Job Description

This position will provide support to the Wind Energy and Wildlife Team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The person in this role will focus primarily on wildlife and wind energy interactions, but will also collaborate with atmospheric and computational scientists, engineers, GIS specialists, and economic analysts within NREL. The Wind Energy and Wildlife Team works closely with the U.S. Department of Energy Wind Energy Technology Office, and engages with a variety of partners, including government agencies, private industry, academia, and NGOs, to advance monitoring and minimization strategies primarily focused on bats, eagles, and prairie grouse – see for more information. This role will involve research, engagement, and outreach activities to meet program goals.

The ideal candidate will be experienced in or actively researching species (e.g., bats including hoary bats) or species groups (e.g., raptors or prairie grouse to name a few) that commonly interact with wind energy development. A research emphasis on collision risk or behavioral interactions with wind turbines is desirable. Further, knowledge of and familiarity with the literature around monitoring and minimization strategies to quantify and reduce the effects of wind energy development on wildlife is valued.

The successful candidate will be responsible for leading or supporting projects for a variety of customers, including the US Department of Energy Wind Energy Technologies Office. They will work with a variety of stakeholders, such as other National Laboratories, industry partners, research institutions, and government agencies. The position is primarily focused on advancing monitoring and minimization technologies to improve siting and operational decisions for wind turbines and wind energy facilities to meet both wind energy generation and conservation goals.

Specific technical efforts are expected to include:

  • Performing feasibility analyses of monitoring and minimization technologies related to wildlife interactions with renewable energy development
  • Leveraging existing peer-reviewed and gray literature to keep NREL on the cutting edge of research
  • Presenting results at national or international meetings
  • Authoring or co-authoring publications of non-technical research briefs, technical reports, and peer reviewed journal articles   
  • Supporting strategic planning and growth of the environmental portfolio  

Beyond the technical focus of the work, the successful candidate will:

  • Work one-on-one and in group settings with staff to aid in planning and defining work, prioritizing, reviewing, and disseminating work products
  • Support a portfolio of technical work where assignments are complex with high impact and visibility which require ingenuity and innovation
  • Collaborate with internal and external partners to develop recommended practices and validate monitoring and minimization strategies.
  • Develop resources to support knowledge sharing among stakeholders
  • Manage project budgets and schedules


Basic Qualifications

For Researcher III Level
Relevant PhD. Or, relevant Master’s Degree and 3 or more years of experience. Or, relevant Bachelor’s Degree and 5 or more years of experience. Demonstrates broad understanding and wide application of engineering technical procedures, principles, theories and concepts in the field. General knowledge of other related disciplines. Demonstrates leadership in one or more areas of team, task or project lead responsibilities. Demonstrated experience in management of projects. Very good writing, interpersonal and communication skills.

For Researcher II Level
Relevant Master’s Degree. Or, relevant Bachelor’s Degree and 2 or more years of experience. General knowledge and application of engineering technical standards, principles, theories, concepts and techniques. Training in team, task or project leadership responsibilities. Intermediate abilities and knowledge of practices and techniques. Beginning experience in project management. Good writing, interpersonal and communication skills.


Additional Required Qualifications

  • Proven research background, specifically related to species impacted by wind energy development
  • Demonstrated experience in communications and outreach around complex, technical challenges
  • Demonstrated technical writing skills
  • Excellent organizational, project management, budgeting, interpersonal and communication skills



Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience installing, maintaining, and evaluating wildlife monitoring and impact minimization technologies at renewable energy facilities
  • Background in avian behavior and physiology
  • Strong statistical background
  • Intermediate programming and scripting skills (e.g., R, Python)
  • Demonstrated problem-solving and negotiation skills
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead project participants with diverse skills and work styles
  • Demonstrated experience at building and maintaining successful collaborations
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a dynamic environment with evolving requirements and schedules
  • Prior experience with stakeholder engagement and outreach to industry partners, and local, state, or federal agencies
  • Prior experience in project management of multiple, complex, multi-year projects with annual budgets