Applied Scientist - Government (Secret Clearance Preferred)

Government /
/ Remote
The Company
Descartes Labs helps organizations whose success depends on scientific analysis of observable, physical world events. We are the leading provider of geospatial analytics that create actionable intelligence by strengthening our customers’ proprietary data with models of the earth. Our solutions create new sources of environmental sustainability and operational advantage and foresight for agriculture, CPG, mining, and government users by combining machine intelligence and domain expertise into a complete operational solution.

Descartes Labs is proud to be a remote-first, distributed organization that recognizes that people have different needs and motivations for building a life and career that matters and works for them. We focus on helping our employees produce positive outcomes and we recognize that the path to getting there will look different for everyone.

The Role
Descartes Labs is building the geospatial data platform of the future to enable world-class analysis at a global scale. In this position, you will work with our internal data science team to build cutting-edge solutions for our public sector partners across a range of applications. You will be an advocate for our technology and help transform the way our customers utilize geospatial data to do their work.

The ability and willingness to obtain and maintain a U.S. government-issued security clearance at the Secret level is required for this role. U.S. citizenship is required, as only U.S. citizens are eligible for a security clearance.

Your Impact

    • Use our archive of satellite imagery, weather data, and other geospatial datasets to develop and build change detection, computer vision, and monitoring tools and models.
    • Work with project managers to communicate progress to clients and translate the results of scientific analyses into actionable insights.
    • Develop custom models and algorithms to apply to data sets.
    • Collaborate with other scientists and engineers in developing models to characterize, diagnose and/or predict patterns related to mission problem sets.
    • Actively participate as a member of a cross-disciplinary team, openly communicating your ideas, insights, and feedback and helping to continuously improve processes. 

What You Bring

    • Ability to innovate and prototype solutions and algorithms given vague project statements using a deep understanding of first principles and creative problem-solving.
    • Strong technical writing and communication skills as evidenced by publications and presentations.
    • Software development experience in data manipulation, data mining or prototype development using Python (agile development, software version control, continuous integration, rapid prototyping)
    • Data analysis and signal processing skills with an ability to independently prototype algorithms, including physics-based, computer vision, statistical, and machine learning (deep learning) pipelines.
    • Experience with areas such as time series analysis, predictive models, developing, training, and evaluating deep learning and machine learning models and their real-world advantages/drawbacks.
    • Proven ability to drive business results with their data-based insights.
    • Ability to communicate and visualize complex data in a simple actionable way.

Bonus Skill/Experience

    • MS/PhD in a relevant scientific or quantitative field (e.g., physics, operations research, electrical engineering, geography, or other highly quantitative discipline)
    • Experience with satellite imagery and aerial imagery
    • Experience developing for geospatial applications.
    • Experience working on intelligence and DoD programs.
    • Experience with model deployment using cloud or distributed computing environments.
    • Experience with agile development practice, code repositories (i.e., Git), open-source scientific computation, computer vision, modeling, or machine learning tools.
    • Knowledge of ML Ops processes and software
    • Experience writing technical volumes of proposals for government-funded projects.
    • Secret level clearance or eligibility preferred.
    • Our Tech Stack AWS CDK  Linux Python Docker, Kubernetes AWS GitBazel

Who You Are

    • Curious. You are always exploring and experimenting, interested in why and how, seeking not only to understand but to make work and the world better. You enthusiastically share your learning with others and actively seek information and knowledge. 
    • Conscientious. You are determined, always keep your promises, and are forward thinking. Principled and integrous, you take your commitments seriously.
    • Humble. Unpretentious and self-aware, you cultivate compassion for others and take responsibility for your mistakes. Egos are barriers to doing the best work and always learning. 
    • Open and Inclusive. You are receptive and interested in new ideas and perspectives, even when those perspectives don’t agree with your views. You value and respect difference and create ways for all people to contribute to the organization. 
    • Collaborative. You know it takes a team to get anything accomplished and you actively and inclusively work across the organization. You listen intently and openly and are always focused first on creating the best results.
    • Adaptable. You can navigate changing circumstances and environments with ease and approach uncertainty with enthusiasm, while inspiring others towards effective goal setting and accomplishment. 


    • The base salary range for this position is $150,000-$170,000.
    • Please note the base salary range is a guideline, and individual total compensation will vary based on factors such as qualifications, skill level & competencies as well as security clearance.

Top Reasons to Work at Descartes Labs Government

    • We pride collaboration over ownership, iteration over perfection, principles over rules, and discussion over directives.
    • We strongly encourage and enjoy a flexible work environment.
    • We offer a generous compensation package including competitive salary; choice of medical plan; dental, life, and disability insurance; a 401K plan; paid holidays and paid time off.
You belong here! If your experience and interests match with some of the above, we want you to apply. 

Accommodations will be provided as requested by candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.