACE community of practice, and quantitative assessments of the socioeconomic value of PACE data products.
  • Contribute to communication strategies to reach out to new PACE data user communities; this will include organization of workshops and webinars to inform and build user communities, articulate key applications benefits, support applications readiness, and solicit and receive feedback.
  • Organize meetings and events, including workshops, focus sessions, and tutorials, and write event reports and publications to foster comprehension of the PACE applications objectives.
  • Manage and coordinate PACE applications case studies.
  • Develop material to interface with the public and other stakeholders on project applications, and provide sustained outreach to the PACE applications community.
  • Support the PACE Project and Deputy Project Scientists to plan tasks for NASA personnel and external partners in work related to PACE application areas, which include water quality, harmful algal blooms, air quality, ecological forecasting of ocean ecosystems, human health, and disasters.
  • Provide feedback to the PACE Project on factors that might impact the value of PACE data for applications purposes.

The position will involve engagement and partnership-building with stakeholders and decision-makers from a variety of government agencies, research institutions, and other organizations who are interested in the use of Earth observations to support air and water quality, disasters, human health, food security, ecological forecasting, and climate system applied research. Responsibilities also include coordinating, managing, and writing collaborative authorship publications for the popular press and peer-reviewed journals, and presentations at scientific and industry conferences and workshops.

Required Qualifications:
  • MS degree in a scientific discipline related to atmospheric sciences, remote sensing of aerosol properties, or similar.
  • Demonstrated experience in facilitating discussion, engaging user communities, and enhancing mutual understanding and partnerships among scientists, data users, policy makers, and the public, as well as other stakeholders.
  • Experience in planning, organizing, and leading virtual and in-person events including conferences, focus sessions, and workshops.
Desired Qualifications:
  • Expertise and experience across a number of scientific disciplines related to PACE application areas is preferred, including cloud dynamics, climate change, aquatic biogeochemistry, and terrestrial ecology.
  • Expertise and experience across a number of NASA Applied Sciences areas including health and air quality, water resources, ecological forecasting, food security and agriculture, as well as disasters.
  • Expertise and experience with user-centered design thinking, research to operation/knowledge frameworks, and co-production of scientific knowledge.
  • Willingness to stay abreast of advances in a range of disciplines.
  • Experience working with NASA remote sensing satellite data products.