Planetary Scientist - Coordinated Analysis

  • Jacobs
  • Houston, TX, USA
  • Aug 19, 2019
Job - Full time Aerospace engineering Astronomy Biology Computer Science Chemical engineering Engineering Health Science Life Science Mathematics Medical Sciences Chemistry Civil engineering Physics Psychology Social Science Teaching/Academics Technology Veterinary medicine


Are you passionate about human space exploration and understanding the origins of the universe?  How about the ability to make a difference, a direct impact for all future generations?  If so, we would like to welcome you to continuing reading about this amazing opportunity. 
Jacobs is NASA’s largest engineering solutions provider working alongside NASA centers across the United States. 

We need your commitment, teamwork, and energy to help us achieve great things that inspire humans all over the globe.  We need you to bring innovative ideas and diverse backgrounds to help us envision, shape and deliver systems that will benefit the quality of life around the world.  We are excited about what we do, and we need you on our team as we take on new challenges for NASA’s pursuits in deep space exploration.       

Jacobs has a unique and significant partnership with NASA at Johnson Space Center (JSC), to be part of every human spaceflight program – the International Space Station (ISS), NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which will carry astronauts into deep space, and Gateway, the orbiting platform providing the home for astronauts to work and travel back and forth to the moon’s serving as the platform for deep space exploration.     

JSC, is the only NASA center in the United States to curate all astromaterial samples returned from exploration missions, to perform curation services, orbital debris analysis, and basic research to further humankind’s understanding of the origins of our solar system. 

We are currently seeking a Planetary Scientist - Coordinated Analysis to join our team.

The Planetary Scientist - Coordinated Analysis will support the Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science Division (ARES) at Johnson Space Center (JSC) in the field of Planetary Science.  ARES staff members’ backgrounds include geology, chemistry, astronomy, physics, biology, mathematics, computer science, and engineering. ARES scientists conduct fundamental planetary research and continue to be involved in the operation and collection/interpretation associated with planetary science research. 

ARES is also responsible for the curation and analysis of a wide range of Solar System materials including the Apollo lunar samples, meteorites, cosmic dust/interplanetary dust particles, cometary samples, solar wind samples and terrestrial analogs.

 **We are actively searching for qualified candidates for this potential opening, however we do not have assurance at this time if and when the position will be finalized and opened. We have strong reason to believe the position will be approved soon, we are proceeding with identifying qualified candidates and conducting interviews.**
The Planetary Scientist - Coordinated Analysis will:
  • Conduct peer-reviewed scientific research on topics related to planetary processes, including but not limited to early Solar System and small body processes, by analyzing astromaterials from returned samples at the micron to nanometer scale, including Stardust, Hayabusa, OSIRIS-REx, and Interplanetary Dust Particles.
  • Analyze astromaterial samples using a variety of high resolution instruments including field emission scanning and scanning transmission electron microscopes, as coordinated with other techniques performed by scientists both within and peripheral to the ARES organization.
  • Handle and prepare astromaterials for subsequent analytical studies utilizing techniques including, but not limited to, ultramicrotomy, sulfur embedding, and working with aerogel. 
  • Analyze and interpret scientific data and communicate quantitative results in peer-review journals and at science conferences.
  • Meticulously document procedures and results, and actively participate in safety programs.
  • Work with visiting as well as in-house researchers on all aspects of sample preparation and analysis.
  • Actively develop and lead innovative projects pertaining to sample preparation techniques for processing micrometer-scale particles for coordinated analysis under controlled conditions.
  • Perform other duties as required. 

Required Education/Experience/Skills: 

This position has been posted at multiple levels.  Depending on the candidate's experience, requirements and business needs, we reserve the right to consider candidates at any level for which this position has been advertised.

  • BS degree from an accredited college or university in an associated technical discipline and two (2) years related experience, or MS degree in an associated technical discipline.
  • Experience working in laboratory environment preparing samples and analyzing materials using field emission scanning and scanning transmission electron microscopy.
  • Experience with timely preparation of reports for internal and external use, writing abstracts for submission to national and international meetings, and contributing to the preparation of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Must have knowledge of the theory and practice of small particle sample handing techniques, elemental analyses of geologic samples, and data reduction.
  • Good computer skills are essential.
  • Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills, as well as excellent interpersonal skills.


  • Significant lab experience in scanning and scanning transmission electron microscopy and micron-scale sample handling.
  • A record of accomplishment of technical development projects that expand lab functionality.
  • The most competitive candidates will have specific experience in handling of small particles from returned missions that are relevant to planetary science research conducted within ARES.
  • Candidates at the Ph.D. level are expected to demonstrate how past and future research efforts will enhance ARES research.

Experience level of the applicant we want

Some work experience, Graduate