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CAMS Radiocarbon Group Sample Characterization and Preparation Lab Scientist

Entry Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 04/20/2022

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Company Description

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Are you interested in joining some of the brightest talent in the world to strengthen the United States’ security? Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where our employees apply their expertise to create solutions for BIG ideas that make our world a better place.

We are committed to a diverse and equitable workforce with an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, talents, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This is essential to innovation and creativity for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Job Description

We have an opening for a Scientist to conduct moderately complex analytical characterization, isolation, and pretreatment in support of research and development using natural abundance 14C as an environmental carbon tracer and geochronometer. This position is in the Natural Radiocarbon Group at the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (CAMS) in the Atmospheric, Earth & Energy Division.

This position will be filled at either the SES.1 or SES.2 level depending on your qualifications. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if you are selected at the higher level.

In this role you will

  • Pretreat samples submitted to the CAMS Radiocarbon Graphite Lab for various analyses, with the predominant processing being of samples for radiocarbon analyses, and the processing involving routine (e.g., load and combust) to moderately complex (e.g., chemical pretreatment) to complex (e.g., separation via HPLC or cryogenic purification) sample pretreatment methodologies.
  • Process pretreated samples through graphitization procedures to produce samples in the form that is suitable for measurement in the 14C AMS systems. 
  • Develop, refine, and implement moderately complex to complex sample pretreatment methodologies involving various wet chemistry, physical procedures, or HPLC separation for the extraction and purification of targeted sample fractions relevant to the research being undertaken. 
  • Collaborate on research projects with CAMS staff and/or outside collaborators.
  • Participate in the training and oversight of new LLNL scientists/postdocs and visiting students/scientists in natural level radiocarbon samples for 14CAMS analyses.
  • Maintain laboratory notebooks and sample preparation logs (hardcopy and electronic) and conduct data analyses relevant to sample preparation laboratory protocols and individual/collaborative research.
  • Participate in the maintenance of laboratory equipment, making repairs and upgrades as necessary and requested, to help ensure that all appropriate materials and equipment are accessible and in working order at all times.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities at the SES.2 level

  • Participate in the conception and design of moderately complex to complex new experiments and approaches to execute research to address defined problems and emerging challenges in carbon cycle science.
  • Prepare written analyses, verbal briefings, and other products that capture and communicate research results including conference presentations and peer-reviewed journal articles.


  • Bachelor's degree in Earth Science, Chemistry, or related field, or the equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Proficiency with natural abundance carbon isotopic sample preparation and/or analysis.
  • Experience with lab equipment including centrifuges, heat blocks, lyophilizers, furnaces, vacuum systems and H2/O2 torches.
  • Experience developing, implementing, and following laboratory procedures and protocols, including keeping written and electronic records.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills necessary to work effectively in a diverse research environment, give technical presentations, reports, and scientific documents. 
  • Proficient computer skills including but not exclusive to EXCEL, WORD, and FileMaker Pro on Macintosh platforms. 
  • Ability to work effectively under rigorous and sometimes multiple conflicting deadlines.

Additional qualifications at the SES.2 level 

  • Master’s degree in Earth Science, Chemistry, or related field, or the equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Experience in the application of natural abundance 14C analyses to earth science and/or geochronological research, including the interpretation of radiocarbon data in complex environmental settings. 
  • Proficiency with natural abundance radiocarbon sample preparation and analysis including isolation, pretreatment, conversion to CO2 and graphite, quantitative gas transfer and purification, and target preparation for AMS radiocarbon analysis.

Qualifications we desire

  • Experience with development and implementation of separation methodologies for target compounds via HPLC or characterization of complex organic carbon mixtures via spectroscopic or other advanced techniques.
  • Willingness to engage and contribute to our inclusive lab culture.

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Position Information

This is a Flexible Term appointment, which is for a definite period not to exceed six years.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

  • Included in 2022 Best Places to Work by Glassdoor!
  • Work for a premier innovative national Laboratory
  • Comprehensive Benefits Package
  • Flexible schedules (*depending on project needs)
  • Collaborative, creative, inclusive, and fun team environment

Learn more about our company, selection process, position types and security clearances by visiting our Career site

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

LLNL demonstrates its commitment to public safety by requiring that all new Laboratory employees be immunized against COVID-19 unless granted an accommodation under applicable state or federal law. This requirement will apply to all new hires including those who will be working on site, as well as those who will be teleworking.

Security Clearance

None required.  However, if your assignment is longer than 179 days cumulatively within a calendar year, you must go through the Personal Identity Verification process.  This process includes completing an online background investigation form and receiving approval of the background check.  (This process does not apply to foreign nationals.)  For additional information, please see DOE Order 472.2

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position will be required to pass a post-offer, pre-employment drug test. This includes testing for use of marijuana as Federal Law applies to us as a Federal Contractor.

Equal Employment Opportunity

LLNL is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer that values and hires a diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please submit a request via our online form

California Privacy Notice

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants privacy rights to all California residents. The law also entitles job applicants, employees, and non-employee workers to be notified of what personal information LLNL collects and for what purpose. The Employee Privacy Notice can be accessed here.

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