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NEON Chief Scientist and Observatory Director

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This position located in Boulder, CO.

Battelle is guided by a founding mission. We invest our knowledge, talents and resources, helping our customers achieve their most important goals. We apply scientific rigor and creativity, succeeding where others may fail, and we invest in our communities, making the world better for generations to come. All of us share a common purpose: to solve the greatest challenges of today and tomorrow.

Our 22,000 employees work at the forefront of scientific innovation to tackle critical challenges in security, human health, manufacturing, energy and environmental management. Battelle’s work is grounded in the belief that science, technology and a passion for excellence can make industries more competitive and the world a better place.


The Chief Scientist/ Observatory Director role for the National Ecological Observatory Network will serve as the top-level scientific authority and is responsible for the advocacy of transformative research using the continental scale ecological Observatory. This position will lead the program through close coordination with the ecological science community and ensure that the Observatory fulfills its scientific and educational mission. The NEON Chief Scientist/ Observatory Director leads a multi-disciplinary scientific and technical staff to provide highly reliable data, infrastructure, and scientific resources to various stakeholders. In addition, this position will build impactful external activities with collaborators nationally and internationally.


  • Position NEON as a leader among ecological observing systems
  • Serve as a member of the Battelle - NEON leadership to advocate, support, and ensure the scientific objectives of the Observatory are met
  • Uphold the science requirements for the NEON Observatory, an activity that includes the scientific development and management to preserve integrity of science requirements, designs, protocols, and algorithms
  • Represent Battelle - NEON to Federal Agencies, Congress, the Executive Branch, and other key external stakeholders in order to communicate effectively regarding the Program.
  • Advise and work directly with Battelle Senior Management and the NEON Program Manager to lead and enable the science functions of the Observatory
  • Oversee, advise, and lead the science activities and staff that are needed for Battelle - NEON to fulfill its scientific mission of providing high-quality data to the research community
  • Develop a strategy for periodic science validation activities to ensure that NEON achieves its science goals and remains relevant over the course of the Program
  • Ensure the mentoring of the scientific staff with their professional development, build the professional culture within NEON, and establish a high professional standard of performance, ethics, integrity and behavior in the conduct of the Program
  • Ensure close engagement with the ecological science community and work with that community to assess the long-term direction and strategic plan for NEON and lead periodic Program performance reviews to guide operations.


  • Ph.D. with at least 8 years of expertise and established record of outstanding scholarly achievement in ecology, environmental science, or related disciplines advancing ecological thought and managing ecological science.
  • Known and respected as a thought-leader with broad, deep, and transformative understanding of the ecological sub-disciplines and complex Earth-system science that span the breadth of the NEON program.
  • Demonstrated experience with NSF proposal writing and award management.
  • Demonstrated experience using a combination of analytical, experimental, and theoretical approaches to solve problems in the sub-disciplines of the NEON program.
  • Demonstrated experience with networked science and managing science both internal to the organization and collaboratively with large external stakeholder communities, as well as working experience with Federal Agencies and their funding and reporting processes.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and execute effective strategies to advance programmatic and scientific goals, project management, budget design and management, and personnel management.
  • Outstanding leadership and interpersonal skills with a management style that encourages open expressions of ideas and opinions. Demonstrated ability to work in and foster a collaborative work environment. Must build consensus, move projects forward, and compromise wisely, oftentimes under deadline pressure. Ability to “lead from the middle,” building coalitions to create progress.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and collaboratively with individuals from a wide range of professional backgrounds and career stages, and demonstrated mentoring ability. Ability to bridge competing views and work across diverse cultures,
  • Strong personal integrity and work ethic, superior judgment, emotional intelligence, the ability to maintain confidentiality, and the ability to show sound judgment and independent initiative.
  • Demonstrated ability to capture external funding and an active publication record.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills that reflect an ability to clarify and simplify complicated issues and technical subject matter, with a versatility in tone and technique, depending on the author and/or audience, combined with a demonstrated ability to collaborate with leading research institutions and key funding organizations.


The above statements are intended to describe the nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, activities and skills required of staff members. No statement herein is intended to imply any authorities to commit Battelle unless special written permission is granted by Battelle’s Legal Department.


Battelle’s competitive benefits program includes comprehensive medical and dental care, matching 401K, paid time off, flexible spending accounts, disability coverage, and other benefits that help provide financial protection for you and your family.

Battelle provides employment and opportunities for advancement, compensation, training, and growth according to individual merit, without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, genetic information, disability, veteran-status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable Federal, state, or local law. Our goal is for each staff member to have the opportunity to grow to the limits of their abilities and to achieve personal and organizational objectives. We will support positive programs for equal treatment of all staff and full utilization of all qualified employees at all levels within Battelle.

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