Earth Observation Officer – Data Analysis and Technical Support At Pacific Community

The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
The Geoscience Energy and Maritime Division provides advice, technical assistance, research and training support to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). There are three (3) areas of scientific programming and two areas of focus within this division:
Oceans and Maritime Programme (OMP) – assists member countries with services that provide applied ocean science and knowledge for evidence-based policy-making and technical solutions for improved ocean and maritime governance, management and capacity development.
Georesources and Energy Programme (GEP) – assists member countries by applying technical knowledge in the areas of geoscience and sustainable energy use.
Disaster and Community Resilience Programme (DCRP) – assists member countries to demonstrate strengthened resilience through integrated action on disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, natural resource management and increased access to water and sanitation.
The other two focus areas within this division are Programming and Operations, which is responsible for driving integrated programming excellence and operational support across the division, and Geoinformatics, which is responsible for providing diverse, integrated, and unique and demand-driven information and spatial data services across SPC work programmes, projects and countries.
The Earth Observation Officer – Data Analysis and Technical Support will support the Geoinformatics Section to design, generate, manage and maintain the geospatial schemas, databases and analysis ready datasets (ARD) for Earth Observation-based and/or Remote Sensing products. The incumbent will assist in developing earth observation products and associated tooling within Pacific context based on applied research across required geoscientific domains (climate, disaster, oceans, agriculture, and infrastructure) and provide sound advice on data, image and sensor requirements for different thematic applications; along with utilising open-source GIS and Remote Sensing tools to undertake methodology development, and spatial analysis to enable GIS-based EO deliverables.
The key responsibilities of the role include:
Implement EO Geospatial Data and Toolsets, Develop and Test Suitable Methodologies
Research and review available spatial tools suitable for intended applications; Develop and assist where necessary adaptable workflows using identified tools for local application
EO and Related Geospatial Data Management
Utilize appropriate data/information systems and portals to research, collate, catalogue, process and manage geospatial information products and services.
Geospatial Capacity Building and Training
Facilitate and contribute to relevant training and capacity building using tools and systems including web databases and open-source tools, while adhering to industry standard practices
Provide Geospatial-related Support for Projects, Proposals and Country Requests
Provide broad range of Geospatial support including sound and objective technical advice
For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the job description provided.
Key selection criteria
BSc. Geospatial Science (Developer or Analyst Stream); Geography or related discipline.
Certification(s) in Open Source Geospatial and/or Remote Sensing Tools.
Knowledge and experience
At least 2-3 years’ experience in Geospatial Information Products; preferably using open spatial data and imagery
Multi-spectral and Hyper-spectral imagery processing work experience (eg: radiometric/atmospheric correction, pan-sharpening) using FOSS toolchains)
Strong experience in QGIS and its Plugin Ecosystem
Strong proficiency in a data science programming language – Python, R or Matlab
Strong experience with PostgreSQL/PostGIS Database System
Essential skills
Deep familiarity with cloud-based workflows (eg: Jupyter NoteBooks, cloud-based spatial data libraries used in Google Earth Engine, Open Data Cube and Sentinel SciHub
Strong real-world experience in large-scale multi-dimensional data processing within a cluster or high- performance computing context eg: MPI, CUDA, Tensor infrastructures
Medium-level proficiency in systems-level programming tools in C++, Rust etc.
Basic concepts of image processing and remote sensing techniques
Language skills
Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) with a working knowledge of French being an advantage
Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
Excellent interpersonal skills in the multicultural environment of the Pacific Islands
Salary, terms and conditions
Contract Duration – 2 years
Due to the current travel restrictions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the priority SPC places on its staff safety, health and well-being, please note that there may be delays in taking up the appointment. These matters will be discussed thoroughly with successful candidates. In most cases, any appointment and on-boarding would only commence when relocation to the duty station is permitted.
Remuneration – The Earth Observation Officer – Data Analysis and Technical Support is a Band 8 position in SPC’s 2021 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 1,994‒2,493 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 6,022–7,528 (USD 2,772–3,465; EUR 2,446–3,058). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.
Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,350–3,000 per month. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and 30 days of sick leave per annum, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).
Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.
Recruitment principles – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilingualism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals. If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will be given to the Pacific Islander.
Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s Privacy Policy.
How to apply
Application procedure
Closing Date – 6 April 2021 at 11:45pm Fiji time
Applicants must apply online at
Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.
For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:
an updated resume
contact details for three professional referees
a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
responses to all screening questions
Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.
Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. These documents may be requested at a later stage.
For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. The Pacific Community does not support dual spouse employment.
Please ensure that you respond to all the screening questions. If you do not respond to the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at short-listing stage.
Screening Questions:
Describe and give some examples of how Earth Observation products can help the Pacific Island Countries make informed evidence-based decisions based around increasing resilience and improving livelihoods in order to achieve it’s development goals?
Highlight some of the baseline data and remotely-sensed data types/sensors required in order to implement a long-term drought-monitoring strategy in an atoll state?
Describe some of the processes involved in calibrating a satellite imagery for spatial analysis?

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June 2023
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