Land Cover Scientist / Spatial Analyst - Military veterans preferred

Kellogg Brown & Root (


  full-time   employee

Sioux Falls
South Dakota
United States


Land Cover Scientist / Spatial Analyst

KBR ( ) is seeking to fill a full-time Land Cover Scientist/Spatial Analyst position under the Technical Services Support Contract (TSSC) with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center ( ), located near Sioux Falls, SD.

The successful candidate will become an integral part of the Integrated Science and Applications (ISA) Division of the Technical Services Support Contract (TSSC) at the USGS EROS Center. The ISA Division Team is comprised of highly talented remote sensing scientists, land cover scientists, software engineers, web developers, and systems engineers who work together to support the dynamic science and technical requirements of our USGS Customer. This includes a wide-ranging portfolio of projects with focuses in land cover and land change monitoring, remote sensing time-series algorithm development, land cover forecasting, land change assessments, fire science, drought monitoring, ecosystem & vegetation dynamics, and others. The current staffing requirement is in the Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (LCMAP) project. As a Remote Sensing Scientist/Spatial Analyst, working in this area, one applies an earth sciences background in conjunction with Geographic Information System (GIS) software, scripting techniques, statistics, data mining, and/or modeling methodology to produce, manipulate, analyze, and interpret geospatial datasets that contribute to the science focus area. If you have a related skillset/background and are interested in an exciting and challenging career in the field of land cover/remote sensing science, we invite you to apply for this position.

The LCMAP project has needs for technical support and analysis such as: 1) Spatial analysis of land cover and land change mapping results to support assessments on the types, rates, and causes of U.S. land change, 2) Interrogation of time-series based land cover/land change mapping results to improve Landsat based time-series monitoring procedures, 3) Developing spatial analysis tools for comparing land change data and external datasets to understand connections and causes of gradual or abrupt land change, 4) Developing and demonstrating applications of time-series based land cover/land change information for use in disciplines such as hydrology, wildlife biology, landscape ecology, vegetation disturbance monitoring, etc., 5) air photo interpretation and collection of land cover reference information.

Education :

  • Minimum Bachelor of Science (MS preferred) in Earth Science, Natural Science, Physical Science, Computer Science or related with emphasis in geography, landscape ecology, forestry, land use/land cover science, remote sensing (time-series monitoring, land cover classification, vegetation monitoring), with course work in statistics, remote sensing, GIS, air photo interpretation.


  • At least 5 years of directly related professional experience (willing to consider differing combinations of education/experience)

Responsibilities may include:

  • Conduct land change analysis using Landsat time series data to improve understanding of regional to national scale land change processes
  • Contribute to developing new/improved approaches for detecting and monitoring land change at frequent intervals
  • Conduct spatial analysis as part of a multi-disciplinary team to help understand rates and trends in U.S. land change
  • Perform GIS/remote sensing data processing, management, and incorporate scripting/automation efficiencies into data processing workflows and ensure data quality at all stages
  • Utilize statistical software, such as R and Excel, to validate, compare, and study data results
  • Provide science support to other Project elements (assessments, applications, communication and outreach) as needed
  • Contribute to and/or lead the writing, editing, and review of peer reviewed publications, product documentation, and reports, including the development of high-quality maps, charts, graphs, tables, and other figures
  • Establish, document, and maintain best practices/standard operating procedures/sound scientific research methods
  • May include travel to attend scientific conferences or other project-related meetings/field trips

Required Skills:

  • Fundamental understanding of remote sensing science and the characteristics of geospatial data
  • Experience with land cover mapping and image classification based on remote sensing data
  • Experience working with GIS software applications (ArcGIS, QGIS, ENVI, ERDAS)
  • Experience conducting spatial analysis to address research questions
  • Knowledge of statistical-based data analysis and validation techniques
  • Proficient in geospatial data analysis and interpretation
  • Strong writing ability and experience authoring process documentation, metadata, reports, and research papers (peer review publications)
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including effective questioning, listening, and presentation skills
  • Demonstrated initiative, dependability, and interpersonal skills

Preferred Skills:

  • Strong fundamental knowledge of U.S. land cover and land change with demonstrated abilities/applications/interest in applying landscape analysis to address natural resource investigations
  • Experience working with scripting languages, such as Python, R, and GDAL, to automate geo-processing workflows
  • Familiarity with cloud-based/high performance computing environments
  • Understanding of computer modeling techniques (decision tree, random forest)
  • Experience with time-series mapping and monitoring approaches
  • Experience conducting topical investigations into hydrology, wildlife biology, ecology, agriculture, forestry, hazards, or related natural resource applications using geospatial data
  • Training or application of air photo interpretation to identify land cover or determine land cover changes

The candidate must be able to obtain and maintain a national agency check and background investigation after hire to obtain credentials for facility access and user accounts. The candidate must be a U.S. citizen or have authorization to work in the U.S. This is an onsite position .

This position will be posted to the career opportunities listing on the KBR website ( ). This position may be filled by a KBR teammate on the TSSC Contract. Please apply online.

KBR is an equal opportunity employer. EOE/m/f/disabled/veteran.

Scheduled Weekly Hours:


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