Science Systems and Applications, Inc. - Science and Technology with Passion


SSAI is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. EEO/AA-Minorities/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

Earth Science Communicator at NASA
Reference #:21-3194
Open Date:7/20/2021
Location:Greenbelt, MD
US Citizenship Required:Yes
Job Description:

Do you have a passion for visual communication and data-driven journalism? Do you relish learning about Earth and environmental science and sharing with others? Do you have experience identifying science and engineering stories and translating them into polished content for non-scientists?

Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI) is now hiring a digital journalist for NASA’s Earth Observatory Group ( Founded in 1999, the NASA Earth Observatory website publishes daily imagery and research news highlighting Earth science and climate change.

Responsibilities include:

  • Discovering, reporting, and telling stories based on satellite imagery, natural events, research results, scientific meetings, and lectures;
  • Interpreting remote-sensing imagery (through reporting and experience) and producing detailed, accurate explanations of what it shows;
  • Collaborating with data visualizers, writers, editors, and scientists to develop imagery, animations, videos, social media campaigns, and interactive features;
  • Building and maintaining a network of subject matter experts within and outside of NASA.

Writing and producing for a science institution requires initiative, persistence, and diplomacy. As a translator between scientists and engineers and the public, you need patience, an ability to accept constructive criticism, and a healthy self-confidence in your craft. The Earth Observatory is a high-visibility website, and millions of readers trust the depth and quality of our visual-driven narratives. This demands acute attention to detail and accuracy.

** Applicants will be expected to provide three samples of your writing/content creation, preferably about Earth or environmental science. One of those samples should be unedited (e.g., a manuscript before it was edited by your publication). **

The successful candidate must be a U.S. Citizen. The position is full-time and will initially require remote work but will transition to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland once it reopens for onsite work. Telecommuting may be possible for an extraordinary candidate.

Required Qualifications:
  • Master’s degree, or bachelor’s degree with an additional 2+ years of significant work experience in journalism, science communications, or visual production;
  • 3+ years developing science content for the science literate or lay public (5+ years with a bachelor's degree);
  • Proven ability to work under weekly and/or daily deadlines;
  • Ability to learn and interpret complex Earth science;
  • Ability to work well within a distributed team;
  • Technical proficiency with relevant content development software (e.g., MS Office, Photoshop, After Effects, etc.);
Desired Qualifications:
  • Education or experience in Earth or physical sciences;
  • Experience or coursework in data journalism;
  • Experience in social media content development;
  • Experience in data visualization or infographic development;
  • Experience or coursework in video production;
  • Experience with content, line, and copy editing.