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Science Communications Specialist

Bay Area Environmental Research Institute
Mountain View, CA 94043
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The Bay Area Environmental Research (BAER) Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

focused on enabling and conducting research in earth and space science, is seeking a Science

Communications Specialist. The individual will develop communications strategies and plans

aimed at sparking the imagination of the American public on the wonders of space, earth, and

life science research, with a focus on discovering the secrets of the universe, searching for life

elsewhere, observing earth from space, and safeguarding and improving life on earth through

six specific research areas: climate change and variability; carbon cycle and ecosystems; Earth

surface and interior; atmospheric composition; weather; and water and energy cycle. The

Science Communications Specialist will also coordinate the work of other public relations and

outreach staff for the NASA Science Directorate located at the Ames Research Center at

Moffett Field, CA. The Science Directorate is comprised three major divisions:

Space Biosciences Division: https://www.nasa.gov/ames/research/space-biosciences

Earth Science Division: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/earthscience

Space Science and Astrobiology Division: https://spacescience.arc.nasa.gov

The qualified candidate will be responsible for conveying key scientific discoveries in an

engaging way to increase the publics understanding and perception of NASA via written media

alerts, press releases, feature stories, video vignettes, and outreach presentations. The

candidate will also develop outreach and marketing materials designed to inspire, engage, and

increase the publics knowledge of science conducted at the NASA Ames Research Center, and

encourage students, from elementary through graduate school, to pursue careers in Science,

Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Duties and Responsibilities

Develops and implements comprehensive, integrated, and innovative communications

strategies that promote and support NASAs goals related to science and space exploration.

Identifies audiences, messages, approaches, and other key communication elements,

including activities, deliverables, and timeframes.

Manages and implements the NASA Ames Science Directorate mission web strategy,

content curation, and updates across a variety of organizations. Coordinates the work on

NASA and non-NASA websites to ensure consistent messaging, current data, and alignment

with federal and Agency requirements and regulations. Creatively and accurately plans,

designs, prepares, coordinates, edits and evaluates written materials, graphics, animations,

web postings, etc.

Manages and implements the Science Directorate mission social media strategy, content

curation, and ongoing engagement (regular posts, tweets, etc.).

Uses written text, graphics and illustrations to explain and express technical facts and ideas

in an accurate, concise and convincing manner to non-technical audiences, often involving

the use of complex scientific terms and concepts, particularly related to astrophysics,

astronomy, cosmology, cosmo-chemistry, atmospheric science, and terrestrial ecology.

Seeks out and implements innovative ways of engaging the public, utilizing a broad range of

media, including traditional platforms (newspaper, TV, radio), new media (social

networking, blogs, community forums, podcasts, new streams), and events (science fairs,

festivals, conferences). Develops personal interest stories and features to introduce the

public to NASA employees behind the science.

Proactively engages members of the news media to orchestrate news conferences,

facilitates news releases on scientific results or stories, provides comments on breaking

news, pitches story ideas, and fields incoming media requests.

Manages and coordinates the development of media advisories, press releases, feature

stories, captions, updates, and blog posts. Drafts talking points for NASA spokespeople and

senior management as required for news conferences. Coordinates with NASA Ames

Research Center and Agency points of contact, as required.

Cultivates and maintains strong relationships with key internal and external partners to

identify results and stories, and interprets them for the lay public


  • Role as POC in ARC-SG:
  • Code S COM
  • ESD center coms leads liaison
  • NASA internal engagement role
  • Participate in SG all-hands, weekly staff meetings
  • Lead web meeting (SG), and work with branch chiefs to upkeep the SGx websites
  • Participate in appropriate ESD coms meetings and working groups
  • POC for Research Results Portal (RRP)
  • Strategy & coms office lead
  • Document, improve and implement communications strategy for ARC-SG in coordination with division chiefs.
  • Devise social media strategy and implementation plan
  • Supervise coms interns (max. 2 / yr)
  • With SG DEIA Lead, assure diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility of communications
  • Develop, maintain and follow a task phasing plan/schedule

Content Management

  • Unforeseen communications tasks as assigned
  • Content intake
  • Content creation, sourcing, and management plan and tracking
  • Devise pitch/review process for content & products
  • Business Development
  • Liaise w/ storytelling professionals for proposals help
  • Liaise with graphics support for proposals & publications (funding TBD)
  • Conferences
  • Oversee creation (by SME presenter), and curate hyperwall content & HQ SMD Hyperwall team POC for SG. Strategize content with management.
  • Attend 1-2 major domestic conferences
  • Internal Division
  • Oversee Omnibus Seminar Announcements
  • All-hands slides


  • Fact sheets (editorial)
  • Website (editorial)
    • HQ & centers
      • Attend annual HQ SciCom meeting at AGU
      • Products:
      • highlights
      • Nuggets, streamline process
      • Weekly & annual highlights
      • RRP content creating & curation
    • Maintain org chart and main slide deck, templates
    • Annual reports, edit/collate


  • Press releases liaise w/ OCOMM ARC & HQ
  • Stories
  • Scientist profiles & testimonies
  • Schools
  • Open House

Minimum Qualifications

A bachelors or higher degree in communications, journalism, English, or related degree,

and 3 years of professional experience in public affairs, public relations, communications, or

related field.

Experience using multiple digital and social media platforms.

Strong writing and proofreading skills.

Strong organizational and analytical skills.

Must be able to work well under pressure, meet tight deadlines, and balance a workload

with competing priorities.

Strong interpersonal skills to provide leadership to a group of people, and work productively

across diverse teams, cultures and contexts.

Political savvy to work collaboratively with NASA and non-NASA employees across


Ability to take great scientific results and discoveries, and turn them into interesting stories

for various audiences.

Preferred Qualifications

A communications background in space, earth, or life sciences is preferred.

Prior federal government experience is helpful.

Knowledge of web development tools and coding languages.

Additional Provisions

Interested applicants who reside outside of the San Francisco Bay Area must be willing to

relocate within commuting distance of NASA Ames Research Center at their own expense.

The individual selected for this position must be able to pass a security clearance.

Starting Salary:

$110,000 - $140,000 per year, depending on experience and qualifications.


Our benefits package helps to make the BAER Institute a great place to work. It includes:

Competitive health care plans: medical, dental & vision, for full-time employees who work

30 hours per week or more. 100% of premium is paid by BAER Institute for the employee;

spouse and dependents can be added for nominal premium contributions.

Basic group-term life insurance (including accidental death and dismemberment)

Short- and long-term disability insurance

Flexible spending account

Commuter benefits program

11 paid holidays

19 days of vacation leave per year for the first three years (increases to 20 days after three

years of service)

12 days of sick leave per year

Generous 403(b) retirement plan. BAER Institute will contribute 10% of the eligible

employees gross salary to a defined-contribution account, with an optional employee

contribution to a tax-deferred annuity account

Flexible work schedules and telecommute options

On-site gym with no membership fee

On-site child care

How to Apply:

apply through job site

Eligible applicants will be required to respond in writing to a series of questions to determine

the level and extent of their interest and qualifications for this job.

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 let us know by

sending a request to the Human Resources Office at baerihr@baeri.org

For more information about BAER Institute, please visit https://baeri.org.



Posted: 2023-01-17 Expires: 2023-02-17

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Science Communications Specialist

Bay Area Environmental Research Institute
Mountain View, CA 94043

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