The Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) offers a full-time research assistant position on Modelling and Natural Capital Accounting, in order to support the research activities of Research Line (RL) 5 on Integrated Modelling of Coupled Human-Natural Systems, under the planes complementarios de investigación conjunta dedicated to biodiversity. Within this granting framework resulting from the Next Generation EU initiative, BC3 has received a 3-year funding from the Spanish and Basque Governments to further expand and stabilize the ARIES platform and develop ad-hoc training, while collaborating with other autonomous communities of Spain.
The RL generates multidisciplinary scientific knowledge from human-nature interdependence to address complex sustainability problems through artificial intelligence (AI). The goal of the RL is to provide environmental data, models and understanding by retrieving, evaluating and integrating the existing information in order to support an effective policy-making where nature counts. Besides Ecosystem Services, the RL also tackles Natural Capital Accounting, Conservation Finance, Food Security, Marine Spatial Planning, and Renewable Energy.
Job description: The position will support the ongoing application and expansion of the ARIES for SEEA platform (https://seea.un.org/content/aries-for-seea). ARIES for SEEA is the result of a collaboration between BC3, the UN Statistics Division, UN Environment Programme, and other international organizations. Released in April 2021, ARIES for SEEA has already been applied in multiple countries around the world, and is under continuous development. Its development is undertaken by a Sector Hub, which reports to the UN Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science for Official Statistics, and which collaborates on the UN Global Platform, a cloud-service platform supporting international collaboration in the development of official statistics using new data sources and innovative methods. The Sector Hub on ARIES for SEEA was explicitly supported by the Statistical Commission in Decision 53/124 in 2022. The hub is based in Bilbao, Spain.
Main responsibilities: The research assistant will contribute to the ARtificial Intelligence for Environment & Sustainability (ARIES) platform (https://aries.integratedmodelling.org/), a semantic web infrastructure that uses AI to build computational solutions to environmental, policy and sustainability problems. The position’s duties will include (1) development and testing of new SEEA-compliant ecosystem service models and (2) working with governments and other stakeholders around the world to apply ARIES for SEEA in developing national SEEA accounts, by training these teams and working with them to improve and customize their accounts using national data and models.
The position might require international travel on an as-needed basis.
Main requirements/skills: We are looking for an individual who can support strategic activities related to integrated data science and collaborative, integrated modelling on the semantic web, with a focus on ecosystem service modelling and the System of Environmental Economic Accounting – Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA; https://seea.un.org/ecosystem-accounting). Desired qualifications include:
First-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in Statistics, Ecology, Geography, Economics, Engineering, Cartography, Hydrology, Physics or other fields relevant to the position.
Strong analytical skills and an ability to learn quickly and to think outside the box. Our work is very innovative and you should expect your job to be as intellectually challenging as it will be rewarding. A strong motivation and a desire to learn and explore new technologies are a must.
Familiarity with (desirable) and past experience using (preferred) the SEEA EA
Experience with environmental/ecosystem service modelling and spatial explicit analysis
Working knowledge of geomatics and, in particular, open source GIS. Knowledge of OGC services, Geotools, Geoserver is considered a plus.
Programming experience in any language, Java is considered a plus.
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
Excellent written and oral command of English. French language skills are considered a plus.
Ability to work independently, with a diverse, multi-location and multi-lingual team.
Benefits and work environment
Interdisciplinary and inspiring work environment.
35-hour week work calendar.
30 work days of vacation per year.
Term of contract
The envisaged starting date is 1st of April, 2023. The position is fixed term contract, linked to the end of the project (31st of December, 2024), and dependent on the project extension, with a two-month probationary period based on the performance of the work.
The position will carry competitive salary, matching the academic and professional profile of the applicant, and excellent work conditions.
Basque Centre for Climate Change, Leioa (Spain)
As an HR Excellence awarded institution, BC3 is committed to conciliating research-academic requirements and family duties. BC3 is particularly concerned with creating equal opportunities for people independently of gender, culture, and race. Anyone with relevant qualifications is therefore strongly encouraged to apply for the position.
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