Skip to content
Aug 8 / BARD CEP

Climate Scientist – Berkeley, CA

Organization: Union of Concerned Scientists, Climate and Energy Program

Job Title: Climate Scientist

Location: Berkeley, CA

Hours and Compensation: This is a full time position based in UCS’s Berkeley, CA office. The salary is in the high $80,000s for candidates who meet all position requirements. UCS offers excellent benefits and is an equal opportunity employer continually seeking to diversify its staff

Position Dates: Start ASAP

Application Deadline: September 7th, 2012 (or until filled)

Posted On: August 8th, 2012

Organization Overview

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices. What began as a collaboration between students and faculty members at MIT in 1969 is now an alliance of more than 300,000 citizens and scientists that includes people from all walks of life: parents and businesspeople, biologists and physicists, teachers and students. UCS strives for a future that is free from the threats of global warming and nuclear war and a planet that supports a rich diversity of life. Our specific focus areas include global warming, renewable energy, advanced vehicle technology, nuclear power safety, nuclear weapons and related security issues, preserving the integrity of science, and promoting sustainable agriculture and food systems.


The California Climate Scientist will design and carry out research on the preparedness of vulnerable sectors and populations in California to cope with the current and projected impacts of climate change. Carry out related outreach activities to strategically raise awareness in California of the climate change consequences, including ecological and economic costs that can be avoided by sound climate policies. Help lead UCS’s efforts to provide the California and US public and policymakers with robust, timely, accessible and policy-relevant information on climate science. Provide research and expert technical and analytical advice to campaigns in California and other states as needed. Carry out related research, outreach, and media activities, primarily focused on climate work in California. Provide project management and staff supervision when needed.


  • Plan, design, and carry out primary analysis of climate change on key sectors and populations in California and western states, taking into account technical feasibility, opportunities for effective collaboration with key regionally-based experts and influential stakeholders, policy relevance within the context of the UCS California office plan and with UCS’s climate campaign objectives.
  • Working from the UCS office in California, help develop, review and ensure high quality of materials on climate science and adaptation, including but not limited to press releases, web pages, science briefs, draft legislation, expert testimony, and public presentations.
  • Establish and maintain strong working relationships with relevant experts and influential stakeholders at other institutions to exchange information, share resources, and generally strengthen UCSs leadership role on climate science and impacts in California and other western states.
  • Serve as project leader who guides the research design, external expert collaborator engagement, and works with key staff on the media and outreach aspects of major reports.
  • Serve as an advisor or resource on research or outreach projects led by other project leaders.
  • Serve as lead UCS spokesperson on climate science and impacts in California to the media and public, scientific and policy forums. Support and strengthen visibility and leadership opportunities for senior UCS staff on California climate science and policy.
  • A small percentage of time will be devoted to supporting foundation and fundraising efforts.
  • Provide support for the other UCS offices that may need periodic climate science review or input for high priority projects.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest climate relevant publications, reports and science developments that are typically a broader area of science, impacts, mitigation, and adaptation than your traditional area of specialization.
  • Work in close coordination with the other scientists in the organization.
  • Supervise consultants, volunteers, or staff, as appropriate


Position requires an in-depth knowledge of climate science, impacts and preparedness and demonstrable ability to understand the public policy aspects of climate change and the role of technical analyses and advocacy in informing public opinion and policy debates. Knowledge of California-focused climate science and policy is highly desirable. Position also requires strong public speaking skills, a demonstrable ability to write for non-technical audiences, and the ability to work both independently and as a member of a multidisciplinary team.

PhD in a relevant field required. Formal education can be from a range of areas of specialization relevant to the broad scope of climate change science, impacts and sustainable paths forward. These include, but are not limited to climate-relevant research in the atmosphere, ecosystems, land use, agriculture, hydrology, and oceans. Spanish language skills are highly desirable.

Work requires five to seven years of progressively responsible and relevant work experience, such as collaborative work in academic research teams or government research programs or the application of climate science to public policy and experience in communicating science to a wide variety of audiences. Strong communication and teamwork skills are essential. Extensive experience managing scientific and technical groups and supervising research staff is a distinct advantage. National and international experience and existing relationships in the climate science and climate policy communities is desirable.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter, salary requirements, how you learned about the position and resume via email to and include “CA Climate Scientist” in the subject line. Email materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls please.

Leave a comment