Geospatial Specialist


Peterborough or Aberdeen
£30,573 pa

Paid • Full Time • Permanent

Sectors: conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Sunday, 3rd March 2024   5 days left

Geospatial Specialist

Team: Ecosystems Analysis
Ref No: 202401
Grade: H (HEO)

This post will have a base in either Peterborough or Aberdeen.

JNCC has adopted a hybrid working approach, allowing colleagues to benefit from time in the office, with the flexibility also to work from home. Employees are expected to work from our office base for 1 – 2 days a month as a minimum, this will vary by team and the exact balance will depend on the nature of your role. We can provide more details at the interview and offer stages.

Who are JNCC?

Established in 1991, we’re the UK’s statutory advisor on issues affecting the natural environment across the UK and internationally. Our primary role is advising all four Governments of the UK. We also work with private sector organisations to support decision making on the sustainable use of marine waters and natural resources around the UK. We work at the science-policy interface, meaning our evidence-based advice, data and tools can have substantial nature positive impacts across the UK and beyond.

JNCC is led by the Joint Committee, which brings together members from the nature conservation bodies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and independent members appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under an independent Chair. Support is provided to the Committee by approx. 300 people who bring together scientific and technical expertise, extensive knowledge of policy at global, European and national levels, and skills in working with other organisations. Staff are based in two main offices in Peterborough and Aberdeen.


We’re small enough (c.300 staff) that your voice is heard by everyone including the CEO, but big enough that we have all the skills, resources and people you’ll need to get the job done. All our staff are passionate about conservation and making a difference to the world we live in. We have a very flexible, inclusive and welcoming organisational culture. Our Executive Management provides employees with the freedom and tools you will need, and our friendly team will assist you in your role.

One of our great strengths is the deep and extensive expertise of our staff – several of our people are national and international experts in their fields. As an organisation we strongly support discussion, mutual learning and professional development. 

JNCC is committed to maintaining employee health and wellbeing, whether it is physically, emotionally, financially or socially, and offers a range of benefits to support employees in this. Such benefits include the option to join the Civil Service Pension Scheme, professional and personal development opportunities as well as an exciting job in a unique environment.

Hours of work: Full-time

Normal minimum hours of attendance for the post are 36 hours per week over a 5-day period, Monday to Friday.

Flexi time is available. This post may also be suitable for job share.

Annual Leave:

The annual leave allowance is 25 days per year, rising to 30 days per year after 5 years’ service. There are also 12 days public and privilege leave. Part-time staff will receive this on a pro rata basis.

Post background

The Ecosystems Analysis Team helps JNCC’s stakeholders meet the challenges of managing our environment and the benefits it provides. 

This dynamic, multi-disciplinary team brings together three elements:

  • A set of long-term partnerships with organisations undertaking species surveys in terrestrial, coastal and freshwater ecosystems using networks of volunteers.
  • An analysis and modelling capability producing rapidly deployable models. These include a range of models focussed on predicting outcomes from changing land uses and environmental pressures.
  • An earth observation data processing and analytical capability with expertise in using EO to provide high-quality evidence on biodiversity and ecosystems to inform environmental decision making.

The team’s recent projects have included modelling and mapping ecosystem services in the UK and overseas; creating ‘apps’ to help land managers consider the trade-offs for nature based solutions; developing an indicator to show the global environmental impact of UK consumption; working with partners to improve collection and interpretation of citizen science data for ecological monitoring; using machine learning and deep learning to target environmental restoration projects; and building an interactive web-based tool to help users monitor and respond to change in the landscape.

As a Geospatial Specialist, you will help JNCC deploy habitat and feature mapping methods, develop products to detect change in habitat condition or management, and provide biophysical parameters for environmental modelling. The post would contribute to projects across the work of the team, and to projects led by other teams in JNCC, bringing technical evidence skills and insight into integrating evidence on land use and land use change in the UK and overseas, mainstreaming biodiversity into Official Development Assistance, and contributing innovative solutions to country monitoring programmes.

The post will focus on geospatial data analyses but will also work collaboratively with other analytical, data science and data infrastructure skills across the Ecosystems Analysis and Digital and Data Solutions Teams. Recent examples of geospatial data analyses include national-scale habitat mapping, coastal monitoring in a changing climate, detecting impacts on priority habitats, and developing national indicators of woodland condition. Whilst much of the work of the team is terrestrial, some work on marine environments is likely.

Post Duties

The post will work with EO specialists, modellers, analysts, and surveillance experts. The main duties of the post are to:

  • Carry out a variety of geospatial analyses (a large component being earth observation data), working with JNCC colleagues with other technical or stakeholder-facing skills where appropriate. Analysis will include developing new methods and adapting existing ones.
  • Collate and analyse information from stakeholders to help understand their evidence needs and identify where geospatial approaches can provide effective solutions.
  • Manage work packages for the team or other teams in JNCC, focussing on projects that require geospatial analytical components, ensuring that staff resources are used effectively and that we work efficiently alongside external contractors.
  • Manage data effectively to JNCC standards and ensure effective quality control and quality assurance is carried out for analytical methods and products.
  • Maintain a current overview of relevant geospatial analytical methods and research, including those relating to EO data.
  • Summarise and communicate work underway via the JNCC website and other media channels.

The post-holder may be required to attend meetings and other fora at various localities in the UK and potentially internationally, involving overnight stays away from home.

Technical (Responsibilities)

To be a successful candidate you will have:

  • A logical approach to understanding complex environmental issues and to identify the spatial data and analytical methods likely to help inform them.
  • Ability to critically evaluate analytical methods, data, and metadata, and to identify potential sources of error and uncertainty.
  • Experience of using GIS software and packages for manipulating, interpreting and mapping datasets, automating functions and establishing links to databases.
  • Ability to use R, Python, or a similar scripting language to manipulate and analyse spatial data and automate processes.
  • Understanding of EO data from different platforms and sensors would be desirable, but not essential provided the candidate is willing to develop knowledge in this area with support from the team.


  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Communicating and Influencing

In the event that we receive a large volume of applications we reserve the right to conduct the sift based on the Lead Behaviour of Making Effective Decisions.

Please see the CS Behaviours framework for more details at this grade.

Nationality requirements 

This job is broadly open to the following groups: 

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

JNCC do not provide sponsorship. 

Closing date and interview date

The closing date for this post is 23:55 on Sunday, 03 March 2024

The anticipated interview date is week commencing Monday, 18 March 2024

Find out more & apply