Climate Scientist – Union of Concerned Scientists

Climate Scientist
Climate & Energy Program
Washington, DC Office

The Position

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent national nonprofit whose scientists and engineers work to solve some of our planet’s most pressing environmental and safety problems. UCS combines technical analysis and effective organizing and advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for stemming the tide of global warming, sustainable food policy and agriculture, energy and transportation, fighting misinformation and reducing the threat of catastrophic nuclear war.

Help lead UCS’s efforts to communicate and defend climate science, and design, contribute to and carry out climate change analyses. Provide the US public, policymakers and campaign-specific stakeholders with robust, timely, accessible and policy-relevant information on climate science and the social and environmental impacts of climate change. Provide expert technical and analytical advice to UCS campaigns. Carry out related analysis, outreach, advocacy and media activities. Provide project management, coordination of research collaborations and consultant supervision as needed.


  • Climate Analysis:
    • Scope, develop, research and write analytical products including reports, case studies and web-based materials; Explain and interpret findings relevant to UCS priorities on climate science, preparedness and accountability.
    • Work with other UCS staff to develop and implement the media, legislative, corporate engagement and outreach aspects of high priority projects or products.
    • Serve as advisor and climate science resource on research, web, or outreach projects led by other project leaders.
    • Manage analytical projects and multi-partner collaborations
  • Climate Science Communications:
    • Ensure that the public, policymakers, business leaders and the media are kept informed of the most up-to-date and robust policy-relevant climate science, and that it is communicated in a clear and accessible way.
    • Act as a climate science spokesperson for UCS and prepare responses for media requests; Write and review blogs for The Equation.
  • Climate Science Defense and Advocacy:
    • Help lead UCS efforts to defend federal climate programs, databases and budgets, including identifying projects and programs under threat, for example at NOAA, NASA, and the Departments of
  • Energy, Interior and State
    • Assist in researching, reviewing, writing or helping facilitate accurate science content of op-eds, letters to the editor, expert testimony, congressional briefing materials, draft legislation, and analyses of corporate positions and plans.
    • Participate in direct advocacy with congress and the administration and assist in engaging outside experts and scientists in support of UCS’s campaign goals.
  • Climate Materials:
    • Research, review, and help develop science briefs, web pages, PowerPoint presentations, infographics, fact sheets, reports and peer-reviewed publications.
  • Expert Engagement:
    • Maintain close working relationships with academic colleagues, including through scientific conferences and policy-relevant research collaborations.

Qualifications and experience

Position requires a broad, in-depth and up-to-date knowledge and understanding of climate science, including familiarity with the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), as well as an understanding of the public policy aspects of climate science, preparedness and accountability. Must have knowledge and experience of the role of climate science, technical analyses and advocacy in informing public opinion and policy debates.

The post requires a PhD in a climate science field and three to five years of relevant and comparable work experience. Strong project management skills and experience is highly desirable. Extensive experience in communicating science effectively to a wide variety of audiences, including the traditional media and social media, is highly desirable, as is knowledge of and experience in federal climate programs. Strong communication, public-speaking, relationship-building and teamwork skills are essential. Must be an excellent writer who is able to quickly synthesize complex scientific information and write for a variety of audiences, often to tight deadlines. Current research collaborations and other successful expert engagement within the scientific community are important.

At UCS, comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.

Little or no exertion; may require extended periods at a computer. Periodic travel (about 10-20% of time) to events, conferences, speaking engagements, and other UCS offices will be required.

UCS is an equal opportunity employer continually seeking to diversify its staff. In particular, we’re dedicated to broadening opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy. We’re also committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We’ve adopted this commitment because we believe the inclusion of culturally diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities. We are actively seeking people who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in this work.

Compensation, Hours and Location: This is a full-time position based in UCS’s Washington, D.C. office. For those who meet all position requirements, the salary is around $79,000. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment.

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter, resume, salary requirements, how you learned about the position via email to and include “Climate Scientist” in the subject line. Email materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls please. Deadline: April 2, 2017 or until filled.

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