Marine Monitoring Ecologist

Closing date: 21 April 2017 | Salary: 28,953 | Location: Wales, UK

Directorate: Evidence, Knowledge & Advice
Team: Specialist Monitoring Team
Location: Flexible, Bangor preferred
Post Number: 100428
Reports to: Specialist Monitoring Team Leader
Direct reports: None

Job Purpose

To contribute to the delivery of NRW's programme of marine monitoring through the application of your marine ecological knowledge and your specialist monitoring and analytical skills. To lead on the delivery of marine sediment habitat monitoring whilst providing technical and field support for other work areas within the marine monitoring programme.


Setting direction

  • Manage the planning of NRW's marine macroinvertebrate and sediment monitoring programme and coordinate the planning and procurement of laboratory services for sediment analyses, ensuring high quality assurance and good value for money.
  • Support your Team Leader and the Evidence, Monitoring and Reporting Group Manager in providing operational support for our specialist monitoring and to aid delivery of our agreed outcomes.
  • Support the identification and prioritisation of key marine work areas across NRW, in line with priorities within our Corporate Plan, Business Plan and Directorate Delivery Plan.
  • Contribute to the development of NRW policy and at a national level, and monitor and advise on effective implementation in the business, in line with environmental targets.
  • Maintain awareness of the relevant monitoring and analytical standards for your work area, working with national schemes such as the NMBAQC in order to provide advice and guide NRW's adoption of and adherence to appropriate standards.

Delivering results

  • Manage the delivery of NRW's marine macroinvertebrate and sediment monitoring programme: undertaking survey design, coordinating field logistics and leading field operations.
  • Support delivery of the wider marine monitoring work programme, assisting with planning and participating in all areas of field work and through application of your specialist knowledge, skills and experience.
  • Undertake collation and statistical analysis of marine monitoring data for environmental status assessments, using your ecological expertise to interpret and report results to meet organisational needs. Take responsibility in NRW, for operation and maintenance of the Infaunal Quality Index tool for WFD waterbody classification.
  • Promote integration of your work area across NRW in order to improve efficiency and effective delivery. Seek to ensure that surveys, analyses and reporting under different drivers are, where possible, undertaken collaboratively.
  • Ensure high data quality and security through data quality assurance and effective data management, whilst providing accurate and timely data, information and advice to colleagues, stake-holders and business systems to support operational work, environmental management and regulation.

Building relationships

  • Build and sustain effective relationships with colleagues and customers to understand issues and provide an effective response / steer for operational needs; maintaining a positive reputation and resolving issues effectively.
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with key groups and contacts across NRW to ensure that our monitoring services are joined-up and efficient, and support the delivery of our corporate outcomes.
  • Develop and maintain collaborative working with other organisations, institutes and agencies in order to help deliver NRW's remit and promote its work.
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with external contractors, other national nature agencies, EA national services, survey vessel operators and staff to ensure that our monitoring services undertaken are well planned and run efficiently and safely, and support the delivery of our corporate outcomes.

Ensuring effective governance

  • Ensure that NRW policies and procedures are adhered to.
  • Maintain personal performance against agreed goals and targets set out in personal work plans.
  • Report exceptions near misses and incidents in line with corporate requirements.
  • Maintain records and information in line with regulations and agreed standards.
  • Keep up to date on changing legislation / best practice externally, to inform internal priorities and appropriate alignment.

Developing people and teams

  • Ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and contractors and provide assurance of safe working practices.
  • Mentor and support team members to develop technical skills. Resolve local issues and incidents; ensure decisions are made on sound technical grounds and in line with best practice and timeframes.
  • Ensure all work programmes are delivered without risk to any team or individual; put health and safety at the heart of what you do; encourage and develop a safety-conscious culture within the team.
  • Ensure that colleagues and external stakeholders understand the underlying principles of ecological monitoring analyses, conclusions and advice.
  • Ensure that contractors, survey staff and analysts understand adopted technical methodologies and drivers of monitoring programmes.

Job Specific Criteria

Ideally educated to degree level in a relevant subject area or with a good technical knowledge and experience of environmental monitoring, the post holder will need to be an excellent communicator with proven ability and experience in the following areas:

  1. A good working knowledge of marine ecology, with relevant marine taxonomic skills and an understanding of relevant UK environmental legislation. (Essential)
  2. Project management and delivery, with experience of specifying and letting contracts. The ability to work collaboratively with others both internally, and externally with other organisations and stakeholders. The ability to identify work area problems and possible solutions and to communicate these to others effectively. (Essential)
  3. Data collation, multivariate and univariate statistical analysis, and technical report writing. Including the use of relevant software (e.g. PRIMER, R), data systems and the collection and management of marine data. (Essential)
  4. Knowledge and experience of the design, implementation and reporting of marine monitoring programmes. An understanding, and the confident application, of a range of different marine monitoring methods, with an awareness of the resulting data quality. (Essential)
  5. Qualified as a SCUBA diver to HSE Part IV or recognised equivalent standard. (Essential)
  6. Training and certification relevant to boat use and diving activities, such as 1st Aid, Sea Survival, in date medical, boat handling. (Desirable)

Welsh Language Requirements

Level 1 - The ability to use basic Welsh conversational phrases (eg "bore da" - "good morning") and to pronounce Welsh place names correctly.

Additional Information

  • The post holder will form part of a small team focussed on marine monitoring. Whilst the post holder will be responsible for a specialist monitoring area (sediments) they will also be expected to participate as a member of the team in planning and undertaking field work in all marine monitoring disciplines including diving, drop down video, side-scan, intertidal and marine mammals. With experience the post holder may be expected to plan and lead specific tasks outside their main area of expertise. This post offers significant in-job training and skill building through mentoring.
  • The post covers the whole of Welsh waters and often involves significant travel, transporting staff and equipment to monitoring sites or transferring samples: the ability to drive is therefore a key requirement. The annual field programme typically requires staff to spend significant time away from their normal place of work, frequently staying overnight and spending periods of up to a week away. Site visits are affected by tide and weather and fieldwork therefore often includes unsociable hours, with early starts and late finishing and some weekend working.

This role will be subject to a forthcoming Job Evaluation exercise and this may result in a change to the salary.

Existing NRW staff applying for vacancies via an external advert will be treated as internal applicants and remain on their substantive grade and salary until job evaluation is implemented

  • Application closing date: 21 April 2017
  • Interviews to take place on: To be confirmed

To apply send your completed application form to:

Before applying for this position, please ensure you read the Candidate Guidance.

Natural Resources Wales embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunity. We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition. We welcome and encourage applications from groups currently underrepresented including women, black and ethnic minority groups and people with a disability and we have a guaranteed interview scheme for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

We are an employer of choice because we put the principles of human rights, equality, fairness, dignity and respect at the heart of our values.

published: 28 March 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.