Scientist, Healthy Communities

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Job location
1625 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest
Suite 702
Washington, DC 20036
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Street address: 
50 California Street, Suite 500
San Francisco
Job type: 
Policy Development/Advocacy
Position Description: 

The title of this position will be for either an Associate or Staff Scientist, depending on years of experience and qualifications.

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change. We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Miami, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC.

The Healthy Communities program is at the heart of Earthjustice’s mission to defend the right of all people to a healthy environment and encompasses Earthjustice’s work on clean air, clean water, toxic chemicals and wastes, and related issues. The scientist selected for this position will focus on these areas, and will assist in advocacy to protect the environment and health in the nation’s most overburdened communities. Fundamental to this advocacy, as it is to all of Earthjustice’s work, is solid science.

The Scientist will provide research and analysis on a wide range of scientific and technical issues relevant to our advocacy to protect communities across the United States from pollution and toxic exposures. The Scientist will help the Healthy Communities team evaluate relevant science and communicate it in an understandable and compelling way to decision-makers, clients, and other audiences.

• Conduct scientific and technical research, and qualitative and quantitative data analyses, to help prepare, inform, guide and support litigation and advocacy. Likely projects will include evaluating the scientific and technical bases for potential new cases and advocacy matters, developing research strategies, and helping to evaluate and build strong agency rulemaking and litigation records.
• Identify and collaborate with individuals and organizations with relevant scientific and technical expertise.
• Manage scientific and technical consultants and interns.
• Review, analyze, and summarize case-related scientific documents and information, as well as more general environmental or health planning documents, technical support documents, scientific studies, and other scientific and technical information to support legal and policy strategies.
• Draft and fact-check scientific and technical portions of court pleadings, comments, fact sheets, press releases, blogs, and other materials for internal and external use.
• Conduct internal trainings and provide support on scientific and technical issues relevant to Earthjustice cases and messaging (e.g., effects of air pollution, particular harm from chemical exposures, quantitative risk assessments).
• Present or assist attorneys in preparing to present at meetings with public officials, scientists, NGO clients, experts, the media, donors, and Board members.

We offer a mission- and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package, including excellent benefits. Earthjustice is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity.


• Bachelor’s degree in a field of the natural or applied sciences required. Preferred: Knowledge of toxicology, epidemiology, environmental health, public health, or a similar discipline relevant to our Healthy Communities work.
• Helpful but not required: Master’s Degree or PhD; professional, personal, or academic background or experience with environmental, public health, governmental, community-based, or other relevant work; and/or experience (pre- or post-grad) in scientific research, or policy-focused scientific advocacy.
• For consideration as an associate scientist: 0- 5 years of relevant experience. To qualify as a staff scientist, 5+ years of relevant experience.
• Exceptional scientific ability in a discipline relevant to our environmental and public health work, and the ability to work in areas outside of one’s core expertise.
• Ability to quickly gain understanding of new issues and maintain up-to-date broad general knowledge relevant to the Healthy Communities program and projects.
• Exceptional written and oral communication skills; ability to communicate well about scientific topics with a range of audiences.
• Excellent ability to perform quantitative data analysis.
• Excellent ability to understand factual, scientific, technical, economic, historical, and policy aspects of issues and transfer this knowledge to attorneys, policy, communications staff, and to lay-person audiences in a coherent and accessible way.
• Excellent Internet and traditional research and computer skills, including with scientific and scientific literature databases.
• Knowledge of or willingness to learn Microsoft Excel and at least one statistical programming language (e.g., Stata).
• Excellent ability to interact effectively with community members, clients, experts, coalition partners, the media, and government staff, including government scientists.
• Attention to detail, and ability to meet deadlines.
• Outstanding organizational skills.
• Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a team, and also the ability to work independently.
• Commitment serving the public interest.
• Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
• Commitment to building and maintaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.

To apply: 

To Apply:
• Resume.
• One or two page cover letter that describes: 1) why you are drawn to Earthjustice and Healthy Communities advocacy; and/or 2) any experiences you have working with or evaluating scientific issues relevant to people or communities who have been disproportionately affected by environmental harms and/or from backgrounds that differ from your own, and how you might apply those experiences at Earthjustice.
• Writing sample that primarily reflects your work.
• Most recent educational transcript.
• References optional with application (list of 3 references will be required for all finalist candidates).

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled, but applicants are strongly encouraged to apply within 30 days of posting.

Please reach out to [email protected] if you are having technical difficulties submitting your application.

No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies.

Click link to apply:

Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.
Submission deadline: 
Friday, March 17, 2017