Climate Applications Scientist

United Kingdom
Type of contract:

Climate Applications Scientist

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Climate Applications Scientist,

focusing on Land Surface and Terrestrial Carbon Cycle, in the ESA Climate Office, Science, Applications and Climate Department, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.


Reporting to the Head of the ESA Climate Office, the postholder will work to expand the awareness, use and scientific impact of long-term satellite Earth observation (EO) data records for climate science and applications, in particular for the Land Surface and Terrestrial Carbon Cycle, but also for other Earth system domains.

The incumbent will support and advise on the detailed scientific goals of the various international scientific and operational user communities concerned with international climate research, modelling, adaptation and mitigation activities.

Main tasks:

  • deriving technical specifications for EO-based information related to the terrestrial carbon cycle and land surface, including its interaction with the atmosphere and the hydrosphere, with specific  regard  to  the  requirements  of  climate  users,  e.g.  long-term stability, accuracy, consistency, availability, error-characterisation, and compatibility with climate observations from other (space and non-space) sources;
  • establishing dialogue with specialised climate user communities, analysing their needs for satellite-based observation of the climate system, assessing their feedback on available EO-based information;
  • initiating and monitoring R&D projects to enhance ESA’s capability to generate Climate Data Records that respond to user needs for climate monitoring, reanalysis, modelling, attribution, prediction, trend assessment, and data assimilation;
  • validating the results of such developments with the corresponding climate user;
  • promoting use of EO data for supporting the UNFCCC Global Stocktake commitments decided at COP 21, Paris, in 2015;
  • cooperating with internal and external partner organisations to transfer capabilities developed under a research and demonstration context into an operational and policy driven framework;
  • maintaining links and ensuring coherence with relevant activities of ESA Member States and international partner organisations;
  • contributing to the Agency’s public communications on EO;
  • supporting the work of Young Graduate Trainees and Research Fellows.
Technical competencies
Experience in satellite-based remote sensing retrieval techniques, in particular over land surfaces, and their validation
Knowledge of climate research, in particular related to the land surface and terrestrial carbon cycle and its interaction with the atmosphere
Knowledge of major international initiatives related to Earth Observation and climate research and their assessment and reporting mechanisms (e.g. IPCC, GCOS, CEOS, GEO, UN Environmental Conventions, EU climate activities)
Knowledge of the international scientific community in the field of land surface and terrestrial carbon cycle and associated (large) international scientific research collaborations, preferably using space-based techniques
Behavioural competencies
Problem Solving
Innovation & Creativity

PhD or equivalent degree preferably related to Earth System Science in general and/or the land surface and terrestrial carbon cycle in particular, or any other appropriate scientific field.

Additional requirements
  • At least three years’ work experience post-PhD in related remote-sensing applications development, research, or another relevant position.
  • Particular importance will be attached to a candidate’s personal scientific ability, peer credibility, flexibility and adaptability.
  • Be capable of working effectively in a team with minimum supervision, have excellent communication and presentation skills. Technical and computational knowledge (including machine learning) geared to climate would be an asset.
  • Interacting with the various stakeholders relevant to this position will involve a certain amount of travel. The successful candidate should therefore be prepared to travel frequently.

Closing date for applications: 06 October 2019.

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