Environmental Data Specialist



Post TitleEnvironmental Data
Team: Digital and Data Solutions
Ref No: 202411
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. 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.

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

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

Are you an experienced data engineer looking for an opportunity to stretch your technical
skills and have a positive impact for nature? The Digital and Data Solutions Team at JNCC is
looking for a data engineer to contribute their skills and expertise to a range of technical
projects and reporting responsibilities.

As the statutory adviser to Government on UK and international nature conservation, one of
JNCC’s key roles is the provision of biodiversity related evidence. Access to good evidence to
underpin biodiversity and nature conservation advice has become increasingly important as the
demands and pressures on the environment rise. Evidence activities relating to biodiversity and
nature conservation, such as data collection, dissemination, analysis, and reporting, are all
critical elements of JNCC’s core functions.

The Environmental Data Specialist will work in the Digital and Data Solutions team. The Digital
and Data Solutions Team at JNCC works across the organisation to deliver creative and
innovative solutions which support biodiversity and nature conservation in the digital and data
space, as well as offering cross-organisational project management, data protection, and
information management expertise. The post holder will join the data engineering section of the
team working across an interesting and varied range of projects. Examples of the projects our
team are involved in include leading the data engineering function for a new air pollution
assessment service, processing earth observation data for targeted projects; using Python and R
to extract and analyse marine data; developing databases, validation routines and tools to
collate seabird data; and managing the UK protected areas databases.

Within the teamlet there are lots of opportunities to work on projects of interest and
collaborate with like-minded data engineers and developers. An interest in nature conservation
and ecological knowledge would be helpful to you but are not a requirement.

Post Duties

The main duties of the Environmental Data Specialist post are to:

  • Lead the development and construction of data products and services that feed into the Air
    Pollution Assessment Service project.
  • Lead or support data ingestion, manipulation, analysis, reporting and publishing tasks for
    various JNCC projects using scripting and ETL software (such as FME). Projects include the UK
    protected areas databases and UK Biodiversity Indicators reporting.
  • Contribute to the portfolio of automation work being undertaken by the team to improve the
    way in which we generate indicators and other data products.
  • Work with other teams requiring technical solutions for structured, unstructured and
    spatial data across JNCC to define requirements and plan and deliver innovative solutions.
  • Provide advice or practical design or production assistance in technical implementation,
    scripting, data management or processing and automation to support programmes across JNCC.
  • Lead role in quality assurance and advice on management of ‘production’-level analytical
    scripts and promoting good practice in script creation, versioning, and documentation.
  • Share best practice across the organisation and mentor or skill share with colleagues.


To be a successful candidate you will be/have:

  • Solid experience with R, Python, or a similar scripting language, which you use to
    manipulate and analyse data and automate processes. This includes the robust testing of outputs
    and quality control checks on code produced in the team and elsewhere in JNCC.
  • Ability to write SQL queries to manipulate and extract data from large and complex datasets
    (preferably with experience using PostgreSQL). Experience of designing relational databases
    would be an advantage.

While not a requirement, if you have an understanding of GIS systems and spatial data and/or
data pipelines and ETL processes and tools (such as FME), we would love to hear about it in
your application.

Experience (Responsibilities)

To be a successful candidate you will have:

  • Relevant experience in management, manipulation, and analysis of large or complex data for
    environmental applications including the creation of metadata, audit trails, version control
    and establishing processes/rules for changing and archiving them.
  • Experience of, or aptitude for, working with others to identify data challenges, and design
    and implement solutions.
  • Experience of preparing and publishing data online.
  • Experience of, or aptitude to use source-control, package management, multiple computers
    operating systems or working on remote cloud computing platforms.
  • Experience of automating data processing in order to generate efficiencies (including
    automation of functions and establishing links to databases and webservices).

While not a requirement, an interest in or experience of nature conservation and
ecological knowledge would be helpful to you.


  • Working Together
  • Changing and Improving
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Managing a Quality Service

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 Working Together

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, 31 March 2024

The anticipated interview date is week commencing Monday, 08 April 2024

Please note that candidates invited to interview will be asked to undertake a technical
skills assessment on the same day as their interview.

Find out more & apply

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