Marine Protected Areas Support Officer


Post Details

Post title: Marine Protected Areas Support Officer
Ref No: 2017/10
Grade: O
Type of appointment:          Permanent
Location: Aberdeen
Team: Marine Protected Sites
Closing date:

09:00 on 03 April 2017 (The anticipated interview date is during week commencing

17 April 2017) If you are applying for both O grade posts please indicate your preferred





Post background

JNCC has an ambitious work programme on marine protected areas (MPAs) in UK offshore waters in line with the UK Government’s aim “to recover and protect the richness of our marine environment and wildlife through the development of a strong, ecologically coherent and well managed network of marine protected areas”. JNCC, as statutory advisors on nature conservation to the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations, provide specialist technical advice on MPAs in UK offshore waters to help the UK meet its international obligations and national objectives for establishing MPA networks.


Post Duties

The MPA Support Officer role is critical to the effective delivery of JNCC’s diverse work programme on MPAs. Principally the post offers essential support in the communication of information on offshore MPAs to our external customers (most notably through JNCC’s MPA Site Information Centres), facilitating the flow of information on offshore MPAs between our Marine Evidence & MPA Programmes, supporting ongoing liaison with Governments around offshore MPA designations, and more general support to the work of JNCC’s MPA Programme (notably improving the provision of conservation advice on offshore MPAs).


Key responsibilities will include:


1          Supporting MPA Site Leads – This will include work on the maintenance of our online Site Information Centres, maintaining master copies of individual site GIS files, and responding to queries from internal and external customers.

2          GIS and mapping support – Manipulation of geospatial data (ecological, physical and human activities) using ArcGIS/qGIS to produce high quality and consistent GIS outputs. Mapping outputs will be tailored to meet the diverse needs of both JNCC’s internal and external customers.

3          Supporting our Marine Evidence Programme – facilitating the flow of information on offshore MPAs and the ingestion of marine survey data.

4          Further development of conservation advice - Help develop JNCC advice on the conservation of protected features by undertaking periodic reviews of literature and collating relevant text

5          Supporting liaison with Governments around offshore MPA designations – Providing input to queries and assist in the preparation of further formal advice on offshore MPAs

6          MPA Communications – Working with our MPA communications specialists to contribute to the communication and dissemination of work by the Marine Protected Sites team to the wider public through press releases, articles, the web, reports and presentations at conferences.

7          Wider Marine Support Officer tasks – Which will include, but not limited to, the maintenance of an inventory of offshore survey equipment in Aberdeen and contributing to work of the JNCC Data Services Team,



Specialist and Technical

  • Degree or equivalent qualification in an environmental science (preferably marine) (Essential)
  • Verifiable experience of using Geographic Information System (GIS) software packages, ideally ESRI ArcGIS (Essential)
  • Verifiable experience in managing and ensuring the quality assurance of large-scale datasets (Essential)
  • Knowledge of the UK's marine biodiversity and an understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of marine habitats (Desirable)
  • A broad understanding of marine nature conservation in the UK – ideally in relation to work on MPAs (Desirable)



Seeing the big picture

  • Take an active interest in expanding their knowledge of areas related to own role (Essential)
  • Keep up to date with a broad set of issues relating to the work of JNCC (Desirable)

Changing and improving

  • Consider and suggest ideas for improvements, sharing this feedback with others in a constructive manner (Essential)
  • Conduct regular reviews of what and who is required to make a project/activity successful and make on-going improvements (Desirable)

Making effective decisions

  • Examine complex information and obtain further information to make accurate decisions (Essential)
  • Monitor the storage of critical data and information to support decision making and conduct regular reviews to ensure it is stored accurately, confidentially (where necessary) and responsibly (Essential)
  • Explain clearly, verbally and in writing, how a decision has been reached (Desirable)

Leading and communicating

  • Listen to, understand, respect and accept the value of different views, ideas and ways of working (Essential)
  • Express ideas effectively, both orally and in writing, and with sensitivity and respect for others (Essential)
  • Confidently handle challenging conversations (Desirable)

Collaborating and partnering

  • Proactively seek information, resources and support from others outside own immediate team in order to help achieve results (Essential)
  • Readily identify opportunities to share knowledge, information and learning and make progress by working with colleagues (Essential)

Managing a quality service

  • Ensure that levels of service are maintained – flag up risks or concerns in order to meet customer requirements (Essential)
  • Work with team to set priorities, create clear plans and manage all work to meet the needs of the customer and the business (Desirable)



Hours of work
Normal hours of work for the post are 36 hours per week over a 5-day period, Monday to Friday.  Flexi time is available

Annual Leave Entitlement

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.  Staff appointed on a part time basis will receive this pro rata.
The closing date for this post is 09:00 on 03 April 2017
The anticipated interview date is during week commencing 17 April 2017