Staff Scientist

Website HealthyGulf Healthy Gulf

Work towards advancing climate justice, conserving Gulf resources, holding industry accountable, and protecting clean water.

At a Glance

Position title: Staff Scientist
Reports to: Senior Policy Director
Status: Full-time/Exempt
Location: This is a remote work position. We would prefer the candidate to live in the Greater Houston area. Other regions, such as Coastal TX or Southwest LA may also be considered. Some local and regional travel is required. Our staff meets virtually every week, and quarterly in person. When necessary or beneficial, staff is expected to meet with partners or attend other events in person (COVID permitting). Otherwise, our work is virtual.
Salary and Benefits: $65,000 to $75,000, depending on qualifications and experience. Our generous benefits package, includes medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, short term disability insurance, SIMPLE IRA with 3% match, 12 days of paid sick leave annually, and 3 weeks paid vacation annually.

About the Job

Healthy Gulf is accepting applications for a Staff Scientist, who will work with science, policy, and organizing staff, as well as the public to analyze permits, pollution events, and other issues as we work toward advancing climate justice, conserving Gulf resources, holding industry accountable, and protecting clean water. We are looking for an experienced scientific advocate based in the Greater Houston, Texas area.

The Staff Scientist is responsible for researching and analyzing environmental issues and campaigns that affect the Gulf South, giving priority to issues affecting communities and populations of people that have been the subject of systemic and environmental racism. They review wetland destruction permits (404 Clean Water Act applications) for compliance. They assemble research, collect information on the ecological and social implications of development and industry, and collaborate on expert comment and testimony. They also contribute maps and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) spatial analysis to efforts across the organization. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to centering impacted communities and understand the role of communicating scientific principles and analyses to the public to enact change.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Review and comment on petrochemical projects in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Florida and Alabama, often focusing on coastal Texas and Southwest Louisiana
  • Review Air Monitoring Plans for Particulate Matter and other pollutants
  • Conduct spatial analyses and produce cartographic map products to understand, illustrate and communicate issues in depth
  • Draft and present comments at meetings and hearings advocating for reductions in pollution, coastal wetlands preservation, coastal restoration, climate justice, and a just transition to a clean energy future
  • Outreach to Healthy Gulf members and affected communities to mobilize them to submit comments, attend hearings or meetings, and act as standing witnesses
  • Work with partners to organize trainings, convenings and presentations
  • Utilize the e-action network, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to mobilize our grassroots supporters to take action, coordinated through the Communications Director
  • Support legal partners in building the record for needed permit and policy challenges
  • Work with local partners to identify emerging coastal issues that need to be addressed
  • Collaborate with the CommunityScience Director in order to monitor pollution events, which may include flying in small aircraft
  • Provide strategic advice on the intersection of science and policy to staff and community partners
  • Act as a subject expert with the media, coordinated through the Communications Director
  • Assist Healthy Gulf staff with fundraising efforts including, but limited to grant applications, grant reports, and acting as a Healthy Gulf representative at fundraising events
  • Participate with and contribute to Healthy Gulf’s continuing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice journey

Qualifications & Skills

Highly competitive candidates will have some combination of: ***

  •  At least five years of environmental science/policy related experience. This may include experience in environmental spatial analysis, communicating environmental science to decision-makers and communities, or environmental monitoring. Additional work experience beyond the five years of science-related experience is recommended, and formal or informal education or training focused on policy, environmental monitoring, and/or GIS is a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to review draft environmental policies or permits and communicate issues with these proposals to decision-makers and the public
  • Experience working alongside diverse communities
  • Experience with water, climate, GIS, or air monitoring/science, and familiarity with equity, environmental justice and/or just transition principles
  • Knowledge of key focus areas including: wetland science, water quality, GIS, and/or false climate solutions
  • Commitment to racial justice and anti-racism and Healthy Gulf’s values
  • Experience working in a team and with external partners to develop and implement joint strategies
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English

 ***Research shows that women and people of color are more hesitant to apply for a job because they may not meet all of the qualifications listed. The candidate Healthy Gulf ultimately hires may not precisely meet all of these qualifications, but show the desire and capacity to grow into the role and fit within our small, close-knit team. If you feel passionate about our efforts and believe that you have the skills to contribute to the growth of our organization, we want to hear from you.

To apply, submit the following to with “Staff Scientist” in the subject:

  • A cover letter. Within your cover letter, answer the following question in no more than 2 paragraphs: Climate change disproportionately affects communities of color. In the Gulf South, how can we ensure equity and inclusion as we adapt to the changing physical landscape that climate change causes?
  • A resume
  • 3 references

About Healthy Gulf

Healthy Gulf’s mission is to collaborate with and serve communities who love the Gulf of Mexico by providing research, communications, and coalition-building tools needed to reverse the long pattern of over-exploitation of the Gulf’s natural resources.

Healthy Gulf values and respects all types of diversity and strongly encourages applicants from traditionally marginalized groups to apply. We prohibit discrimination and harassment and provide equal employment opportunity without regard to, and not limited to, ethnicity, religion, race, national origin, abilities, gender identity, sexual orientation, age or genetic information. We are committed to recruiting, hiring and promoting those from traditionally marginalized groups.

Our Core Values

The Gulf of Mexico region is only as strong as the communities that live there. These communities and the ecosystems they rely on are threatened by issues such as industrial pollution, wetland loss and destruction, water pollution, environmental racism, and the climate crisis. To guide our work, we rely on the following values:

  • Environmental Health: We believe supporting the environmental health of the Gulf region is vital.
  • Inclusion/Inclusiveness: We believe in the importance of embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion in deep and transformative ways.
  • Dignity and Respect: We believe that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and to be respected as a whole person.
  • Independence: We believe that we must be a strong, independent organization in order to address major environmental problems in the Gulf region.
  • Transparency: We believe that we have a responsibility to be transparent to our members, donors, and partners.
  • Self Determination: We believe that communities and individuals have the power to make decisions.
  • Responsiveness: We believe in the importance of responding to urgent issues that threaten our environment and communities
  • Safety and Health: We believe that the health and safety of our staff, board, colleagues and communities is important.
  • Collaboration: We believe in the value of working with others and achieving together what may not be possible alone.

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