Battelle Memorial Institute Senior Project Manager NEON Operations in Boulder, Colorado

Battelle is guided by a founding mission. We invest our knowledge, talents and resources, helping our customers achieve their most important goals. We apply scientific rigor and creativity, succeeding where others may fail, and we invest in our communities, making the world better for generations to come. All of us share a common purpose: to solve the greatest challenges of today and tomorrow.

Our 22,000 employees work at the forefront of scientific innovation to tackle critical challenges in security, human health, manufacturing, energy and environmental management. Battelle’s work is grounded in the belief that science, technology and a passion for excellence can make industries more competitive and the world a better place.

Primary Function

Battelle operates the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) project, which is solely funded by the National Science Foundation. A 30+ year project dedicated to understanding how changes in climate, land use and invasive species impact ecology, the observatory’s scientists and engineers are collecting a comprehensive range of ecological data on a continental scale across 20 eco-climatic domains representing US ecosystems. Our teams use cutting-edge technology, including an airborne observation platform that captures images of regional landscapes and vegetation; mobile, relocatable, and fixed data collection sites with automated ground sensors to monitor soil and atmosphere; and trained field crews who observe and sample populations of diverse organisms and collect soil and water data. Once structures are completed, a leading edge cyberinfrastructure will calibrate, store and publish this information. The Observatory includes more than 500+ personnel and is the first of its kind designed to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at continental scales.


The NEON Operations Project Manager will serve as part of the Battelle leadership team responsible for the successful day-to-day performance/operation of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). This position will support the NEON Observatory Director/Chief Scientist regarding execution and management of NEON Operations project scope, cost and schedule performance. The NEON Operations Project Manager will oversee a complex, multi-year project in a requiring coordination of geographically dispersed teams, operation of a continental network of sensor with associated communications systems, and provisioning of observatory data through a Cyber infrastructure with a public facing data portal. Collaboration will be required in the performance of these functions with the NEON Chief Scientist/Observatory Director, who is responsible for leading and setting the Observatory direction through close coordination with the ecological science community and ensuring that the Observatory fulfills its scientific and educational mission. This will include strategic project planning consistent with client (NSF) and the Ecological research community’s expectations for operations, development and implementation of project execution plans, and management of project cost, schedule and performance.

Major Responsibilities

  • Serves as a member of the Battelle leadership team to advocate, support, and ensure the scientific and educational objectives of the Observatory, through efficient and responsive Operations management and execution of the Observatory Collections plan, are being met.

  • Represents Battelle in engagements with NSF, other Federal Agencies, Congress and other key external stakeholders in order to communicate status and other details concerning Observatory Operations.

  • Directs utilization of Battelle policies, processes and procedures to collect and review financial and performance information to determine NEON Operations project status, identify significant variances, and initiate corrective actions to achieve project objectives.

  • Ensures key deliverables (monthly and annual reports, project execution plan, CONOPS, etc) are developed, completed and submitted to the client in accordance with required submittal dates.

  • Assesses impacts of scope, schedule and budget change requests and ensures that the requisite action is taken. Ensures that the NEON Operations project is maintained within the scope, budget and schedule of the baseline agreement and changes the baseline when appropriate client-directed changes are approved.

  • Proactively communicates with clients to ensure they are an integral part of the NEON Operations project for clarification of requirements and regular assessment of implementation progress. Builds client relationships to sustain and expand business opportunities. Influences client opinion on future project direction. Influences customer’s plans and priorities as related to the project. Identifies value opportunities for Battelle with the client and establishes opportunity development capture plans. Positions Battelle to win all such opportunities.

Major Responsibilities

  • Actively contributes to business development and proposal activities including the formulation of win and bid strategies. Establishes review procedures to ensure that proposed technical work can be accomplished as described within proposed cost, time and quality constraints. Coordinates the efforts of the proposal team to formulate an offering that persuasively presents the technical and management approach that meets the client needs and documents the value created.

  • Guides project and task managers and staff in using configuration management and control processes to manage NEON Operations project change. Establishes strategies for using cost and schedule performance data analysis in making project decisions to ensure timely and cost-effective delivery of specified services and products. Ensures change management policies and processes to evaluate changes, examine options, and make responsible decisions regarding scope, schedule and performance change are followed. Ensures that control is exercised over budgets, acquisitions, schedules, configuration, risk, and technical performance throughout NEON Operations project execution.

  • Has significant responsibilities in contract negotiation activities and has a thorough knowledge of contractual issues relative to the NEON Operations project, relevant to scope of the work, scheduling and subcontracts. Advises contract managers on NEON Operations project execution and delivery issues.

  • Represents Battelle to senior leadership in client organizations. Prepares and presents to internal and customer senior leadership to provide reviews and updates on technical aspects, cost, and schedule.

  • Knows, understands and applies Battelle business management processes and procedures. Implements Project Management best practices and management policies. Understands, embraces and executes relevant Quality Systems and applicable industry regulations. Maintains a thorough understanding of and ensures compliance with applicable government and industry regulations.

Position Requirements


  • Bachelor’s degree in ecology, engineering, computer science or an environmental/ life/earth science.

  • Project Management Professional (PMP) accreditation, or demonstrable evidence of equivalent corporate/organizational training in project management.

  • 10 or more year’s prior experience successfully managing large, complex projects, involving distributed, networked systems, and infrastructure.

  • Demonstrated working knowledge of contract management and prior experience leading or supporting negotiation of contract changes.

  • Outstanding leadership and interpersonal skills with a management style that encourages open expressions of ideas and opinions. Demonstrated ability to work in and foster a collaborative work environment.

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and collaboratively with individuals from a wide range of professional backgrounds and career stages. Ability to bridge competing views and work across diverse cultures, while being decisive.

  • Strong personal integrity and work ethic, superior judgment, emotional intelligence, the ability to maintain confidentiality, and the ability to show sound judgment and independent initiative.

  • Prior experience leading and collaborating with others in proposal development, inclusive of costing/pricing.


  • Masters or Ph.D. ecology, engineering, computer science or an environmental/ life/earth science.

  • Prior experience working with the National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • Prior experience managing Cooperative Agreements(CA) and Cooperative Support Agreements(CSA)

  • Prior, relevant field experience in an environmental, or comparable project

  • Prior experience performing capture management.

Legal Disclaimer

The above statements are intended to describe the nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, activities and skills required of staff members. No statement herein is intended to imply any authorities to commit Battelle unless special written permission is granted by Battelle's Legal Department.


Battelle’s competitive benefits program includes comprehensive medical and dental care, matching 401K, paid time off, flexible spending accounts, disability coverage, and other benefits that help provide financial protection for you and your family.

Battelle provides employment and opportunities for advancement, compensation, training, and growth according to individual merit, without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, genetic information, disability, veteran-status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable Federal, state, or local law. Our goal is for each staff member to have the opportunity to grow to the limits of their abilities and to achieve personal and organizational objectives. We will support positive programs for equal treatment of all staff and full utilization of all qualified employees at all levels within Battelle.

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