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Lunar Science Postdoctoral Fellow
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland
Date Posted 07/05/2021
Science-Computer Sciences
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Are you interested in the cutting of planetary exploration using new flight instrument data and helping to develop new remote measurement techniques? Do you want to be part of an organization that is exploring destinations across the solar system?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory seeks a post-doctoral researcher focused on lunar science. The successful candidate will play a key role in two projects, (a) the Planetary Surface Texture Lab, Dr. David Blewett's new facility for studying the polarimetric and photometric character of planetary regolith analogs, and (b) mineral mapping for the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter mission and lab measurements in advance of Lunar Trailblazer, working with Dr. Rachel Klima.

We seek a recent Ph.D. graduate with a strong background in planetary geology, surface processes, and remote sensing and an interest in laboratory work. Experience with analysis of spacecraft data and experience with lunar geology are highly desired.

If selected, you will join APL’s Planetary Exploration Group, a roughly 60-person, intellectually diverse group that is part of the more than 1300 scientists, engineers, and staff that make up the Space Exploration Sector. Opportunities exist to build on APL’s existing leadership roles in planetary science and planetary defense. The group runs a half-dozen research laboratories and supports multiple active and planned missions throughout the solar system. Other opportunities include contributing to NASA’s Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative, which seeks to foster technology development to enable a sustained presence on the lunar surface.

The initial appointment is for one year with the opportunity to extend for up to a maximum of three years.

About APL's Civil Space Mission Area

Over the past 25 years, APL has designed, built, and operated major missions including NEAR (1996), TIMED (2001), MESSENGER (2004), STEREO (2006), New Horizons (2006), Van Allen Probes (2012), Parker Solar Probe (2018), and others. APL has also developed a large suite of scientific instruments for these missions, and for other NASA programs through partnerships. APL is currently developing the DART asteroid-deflection mission, the Europa Clipper mission (joint w/ JPL), the Dragonfly mission to Saturn's moon Titan, and Lunar Vertex (a PRISM lander/rover mission to investigate a lunar magnetic anomaly). For these and other programs, APL is also leading the development of multiple science instruments.

Why work at APL?
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation’s most critical defense, security, space, and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates.

At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and a healthy work/life balance. APL’s campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at

Required attributes of the successful candidate include:

  • A Ph.D. in a field related to planetary science
  • Experience with reflectance spectroscopy, a scientific programming language (such as IDL, Python, or Matlab), GIS software such as ArcGIS, and the ENVI image analysis package.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Familiarity with optical instrumentation, calibration, and data.
  • A desire to lead or contribute to independent research proposals as well as mission and instrument development efforts.
  • U.S citizenship or a green card.

Desired attributes of the successful candidate include:

  • Experience with lunar geology.
  • Experience with CCD cameras.
  • Familiarity with the LabView software package.

Additional Information
  • Requisition ID: 27124
  • Security Clearance Required on Start Date: Clearance not required
  • Final Security Clearance Required: Not Required
*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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