Postdoctoral Climate Science Fellow – Environmental Defense Fund

The Climate Science Team at the Environmental Defense Fund is seeking a recent Ph.D. recipient to work collaboratively with other EDF scientists in advancing policy relevant climate science in support of EDF-wide programmatic activities. This position is available now. Apply here>>>

The postdoc will report to the Senior Climate Scientist, and will focus on research related to extreme weather impacts of climate pollutant emissions and their mitigation, such as how different greenhouse gases contribute to the frequency and intensity of events such as heat waves and drought. The postdoc will also explore the sensitivity of various climate change-induced societal damages (e.g. coastal property flooding, crop losses, adverse health effects) to the rate of global warming. Particular consideration will be given to applicants with expertise in climate modeling, extreme weather events, or damage functions, and an interest in operating at the intersection of science and policy. This is a two year fellowship contingent on satisfactory progress toward agreed-upon annual objectives.

Key Responsibilities

Tasks will include but are not limited to:

  • Conduct research leading to improved understanding of the climate impacts of different types of climate pollutants and their mitigation, such as methane, with a specific focus on extreme weather events, and using a variety of modeling and statistical tools.
  • Conduct research on the role of the rate of warming in driving particular climate damages to society and ecosystems, using climate and economics models.
  • Collaborate with scientists at academic and research institutions.
  • Publish research findings in the peer-reviewed literature and work with EDF communications team to disseminate results and EDF policy experts to insert gained knowledge into policy conversations.
  • Perform modeling and analytical assessments related to climate science as needed.
  • Support EDF’s advocacy by helping prepare outreach materials to policy makers, other stakeholders, and the interested public.
  • Become familiar with and keep up-to-date on the relevant scientific and/or policy literature and to synthesize and disseminate that information for EDF scientists, economists, lawyers and policy specialists. 
  • Participate in writing reports/fact sheets/blog posts for general audiences on the topic of focus.
  • Serve as an EDF science representative to ensure EDF’s policy decisions, legal positions, and communications are based on the best available science.
  • Ensure accuracy of EDF climate science-related communication materials.
  • Use independent judgment and scientific expertise to plan and prioritize a balanced workload and set day-to-day priorities for meeting project goals and deadlines.
  • Participate in scientific conferences, working groups, and career development trainings.
  • Participate in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.


  • Ph.D in physical climate science-related field such as atmospheric or oceanic sciences.
  • Experience with extreme weather research, damage functions, climate models, economics, and/or statistics preferred.
  • Experience in science communication and/or science policy.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Proven ability to conduct cutting-edge research.
  • Ability to convey scientific concepts to non-scientists.
  • Ability to deploy a diversity of analytical approaches, theoretical and/or empirical studies to back-of-the-envelope analyses.
  • Interest in relating scientific research to real-world policy and in bridging the worlds of advocacy and academia.
  • Familiarity with the empirical and theoretical literature on climate science, in particular climate change mitigation and decarbonization strategies.
  • Excellent problem solving and multi-tasking skills.
  • Willingness to travel.
  • Passion for environmental protection.
  • Must be well organized, motivated, and detail-oriented.
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work in a team setting and have the ability to work independently when projects are due.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Demonstrate initiative and problem solving skills.


Multiple Locations (e.g., Washington, DC; Austin, TX; San Francisco, CA; New York, NY)


2 years

Application Materials

Interested applicants should attach their cover letter and resume to the EDF application.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant’s qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

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