Ocean Career: Ocean Associates Inc. Oceanographic Data Support

Ocean Associates Inc. (OAI) seeks two full-time Geographic Information Specialists to support National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Office of Coast Survey (OCS).

OCS is the nation’s nautical chart maker. If you are looking to be an instrumental part of a growing, employee and customer-focused company working on exciting issues in environmental science and other marine/coastal resources, we want to hear from you!

OCS is mandated by Congress to collect, manage, and compile data and information necessary to maintain the national suite of more than 1,000 nautical charts. In addition, OCS conducts hydrographic surveys that measure water depth and produces coastal maps and vector shoreline series and historic maps and charts. These products support commercial shipping, the fishing industry, United States Navy and Coast Guard operations, state and local governments, geographic information system (GIS) users, and recreational boaters throughout the United States.

The OCS’s Coast Survey Development Laboratory (CSDL) manages the development and improvement of charting, hydrographic, and oceanographic systems used by OCS, the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, and other NOS offices/programs. CSDL reviews and interacts with research and development programs in private industry, universities, and government, both nationally and internationally. Based on its awareness of state-of-the-art technical developments, CSDL recommends and develops future methods and systems to enhance NOAA and the quality and usefulness of its products. The Coast Survey’s National Bathymetric Source (NBS) team within CSDL is charged with building the national bathymetry. The NBS is a “one-stop” database of curated, regularly maintained hydrographic data collected by NOAA and other Federal providers. The GIS Analyst II positions will provide overall support to this team and assist in the design, development and improvements of all NBS infrastructure and workflows.

Baseline Responsibilities:

  • Establish requirements for data dissemination platforms.
  • Explore programming and modeling methodologies for combining ensemble model results and covered data.
  • Build, test, and maintain product modules, components, subsystems and product pipeline workflows.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Conduct datum and coordinate reference system research in collaboration with Coast Survey’s Hydrographic Systems and Technology Branch.
  • Develop and code datums as well as compound and 3 dimensional coordinate reference systems used in GIS.
  • NBS GIS workflow improvement, including testing of open source GIS infrastructure to support information integrity and throughput while also allowing for human-in-the-loop interaction.
  • Bathy Point Store (BPS) review and processing to include: a) create area objects (i.e. geopackages) of anomalies, per BPS survey; b) determine if the survey is systematic; c) if systematic, research in the metadata if Side Scan Sonar was acquired and, if so, how much of the survey is covered; and d) populate coverage, feature, and uncertainty metadata per survey.

Required Skills / Education / Certifications & Qualifications

  • Master’s in engineering, oceanography, Geographic Information Systems, hydrography, or closely related discipline and a minimum of
  • 2 years of directly related experience; or a Bachelor’s degree plus a minimum of 6 years of directly related experience; or 12 years of experience relative to the specific position.
  • An in-depth understanding of programming techniques such as python and experience with programs like MATLAB and Fortran.
  • An understanding of the design and development of tidal datum transformations within US territorial waters for NOAA’s VDatum transformation project (preferred).
  • Expertise converting scientific, engineering, and other technical problem formulations to formats that can be processed by computer.
  • Familiarity with standard concepts, practices, and procedures of hydrography and hydrographic science to support proper encoding of metrics to drive automated systems.
  • Expertise with Microsoft Office applications and Google’s collaboration suite (e.g., Docs, Sheets, Slides).
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to convey complex scientific information clearly and succinctly.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Strong attention to detail, ensuring that all work is complete, timely and accurate according to policy guidance and standard operating procedures.
  • Demonstrated ability to self-manage workload and meet variable (but often short) deadlines for multiple concurrent tasks.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, particularly the ability to work independently as well as with others to develop, revise, and share information.
  • Ability to work effectively both individually and collaboratively in a team/group setting.
  • Ability to receive constructive feedback and implement appropriate action.

Start Date: as soon as possible

Location: Work may be performed at one of the NOAA Facilities in Silver Spring, Maryland (NOAA Headquarters); Seattle, Washington; or Norfolk, Virginia. If necessary or found feasible by the government, staff may also be located at other NOAA facilities. Remote work may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Salary and Benefits: Full time. Salary commensurate with experience, $28 to $34.00 per hour. Generous employee benefits.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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