Climate Applications Scientist

Are you passionate about supporting climate resilience within New Zealand and the Pacific Islands region? Do you have a flare for understanding end-user and climate-sensitive sector needs and turning climate data in to actionable and decision-relevant information? Are you keen to work collaboratively with colleagues from different technical and sectoral disciplines across the Pacific region? If so, then this position provides an exciting opportunity for you.

  • Based at NIWA in Wellington, New Zealand (Auckland, Hamilton, or Christchurch may be considered)
  • Permanent, full-time

About NIWA

NIWA is a dynamic research organisation whose purpose is to enhance the economic value and sustainable management of New Zealand's marine and freshwater resources, to provide understanding of climate and atmospheric state and processes, and increase resilience to weather and climate-related hazards to improve safety and wellbeing of New Zealanders. NIWA is also heavily involved in a wide range of initiatives working with colleagues within the Pacific Islands region.

What we are looking for

We are seeking an enthusiastic and engaging scientist to contribute proactively to NIWA's weather, climate and water services and related activities in the Pacific Islands region as well as supporting activities in New Zealand. The appointee will be adept at collaborating with end-users in weather and climate-sensitive sectors to establish information needs and to translate hydrometeorological and climate data into easily understood and decision-relevant information products. They will have the knowledge and ability to work with, and lead, technical colleagues to develop and implement these services, including training end-users in utilizing climate services.

The appointee will play an important role in developing and maintaining relationships with NIWA's collaborators in both the Pacific Islands region and New Zealand, managing and leading proposals and projects as well as being part of project teams, and supporting NIWA's interactions with key regional and international agencies such as the World Meteorological Organization.

The position requires the ability to travel both in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands region to participate in projects, attend relevant meetings and liaise with governments and end-users.

What you will bring:

We are looking for candidates with a research degree (MSc or PhD) in a relevant aspect of earth or climate science, geography, engineering or related fields with five to ten years post-graduate experience within the hydro-meteorological or climate-related sectors. Ideally you will have a technical background in the areas of climate applications and services in different sectors (e.g., agriculture, water, energy, health sectors), end-to-end early warning and impact forecasting systems, or similar.

You will bring experience in some of the following:

  • End-user sector engagement and understanding sector needs
  • Developing and delivering effective climate services and information products
  • Developing effective relationships and networks with external clients and collaborators
  • Proposal development to secure both research and commercial contracts
  • Report writing and dissemination of science-based results

You will have good interpersonal skills, an ability to build and maintain positive working relationships, and experience in working with clients and end-users including in different cultural contexts. Experience in working in the Pacific Islands region is an advantage. Candidates should also have an ability to work in a team environment, to be well-organised, results-oriented, and to show initiative.


NIWA offers competitive remuneration and benefits and an attractive waterfront location in Wellington with free parking.

We don't expect candidates will meet every point referenced in the position description but if you think you have what it takes, please still get in touch!

NIWA offers flexible working options (e.g., part-time, flexible start and finish times). We are happy to discuss potential flexible options for this position at the interview stage.

NIWA promotes the importance and value of an inclusive and diverse workforce, including the Rainbow Community, and we pride ourselves on being a family-friendly and supportive workplace.

posted: 21 September 2022    Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.