Data Science Educator, The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)

Primary Function

Application Instructions: Please submit cover letter and resume with your application.

Battelle manages and operates the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) program, which is solely funded by the National Science Foundation. A 30+ year project dedicated to understanding how changes in climate, land use and invasive species impact ecology. The observatory’s scientists and engineers are collecting a comprehensive range of ecological data on a continental scale across 20 eco-climatic domains representing US ecosystems. Our teams use cutting-edge technology, including an airborne observation platform that captures images of regional landscapes and vegetation; mobile, relocatable, and fixed data collection sites with automated ground sensors to monitor soil and atmosphere; and trained field crews who observe and sample populations of diverse organisms, collect soil and water data, and maintain ground-based sensor systems. All NEON program data are publicly available on our data portal. The Observatory includes more than 500+ personnel and is the first of its kind designed to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at continental scales.

We are currently seeking a Data Science Educator . This position located in Boulder, CO .

The Data Science Educator will be part of the NEON Education and Engagement Team, whose responsibilities include training the broader scientific community in data science methods to enable working with NEON data. The Data Science Educator will be responsible for developing web-based, data science tutorials, informational resources, and tools for helping scientists and students use large, ecological datasets (NEON and NEON-like data), including data management and analysis tools, subsets of big datasets, algorithms, and code to process and visualize data. In addition, the Data Science Educator will collaborate on, develop, and lead workshops, short-courses, and seminars for scientists, faculty and students focused on using large, ecological datasets for scientific research and teaching. The individual will work closely with NEON program research scientists, the science community, and university faculty to develop materials that support the use of diverse ecological datasets, including NEON data, for research and student learning.

Major Responsibilities

  • Research, develop and manage content for the NEON Data Skills section of the website; including content related to continental-scale ecology, NEON and NEON-like data, activities that teach key data management and analysis skills with data subsets, code and GUI-based data analysis tools.
  • Research current methods of online-content delivery to keep NEON Data Skills up-to-date with emerging technologies and content delivery platforms.
  • Create data skills training materials using NEON data products and science topics as part of online data science activities, in collaboration with Battelle/NEON program research scientists and science community at-large.
  • Collaborate on, develop, and/or teach workshops, webinars and online short-courses focused on NEON-related topics and/or ecological data for scientists, students and faculty.
  • Provide technical support and guidance to NEON data users.
  • Build partnerships with college/university faculty, researchers and other stakeholders to design, develop and implement data science education content.
  • Proven ability to write and edit scientific literature or educational content for public delivery.
  • Participate in designing and implementing evaluation and assessment strategies for NEON Data Skills resources and programs.
  • Represent Battelle and the NEON program at conferences, meetings and other appropriate events to network, share resources, and establish/maintain partnerships.
  • Develop, test and implement software tools and/or packages that can be used to process and/or analyze NEON data, both for internal NEON use and to facilitate NEON data use by the scientific community.
  • Collaborate with other Battelle/NEON scientists and with the scientific community at large in prioritizing topics and functionality for development.
  • Contribute to other NEON project deliverables as needed.


  • Bachelor’s degree in ecology, natural sciences, environmental science and/or related area with 3 – 5 years of experience to include assessing, designing, developing, implementing and evaluating instruction for adult learners at all levels OR
  • Master’s degree in ecology, natural sciences, environmental science and/or related area with 0 – 3 years of experience
  • Coursework or training in adult learning theory, online education content delivery, or demonstrated understanding of instructional approaches for online science learning
  • Experience developing and delivering course materials in a variety of formats including e-learning modules, mobile access, live instruction, and other innovative technologies. Demonstrated skill providing engaging, dynamic and innovative learning solutions with poise, confidence, and the ability quickly to gain the trust and respect of key stakeholders and learners. Demonstrated ability to develop collaborative relationships.
  • Proficiency in R or Python
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and translate complex data science topics to a variety of audiences
  • Demonstrated skills in data management and data analysis of a variety of data types.
  • Ability to speak in public to a diversity of audiences including scientists, science educators, college/university faculty, college-level students, and funding agency (NSF) program directors
  • Strong problem solving and analytical skills
  • Detail oriented

Must have permanent authorization for US employment.


  • Ph.D. in ecology, natural sciences, environmental science and/or related area with strong ecological and data science background
  • Proficiency in R and Python, including the development of packages and automated workflows
  • Experience working with large scientific datasets
  • Experience developing online resources and/or activities focused on using big data in scientific analyses
  • Experience working with key data analysis or workflow tools needed to work with large, ecological datasets
  • Experience developing and implementing data science-based programs, online and in-person, with college-level students and faculty
  • Experience working with online collaboration and development tools, such as GitHub, JupyterHub, DockerHub
  • Experience working or teaching using cloud-based platforms, such as CyVerse
  • Competence in web content development utilizing basic HTML and CSS layout
  • Experience using and developing content for course management systems for online teaching such as Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard, etc
  • Ability to enter, maintain and revise web content using a content management system.
  • Experience developing and funding projects through grant proposals to federal agencies (e.g., NSF, NASA, NOAA), foundations and/or local/regional funding organizations.

To apply: