Meteorites & Asteroids

Anticipated Position at NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX: Organic Geochemistry of Astromaterials

By Keith Cowing
September 6, 2012

The Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Directorate, NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), anticipates an opening for a civil service research scientist in the Astromaterials Research Office. The incumbent will be expected to conduct fundamental research in the general area of organic geochemistry of astromaterials. United States citizenship and a Ph.D. or equivalent experience in chemistry, physics, geology, geochemistry, planetary sciences, or a related field are required. The position requires an advanced knowledge of principles, practices, and applications of organic geochemistry in planetary and space sciences. The position will be filled at the GS-13 level. For a table of civil servant salaries in the greater Houston area, see

The selectee will be expected to establish a strong research program and to attract funds from any of the range of NASA Research & Analysis programs. This research program should complement or build upon existing ARES strengths, which include studies of primitive materials, meteorites, comets, and asteroids; Mars exploration and science research; experimental studies; and astrobiology. ARES is well-equipped with state of the art analytical and experimental laboratories (see for a complete list). Participation in NASA-sponsored space science missions is strongly encouraged (e.g. instrument team member/PI/co-I, participating scientist, etc.). Finally, the selectee will provide advice and support to the ARES Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office for issues relating to organic geochemistry, such as organic contamination control, planetary protection, and procedures for appropriate curation of astromaterials that may contain organic species, on an as-needed basis up to approximately one-fifth time.

It is anticipated that the official position announcement will appear on or about 1 September 2012. All applications must be made through the website. The formal announcement will contain details on the application process, including dates the position will be open for application. Starting date is subject to negotiation. Please address inquiries to Dr. David Draper (Manager, Astromaterials Research Office, David Draper), who will also provide, upon request, a detailed outline (authored by JSC’s Human Resources office) for navigating the website and compiling a responsive application. [Source: NAI]

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