Southeast Healthy Buildings Scientist

Organization icon

Natural Resources Defense Council

Location icon


Apply now
Clock icon

30+ days ago

NRDC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our people helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our team of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and the globe from our offices in Bozeman, Montana; Chicago; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

NRDC is seeking a Healthy Buildings Scientist to join the Resilient Communities Division of the People and Communities Program. The position will be remote, and candidates must live in the Southeast, with a preference for the Atlanta metro area.

Position Summary

The Resilient Communities division of the People & Communities program focuses on building and activating partnerships, advancing holistic policies and climate solutions that provide strong health, economic and social benefits, and seeing them through investment and implementation. We aim to support historically underrepresented communities, BIPOC communities, EJ communities, and communities most impacted by climate action and inaction, specifically related to infrastructure, buildings, power, and transportation. We believe that to make lasting and far-reaching progress on climate change, we must form inclusive partnerships and coalitions to drive wide-ranging and effective change, explicitly designed to benefit people in the places they work and live.

Moving toward homes that rely on electric appliances instead of fossil fuels, and that are energy efficient, safe, healthy, and affordable, are priorities for NRDC’s buildings advocacy. The Southeast Healthy Buildings Scientist will conduct policy-relevant research and analysis, science communication and translation, and advocacy for policies that will safeguard the climate and protect public health by cutting pollution from buildings and making them healthier. Work will focus on electrification and energy efficiency, co-creating with community partners, and ensuring the building decarbonization transition delivers significant benefits for underserved households, including healthy, affordable homes, and reduced energy burden. The scientist will have an initial focus on Georgia and North Carolina with the potential to expand engagement in other NRDC priority states in the Southeast.

The ideal candidate will have:
  • Education or experience in environmental health, healthy housing, indoor environmental quality and/ or public health;
  • Research and analysis experience;
  • Background working collaboratively and in a team-based setting with both internal and external partners, especially community-based partners;
  • Experience applying science to policy decision making and prioritizing equity and justice in policy development and implementation;
  • Experience working in public health, building decarbonization, energy efficiency, and/or affordable housing;
  • The ability to represent NRDC in the media and other public forums with credibility and enthusiasm;
  • An interest in cultivating relationships with community-based partners, state and local officials, the executive branch, agencies and staff; and
  • A willingness to travel throughout the Southeast region, and elsewhere to advance policy goals.
  • Conduct, lead and/or support research and analysis of policy-relevant issues at the intersection of equitable building decarbonization and health;
  • Provide scientific expertise to Resilient Communities staff working on city, state, and federal buildings policies and programs to ensure those policies and programs incorporate holistic strategies that both reduce carbon emissions and improve the health of occupants and the surrounding community;
  • Work with NRDC Program and Communications staff and partners to develop communication materials and strategies that convey the importance of holistic building decarbonization and how it can improve the health of individuals and communities;
  • Work with the Resilient Communities team to incorporate health-related priorities and strategies into annual and longer-term buildings-related sector, state and regional plans;
  • Support advocacy in the Southeast for state and local policies that advance the equitable decarbonization of buildings, with an emphasis on underserved communities and integrating health and housing affordability priorities;
  • Build durable partnerships with a network of allies that reach beyond the traditional environmental community, including with healthy homes, environmental justice, renter rights, affordable housing / housing justice? and other community-based organizations;
  • Represent NRDC in broad coalitions of state and regional-based stakeholders, including grassroots (e.g., community groups, other environmental organizations, environmental justice and frontline groups, consumer advocates, affordable housing advocates), and grasstops (e.g., electric utilities, builders, labor, equipment manufacturers);
  • Promote healthy and equitable building decarbonization in the media through blogs, issue papers, responding to media inquiries, and public speaking opportunities;
  • Collaborate with a cross-institutional team of programmatic, campaign, communications, public engagement, and policy experts at NRDC, to integrate and further the organization’s state, local, and federal policy priorities; and
  • Be a central part of a strong and collegial team that is focused on collaboration, approaches advocacy with innovation and optimism, and is committed to using the full range of expertise within NRDC and among its partners to drive change.
  • A bachelor’s degree in a related discipline. A graduate degree is a plus, but demonstrated experience engaging in research, science communication and translation, policy development and/or collaborative partnerships can substitute for graduate-level education;
  • Education or experience in environmental health, healthy housing, indoor environmental quality and/ or public health;
  • Experience working in partnership, such as through community-based participatory research projects, external scientific collaborations, advisory committees, and/ or coalitions;
  • At least 5-7 years’ work experience related to public health, healthy homes, building decarbonization, or a related field;
  • Strong written and oral advocacy skills, including the ability to communicate technical and analytical information in a clear and persuasive manner in a variety of public forums and in the media;
  • Strong technical research, analytical and quantitative skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently with minimal supervision and collaboratively in a cross-functional group setting;
  • Demonstrated commitment to principles of and competency in equity and inclusion, including contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment;
  • A sense of mission and passion for public interest, environmental, and/or climate and energy justice advocacy.
  • Flexibility to travel within the Southeast, to NRDC’s regional offices, and to other U.S. locations as needed (approximately 30% of the time).
  • Commitment to NRDC’s values and mission.

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming diverse voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement.

We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and is commensurate with skills and experience. For this position, the salary is $104,000 to $130,000. Internal equity considerations will be reviewed before making a final offer.

Since March 2020, NRDC’s offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be associated with one of our offices, but until circumstances allow us to re-open, we will continue to support NRDCers with remote working arrangements.

As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety, and equity, we ask that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. We consider a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination, those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions via NRDC Employee Relations. NRDC treats all vaccine-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws.

To apply, visit and upload your résumé and cover letter. Please mention where you saw this posting and upload any additional materials that showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of applications, we will contact only those candidates we would like to interview. Please no phone calls, emails, or in-person résumé drop-offs.

If you experience technical problems while applying or if you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-800-889-4422.

For more about NRDC, visit