Sustainability Adviser - Coastal Evidence and Monitoring


£38,242 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Sectors: marine conservation, sustainability

Closing date: Not specified, apply soon!

Job title: 1020-357 Sustainability Adviser - Coastal Evidence and Monitoring | Grade: D | Vacancy type: Full time, Temporary for 1 year | Hours: 35 hours | Salary £38,242 per annum | Location: Scotland, any NatureScot Office, home or hybridworking | Closing date: Midday 24 June 2024 | Internal Interview: 2 July 2024 | External Interview: 16 July 2024 

Job Purpose Summary

This is a one year fixed term full time role within our Sustainable Coasts and Seas Activity Team. The post-holder will support work to develop a strategic approach to coastal habitat evidence and monitoring, with a specific focus on improving the evidence base for Scottish saltmarsh. This includes current work within Scotland in support of developing a UK saltmarsh carbon code, such as reducing uncertainties associated with current carbon sequestration estimates of Scottish saltmarsh, updating of the saltmarsh habitat evidence base and progressing opportunity mapping for managed realignment. The role will also contribute to identifying coastal accommodation space for climate change adaptation and developing options for a strategic approach to wider coastal habitat monitoring and management, taking into account climate impacts, ecosystem approaches and innovative approaches to monitoring and surveillance. This post will contribute to high priority work in relation to inclusion of blue carbon within the UK GHGI and forthcoming Scottish Blue Carbon Action Plan, Scottish Biodiversity Strategy and Scottish National Adaptation Plan (SNAP3).

The successful post-holder will work with colleagues across NatureScot’s coastal team and external groups and partners, including the Scottish Blue Carbon Forum, relevant Directorates in Scottish Government and academic institutes, to improve the current evidence base for saltmarsh. 

The post holder will analyse and interpret environmental information and will prepare research and guidance reports related to evidence for saltmarsh and other coastal habitats (sand dune and machair), and their monitoring and management. The post holder will also be required to contribute to the wider work of both the Sustainable Coasts and Seas and Marine Ecosystem Activity Teams. 

Role Profile

The post holder is required to have good knowledge of saltmarsh habitat (ecology and management), and a clear understanding of the relevance of coastal habitats more broadly for blue carbon, climate adaptation and nature-based solutions / restoration (e.g. managed re-alignment) and related areas of policy. A sound understanding and practical experience of ecological monitoring, GIS analytics and dissemination and surveillance techniques are required. Awareness of novel Earth Observation approaches is desirable.

Roles at this grade will typically work autonomously or as part of a team to provide specialist/ technical expertise with some autonomous decision making. The range of tasks can vary and will therefore require a well-developed understanding of a complex body of knowledge in their specialist area. Consequently, planning and organising of own workload is required to deliver the corporate priorities. The role is required to evaluate different approaches, problem solve and provide a range of solutions. 

Key responsibilities

  • Support work to improve the evidence base on Scottish saltmarsh habitat to inform development of the UK saltmarsh carbon code; better understand habitat status and trends; promote the appropriate use of nature-based solutions; and underpin delivery of relevant Scottish Biodiversity Strategy actions. 
  • Work with coastal colleagues to develop a strategic approach to wider coastal habitat monitoring, to take account of climate impacts, ecosystem processes and the use of innovative techniques. 
  • Represent NatureScot at conferences, meetings and events and promote awareness of our work through social media, press releases and the NatureScot website
  • Manage correct storage of scientific information and data through email, filing / storage systems and MS Teams, following agreed processes.
  • Contribute to the wider work of the Sustainable Coasts and Seas team.
  • Design, commission, and manage research projects (including the QA of submitted products).
  • Participate in site survey / monitoring work using a range of field and remote sampling techniques.
  • Analyse and interpret coastal habitat data, including through the use of GIS, to underpin the provision of ecological advice and assessments of protected area condition status or wider biodiversity reporting.

Person Specification (please respond in your 2 page supporting statement as to how you meet each of these criteria)


  • A degree in a relevant subject or equivalant experience 
  • A sound understanding of Scottish coastal ecology, habitats and species and issues relating to their conservation and use. 
  • Good understanding of the implications of climate change for coasts and seas and the importance of blue carbon habitats as carbon stores. 
  • Ability to analyse, interpret and manage scientific information - including practical experience data handling and applying statistical methods.
  • Ability to interpret coastal habitat survey and understanding of ecological monitoring techniques.
  • A sound understanding and practical experience of GIS analytics and dissemination.
  • Experience of developing and maintaining positive working relationships with stakeholders, such as agencies, organisations, developers or government.
  • Effective communication and engagement skills including the ability to convey technical/scientific issues to general audiences (internal and external) both in writing and verbally.
  • Good interpersonal skills with a proven ability to work constructively and supportively in a team environment as well as the ability to work independently.
  • Strong organisational skills and ability to effectively prioritise work and competing deadlines and manage projects including being able to adapt to changing priorities.


  • Demonstrable working / applied knowledge of relevant UK habitat classification schemes for Britain and Ireland (National Vegetation Classification (NVC)).
  • Awareness of novel Earth Observation approaches.
  • Knowledge of NatureScot’s priorities and processes and an awareness of the political environment in which NatureScot operates.


  • Right to work in the UK
  • To undertake a disclosure Scotland Application
  • Although Gaelic language is not a prerequisite it is a desirable skill in support of our commitment to our Gaelic Language Plan.

Working for NatureScot

NatureScot offers some great benefits to reward and support you whilst you are working for us. Our benefits package includes the civil service pension scheme, a generous holiday leave allowance plus flexi time, and employee discount scheme. Visit the NatureScot website for further details.

NatureScot’s Net Zero commitment

Whether working at home or in an office, or travelling to meetings and site visits, as a NatureScot you will contribute to our Net Zero plan, for example through positive carbon travel choices. You will aim to minimise travel in accordance with NatureScot’s low carbon operating procedures. However, you will, in some circumstances, be expected to work with colleagues and stakeholders from across Scotland, which will involve some travel and may involve overnight stays. 

Nature is vital to all of us, so it is vital that we are an organisation for all of Scotland. The more diverse NatureScot is, the better we will be in connecting everyone with nature. We particularly encourage applications from people from Minority Ethnic (ME) backgrounds and people with a disability.

Find out more & apply