Spatial Modeler/Quantitative Ecologist

Posted Date 2 months ago(7/15/2021 9:08 AM)
Job ID
# Positions
Full-Time 40
US-MD-Silver Spring
Security Clearance Level
National Agency Check (Client Initiated)


CSS is seeking a highly qualified candidate for a Spatial Modeler/Quantitative Ecologist position on an interdisciplinary research team of contract and federal employees. The integrated research team will support the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Biogeography Branch (, which is a nationally recognized scientific research program that conducts spatial ecological analysis, statistical modeling, ecological forecasting, and predictive mapping to support marine ecosystem management, conservation, and spatial planning. The candidate will be employed by CSS to work on site at the NOAA National Ocean Service in Silver Spring, MD.


 We seek a candidate with demonstrated expertise using scientific programming languages (R, Python, Matlab) to fit a variety of advanced spatial/spatiotemporal statistical models to ecological data – including both physical and biological aspects of marine and coastal ecosystems. The successful candidate will help conceive and implement solutions to large, complex spatial and spatiotemporal ecological modeling challenges, including modeling of species’ distributions, marine wildlife survey data, and/or physical, oceanographic, and geological aspects of marine habitat. Examples of potential projects include spatial and spatiotemporal modeling of corals, seabirds, marine mammals, fish, seafloor habitats, estuarine and coastal habitats, and marine ecosystem structure (e.g., connectivity, biodiversity) in a variety of US jurisdictions.


Core Responsibilities

  • Provide statistical, computational, and analytical support for projects that use predictive models, in conjunction with large ecological survey, habitat, and environmental databases, to provide spatially-explicit maps to address questions of marine management and conservation relevance:

○ Design and implement spatial and spatiotemporal statistical models of marine species’ distributions (e.g., coral, fish, seabird, and marine mammal occurrence and abundance), marine habitat, and marine ecosystem properties;

○ Develop and implement model selection, performance assessment, and validation;

○ Synthesize and interpret model outputs, including maps, in the context of applied management and conservation problems.

  • Contribute to peer-reviewed publications, presentations, and technical memoranda.
  • Provide statistical guidance and scientific programming skills to team members.
  • Travel to federal and state laboratories, academic institutions, and field missions as part of collaborative research projects (<10% of time).


Qualifications: Minimum Requirements:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience in Quantitative Ecology, Applied Statistics, Geography, Oceanography, or similar highly quantitative field;
  • High level of expertise executing spatially-explicit models in R, Matlab, and/or Python (a code sample may be requested to demonstrate proficiency);
  • Demonstrated ability to independently identify, analyze, and solve complex spatial statistical modeling challenges, working with large data sets and computationally complex tasks;
  • Demonstrated excellent written and oral scientific communication skills;
  • Ability to work effectively in a dynamic, fast-paced, team-oriented, multi-project, multi-disciplinary environment;
  • Non-U.S. citizens must possess current documentation authorizing employment in the United States and meet the minimum security requirements for access to federal facilities;
  • A National Agency Check and Inquiries (NACI) background check and fingerprinting will be required.


  • Expert R programmer, with skills in at least one additional relevant language (Matlab, Python);
  • Experience with a range of statistical modeling techniques;
  • Knowledge of marine science and marine ecosystems;
  • Experience analyzing marine ecological and/or habitat data;
  • Experience with parallel and high-performance computing in cluster or cloud environments;
  • Record of academic publication


CSS is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer who provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regards to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or genetic information. In addition to federal law requirements, CSS complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.



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