Research Scientist in Ocean Color Atmospheric Correction and Machine Learning

The Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research II (GESTAR II) consortium at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is seeking applications for a research scientist position in the field of bio-optical oceanography, atmospheric radiative transfer, physical science, computer science, engineering, mathematics, or related disciplines.

The successful candidate will join the Ocean Ecology Laboratory (Code 616) at GSFC ( and support the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission ( The PACE mission is a NASA Earth-observing satellite mission designed to advance global remote sensing of ocean biology and biogeochemistry (ocean color), as well as aerosol and cloud optical properties.

The research scientist will collaborate closely with the PACE Project Science, PACE Science Data Segment (SDS), and Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG) within 616 to enhance PACE atmospheric correction capabilities using radiometry and polarimetry data from the three PACE instruments. The candidate will develop and implement physics-based radiative transfer simulations and machine learning algorithms to improve ocean color retrievals when combining PACE radiometry with multiangular polarimetry. Additionally, the scientist will work on improving ocean color from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) by leveraging aerosol information inferred from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR). The work will also involve developing Bayesian inference techniques, uncertainty quantification, and validation in an operational processing environment to process large-scale satellite data.

The ideal candidate will have experience in machine learning/artificial intelligence, scientific programming (Python, C/C++, Fortran, or equivalent), radiative transfer and remote sensing, and familiarity with software development tools and version control (such as Git). Strong communication and collaboration skills are essential for interacting with team members and stakeholders to implement practical solutions at scale.

Required Qualifications:

  • Degree in Physical Science, Computer Science, Engineering, Statistics, Mathematics, or related field
  • Minimum of 4 years of relevant experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Experience with scientific programming in Python, C/C++, Fortran, or equivalent
  • Experience with machine learning/artificial intelligence
  • Experience with radiative transfer and remote sensing
  • Familiarity with software development tools and version control, such as Git
  • Ability to work with big data

The successful candidate will join the GESTAR II Consortium which supports over 120 researchers based primarily at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). GESTAR II researchers work to create extensive opportunities for breakthroughs in earth and atmospheric science research, carrying out observational, experimental and theoretical research in support of NASA strategic Earth Science mission objectives.

Goddard’s Earth Science Division is home to about 200 civil servants and over 1200 collaborating researchers and support personnel, dedicated to studying the Earth as an integrated system that includes the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere, cryosphere, and geosphere. The Division operates as a component of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate that collaborate on interdisciplinary research with the Astrophysics Science, Heliophysics Science, and Solar System Exploration Divisions.

The anticipated starting date is in the summer, but alternate dates are possible depending on availability. 

Candidates should provide a cover letter, CV (including publication list) and a 1-2 page statement of research interests. Short-listed candidates will be asked to supply three letters of reference at a later date. All materials and inquiries should be sent by email to: Halley Thompson ( with the Subject line: “Task 174: Researcher Position” 

Completed applications received by June 23, 2023 will receive full consideration, however the posting will remain open until the position is filled.

Salary and benefits are competitive, commensurate with experience and qualifications. The GESTAR II consortium and NASA GSFC are committed to building a diverse research community and encourage applications from women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans. All GESTAR II institutions are Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employers.