Share this Job

Geospatial Modeler

Date: Dec 29, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 7142 

Solving Big Problems


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) delivers scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs to solve challenges in energy and national security and provide economic benefit to the nation. Our wide range of partnerships with other U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories and programs, universities, and industry allows us to pair our strengths with others for outstanding contributions to science.


Sharing a Legacy of Impact


ORNL researchers apply unique facilities, sophisticated tools, and signature strengths in neutron science, high-performance computing, advanced materials, biology and environmental science, nuclear science and engineering, isotopes, and national security research to benefit science and society, making it possible for us to:

  • Advance understanding, design, and use of new materials and chemical processes
  • Reveal unmatched insights through computing and data
  • Ensure safe, clean nuclear power and secure nuclear materials
  • Produce rare isotopes for medicine, industry, security, research, and space exploration
  • Increase and exploit understanding of biological and environmental systems, from genes to ecosystems


Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project, ORNL continually and successfully pursues discovery and innovation to make a lasting impact on the world.


National Security Science


ORNL’s National Security Sciences Directorate (NSSD) delivers science and technology leadership in cybersecurity and cyber-physical resiliency, data analytics, geospatial science and technology, nuclear nonproliferation, and high-performance computing for sensitive national security missions. We draw on the Laboratory’s exceptional facilities and work closely with leading researchers in other areas at the lab such as nuclear and chemical sciences and engineering, applied materials, advanced manufacturing, biosecurity, transportation, and computing. Our research teams are passionate about discovery and innovation as we create science-based solutions to complex security threats that put public safety, national defense, energy infrastructure, and the economy at risk.


NSSD’s Geospatial Science and Human Security Division is transforming how we observe, analyze, and visualize landscape and human dynamics around the world. Through the pioneering integration of human dynamics, remote sensing, geoinformatics, and data sciences with autonomous systems and resilient communications, our interdisciplinary research teams provide decision-makers with timely information on critical situations arising from geopolitical instabilities, natural disasters, resource scarcities, and health crises.


ORNL has been a pioneer in the development, implementation, and application of systems, science, and technology for geographic information since 1969—well before the advent of commercial GIS. We are unique in the DOE national laboratory system, as the only research division focused on advancing the theory and applications of geospatial science and technology. Join our rich legacy as we build an exciting future of new geospatial capabilities for critical mission applications in energy, environment, and national security.




The Geospatial Science and Human Security Division is seeking the technical support of a Geospatial Modeler within the Human Geography group. This position is within the Division’s Human Dynamics section and part of the National Security Science Directorate. The Human Geography Group develops data, models, and computational approaches utilizing Earth Observation, measurement, statistics, and digital traces to provide insights into human activities within the built and natural environment, from local to global scales.


The Geospatial Modeler will work with teams of scientists, project managers, and systems/data architects to understand geospatial data requirements and workflows for population models across several projects and at various scales.   The Geospatial Modeler will also work closely with project teams to develop new data workflows, automation scripts, tools, data management, and other solutions that will support Federal Government research missions. In addition, the Geospatial Modeler will also engage in data exploration and spatial analysis activities.


Our commitment to diversity:  As we strive to become the world’s premier research institution in the sciences and technologies that underpin critical national security missions, we are committed to creating an inclusive environment that highly values a diverse workforce.  We recognize that a breadth of perspectives, insights, and experiences are necessary to drive the level of innovation and discovery that is mission-critical to national security sciences.  Our commitment extends beyond our workforce to the next generation of researchers with STEM education outreach that seeks to engage a diverse range of students.


Major Duties and Responsibilities


  • Perform and support analysis of various geospatial and demographic datasets, from multiple sources, at multiple scales, and across many spatiotemporal resolutions to meet the needs of research projects.
  • Manage and validate geographic data (raster and vector) in support of research projects.
  • Develop tools and scripts to support geospatial and population models and workflows.
  • Apply new population and geospatial modeling methods to existing workflows for data deliverables.
  • Work closely with lead scientists to develop metadata, review of datasets, packaging and posting of data deliverables.
  • Support data metric collection and reporting and technical discussions in response to user community questions.
  • Develop technical reports and provide support to publications and conference presentations as needed.


Basic Requirements


  • B.S. or higher with a minimum of 3 years of relevant experience.
  • Degrees in relevant fields such as Geography, Data Science, Computer Science, Mathematics, Social Science, or related field.
  • Proficiency in data visualization and analysis including use of open source or commercial geospatial tools such as ArcGIS, QGIS, and PostGIS.
  • Experience with Python, R, and/or other similar languages for data manipulation, exploration, and statistical analysis.


Preferred Qualifications


  • Experience manipulating large-scale human and physical geospatial data, including administrative boundaries, census and survey data, land use/land cover data, Earth observation, and infrastructure inventories.
  • Experience developing and managing scientific computing environments using containerization platforms such as such as Docker and Conda.  Experience working with version control systems such as Git.
  • Experience with database technologies such as PostgreSQL, PostGIS, SQL Server, and Esri Geodatabases to store, analyze, and manipulate geospatial data.
  • Experience with design and/or implementation of ETL processes, to include considerations for data formats, business rules, transformation functions, validation and other diagnostics, update, and archive. 
  • Experience in statistics, socioeconomic indicators of human security, spatiotemporal event data, and exploitation of social media.
  • Experience in designing, developing, and applying Quality Control (QC) approaches to data, including QC tools and services.
  • Knowledge of spatial data theory and concepts.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and demonstrated ability to work in interdisciplinary teams.

Special Requirement

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville