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Scientist, Oil and Gas Analyst

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May 28, 2021

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our staff of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and internationally from our offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Santa Monica; San Francisco; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing.

Position Summary:

NRDC is seeking a Scientist, Oil and Gas Analyst to work with the Dirty Energy team in any of our offices located in Washington DC, San Francisco, Bozeman, Santa Monica, Chicago or New York. The Scientist will serve as a technical expert for the Nature Program on oil and gas exploration and production activities and related carbon emission issues. Leads and supports advocacy efforts to reduce the environmental and health impacts of oil and gas production and assist in advocacy efforts that will lead to the meaningful curtailment of fossil fuel production.


  • Help shape NRDC’s positions and policies related to fossil fuels.
  • Serve as a technical expert and advisor on oil and gas production activities, technologies, and impacts, and geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide.
  • Lead projects and specific advocacy efforts aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of oil and gas production including impacts to water, air, land, human health, and climate at both the state and federal level.
  • Provide scientific expertise in support of advocacy for the incorporation of best management practices and best available technology into federal and state regulations and environmental statutes.
  • Advocate for the use of solid science both within NRDC and in external stakeholder discussions and groups.
  • Engage in outreach to the scientific community to keep up-to-date with and encourage research into the environmental impacts of oil and gas development and solutions for those impacts.
  • Maintain and strengthen contacts within the oil and gas industry to encourage support for and use of best management practices and best available technology to mitigate environmental impacts.
  • Represent NRDC at scientific meetings, workshops, and conferences.
  • Lead writing of technical comments for rulemakings and related activities (e.g. EPA hydraulic fracturing study, BLM hydraulic fracturing rules, CA well stimulation rules, BLM and EPA methane rule, etc.)
  • Act as point in advising and providing expert analysis in evaluating the environmental and technical performance issues associated with oil and gas permitting proposals and related resource planning (particularly in the context of the National Environmental Policy Act).
  • Assist in efforts to analyze lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuel development and help advance policies that align with the science of reducing and eliminating emissions.
  • Aid in fundraising efforts related to core job responsibilities.
  • List of job responsibilities, function, duties this role will be accountable for.


  • PhD or Masters in geology, petroleum engineering, hydrology, or related fields, or Masters in listed fields plus work experience (a geologist would be the priority)
  • Knowledge of oil and gas industry practices and technologies, preferably minimum of 5 years related work experience.
  • Knowledge of oil and gas regulatory frameworks at the federal and state levels.
  • Experience leading and managing individual projects and/or advocacy efforts.
  • Knowledge of oil and gas and carbon capture laws and regulations at the federal and state levels
  • Experience leading and managing individual projects and/or advocacy efforts.
  • Knowledge of oil and gas emissions measurement and methane capture protocols.
  • Prior work experience as a geologist or related field within industry, and/or government agencies, and/or advocacy organizations.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Comfort and broad experience with public speaking
  • Ability to work with various stakeholders including other NGOs, government employees and officials, scientists, industry employees, and members of the community.
  • Deep understanding of scientific methods and processes and ability to provide thorough assessments of current scientific research relevant to core job functions.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • Comfort engaging with the press.
  • Commitment to NRDC’s values and mission.

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming a diversity of voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

To apply, please visit and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal. We would like you to upload any additional papers or project work that you think would showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of resumes, only qualified candidates will be contacted. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

If you are having technical difficulty while applying, or if you are a person with a disability and you need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care by dialing 1-800-889-4422.

For further information about NRDC, please visit

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