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Research Scientist (Molecular Astrophysics)

The Bay Area Environmental Research (BAER) Institute is seeking a full-time postdoctoral researcher to work at NASA’s Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, CA, on high spectral resolution mid-infrared molecular line surveys observed with the Echelon-Cross-Echelle Spectrograph (EXES) instrument aboard the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). High-resolution molecular line surveys provide a chemical inventory for star-forming regions – essential for establishing the relative importance of potential chemical networks, understanding organic chemistry associated with star formation, and providing constraints on the supply pathways of key organic molecules in Earth-like planet formation. These SOFIA observations will be combined with archival ALMA and Herschel observations, which will inform new observations with future missions, such as the James Webb Space Telescope.

The postdoctoral researcher will primarily work with Dr. Naseem Rangwala at NASA ARC, but will also interact with the larger astrochemistry group and the SOFIA Science Center.  The astrochemistry group is organizationally located in the Astrophysics Branch within the Space Sciences and Astrobiology Division at NASA ARC (see For any technical questions regarding the project, please contact the Principal Investigator – Dr. Naseem Rangwala ([email protected]). The postdoctoral researcher will primarily work on SOFIA, Herschel and ALMA observations, but will have the opportunity to pursue independent research as well.

This is a 2-year position, but could be extended to 3 years or more, depending on available funding, with the possibility of applying for a NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) fellowship with the same research group.

Duties and Responsibilities
  1. Analysis of the SOFIA/EXES spectroscopic observations of hot cores/protostars
  2. Modeling molecular and atomic lines
  3. Making comparisons between the observations and current astrochemistry models
  4. Combining these observations with (sub)mm/FIR archival line surveys from ALMA and Herschel
  5. Writing software for line identification and line fitting
Minimum Qualifications

PhD in Astronomy or Astrophysics

Preferred Qualifications

Familiarity with mid-infrared spectroscopy, sub-millimeter/radio observations (e.g., ALMA), radiative transfer modeling, and astrochemistry theory/models.

Salary & Benefits

$70,000 – $75,000, depending on experience (relocation reimbursement up to $3,000 will also be provided).

The job benefits include medical, dental, vision, life, short-term and long-term disability insurance, a 403b defined contribution plan for which BAER Institute contributes 10% of the employee’s gross salary, eligibility for participation in an optional 403b tax-deferred annuity plan, 10 paid holidays, 8 hours of paid sick leave per month, and 3 weeks of vacation per year through accrual of 10 hours of vacation leave per month.

Application Instructions

Submit a CV/resume, one-page research statement, list of publications, and three letters of reference to: [email protected]In your cover letter please specify that you are applying for the Research Scientist (Molecular Astrophysics) position. 

Application packages must be received by no later than February 15, 2019.
Desired start date: May 1, 2019 (negotiable)

Additional Details

Must be a U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, or Foreign National eligible for either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.

The Bay Area Environmental Research Institute is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, medical condition, gender identity, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected status.

If you have a disability that requires accommodation, please contact Donna Turnley of the BAER Institute Human Resources Office at [email protected].

The Bay Area Environmental Research (BAER) Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have received numerous grants and contracts from NASA and other federal and state agencies for scientific research. BAER Institute prides itself on providing a comfortable and supportive home for its researchers. We are continually looking for qualified, enthusiastic employees. You are submitting your information for consideration to a position that is currently available under the ARC-CREST cooperative agreement at NASA Ames Research Center.  If selected, your employment offer will be with BAER Institute and you will be working on-site at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, CA.  

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