Marine Assessment Scientist

Post title: Marine Assessment Scientist
Ref No: 2017/08
Grade: H
Type of appointment: Permanent
Location: Peterborough or Aberdeen
Team: Marine Ecosystem Assessment & Advice
Closing date: 09:00 on 24 April 2017 (The anticipated interview date is 03 May 2017)

Post background
JNCC and the other Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies are responsible for monitoring and assessing the status of habitats and species both within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and across the wider marine environment to inform the management of human activities and fulfil national and international reporting requirements.
These assessment processes should ideally be tightly linked to management measures, and thus require the development of methods for setting quality and quantity targets for habitats and species. In turn, these will be based on a detailed knowledge of benthic habitats, and the development and use of biodiversity indicators and pressures information for making condition assessments. The spatial scales of these assessments will vary in scope from regional seas to individual MPAs, as well as across multiple biodiversity components. Improved assessment practices will need to be identified and adopted through novel research and development, such as previous work on aggregation rules, use of expert judgement and agreeing standard presentational formats for assessment results.
The post-holder will need to have a good understanding of data describing different aspects of benthic habitats, species and ecosystems. In addition, a key requirement of this post will be strong organisational and communication skills to maximise coordination both within JNCC and with external data holders and partners.
Assessments are only as good as the evidence collected to support them. To this end, the post-holder will need to work very closely with other marine teams in JNCC to use the best available evidence, products and knowledge;
It is important that any assessment approaches developed are able to inform management measures. The post-holder will therefore need to work with our advisory teams in JNCC who provide management advice to offshore industries and regulators.
Finally, there are a range of biodiversity assessments not undertaken by JNCC, so to achieve the overall aims of the projects, the post-holder will be required to facilitate agreement of the assessment philosophy, protocols and the use of data with partners and members of the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS) community, and in particular the HBDSEG and associated subgroups.

Post Duties
The post-holder will work under the guidance of staff leading on JNCC’s Marine Ecosystem Assessment and Advice Programme, and with a range of other specialists, both within JNCC and in other organisations.
With a strong commitment to achieving improved marine environmental protection in the UK, the post-holder will carry out a range of duties, including:
Contributing to the ongoing development of indicators and targets, and other marine status assessment tools;
Reviewing and analysing data and information on the status of the UK’s marine ecosystems. This will include evaluating biodiversity indicators and targets against key pressures and impacts, and policy objectives;
Preparing high quality reports to present information on the state of the marine environment;
Liaising and working with external organisations with responsibilities for marine environmental assessments;
Maintaining and promoting common standards and good practice guidance relevant to the assessment of marine habitats and species in the UK;
Organise meetings and workshops to support the work above;
Managing relevant contracts; and
Contributing as necessary to other aspects of JNCC’s marine work.
The post-holder will be required to attend meetings and other fora at various localities in the UK and possibly in Europe, involving overnight stays away from home.

Specialist and Technical
Degree or equivalent qualification and relevant work experience that provides the following essential knowledge and experience:
Knowledge and understanding of benthic ecology, ecosystem function and the factors that influence the spatial and temporal variation of benthic ecosystems (Essential)
An understanding of the principles (criteria) for assessing the state/condition of marine benthic habitats and ecosystems (Essential)
Experience in the use of statistical programmes, databases, and GIS to analyse, interpret and display different types of data on benthic habitats and species, as well as the ability to challenge statistical assumptions (Essential)
Additional skills and experience that would be desirable to the post are:
Knowledge of the types of data available from marine biological surveys, including remote-sensing and in-situ marine survey techniques, and the limitations associated with these data (Desirable)
Making Effective Decisions –
Invite challenge and where appropriate involve others in decision making to help build engagement and present robust recommendations (Essential)

Leading and Communicating –
Communicate in a succinct, engaging manner and stand ground when needed (Essential)
Communicate using appropriate styles, methods and timing, including digital channels, to maximise understanding and impact (Essential)

Collaborating and Partnering –
Establish relationships with a range of stakeholders to support delivery of business outcomes (Essential)
Deal with conflict in a prompt, calm and constructive manner (Essential)

Delivering at Pace –
Successfully manage, support and stretch self and those you manage to deliver agreed goals and objectives (Essential)

Delivering Value for Money –
Follow appropriate financial procedures to monitor contracts to ensure deliverables are achieved (Desirable)

£27,156 per annum

Hours of work
Normal hours of work for the post are 36 hours per week over a 5-day period, Monday to Friday. Flexi time is available

Annual Leave Entitlement
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. Staff appointed on a part time basis will receive this pro rata.

The closing date for this post is 09:00 on 24 April 2017
Interviews will take place on 03 May 2017 in Peterborough.

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