Senior Natural Capital Evidence Specialist


Post Details

Post title: Senior Natural Capital Evidence Specialist
Ref No: 2018/41
Grade: S
Type of appointment:          Permanent
Location: Peterborough
Team: Ecosystems & Analysis
Closing date: 27 July 2018 (The anticipated interview date is 06 August 2018)



Post background

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the statutory adviser to Government on UK and international nature conservation. One of JNCC’s key roles is provision of evidence on biodiversity and ecosystems.  We are committed to develop this evidence base further to support better the management of natural capital. This includes bringing together datasets into a common analytical framework, using emerging techniques and computational capability. A natural capital evidence specialist is needed to help JNCC fill its potential in this important area.  The post will work primarily on terrestrial and freshwater environments, although some work may involve the marine environment.


The post will be part of the Ecosystems Analysis Team which brings together three elements:

  • A set of long term partnerships with bodies undertaking species surveillance through networks of volunteers
  • An analysis and modelling capability with a maturing set of rapidly deployable models. The initial focus has been on multi species distribution modelling to predict outcomes taking into account land use and climate.
  • An earth observation data processing and analytical capability which is migrating from an initial focus in spatial mapping of habitats to detecting change within spatial frameworks of habitats.


The team are focussing on helping deliver the evidence outcome of JNCC’s strategy which is designed to help JNCC’s stakeholders meet the challenges of managing natural capital whist facing strong constraints on the resources available to provide the evidence needed.    The post will help the team diversify the evidence products it can provide by integrating the data sources and capabilities now available.


Post Duties

The post will develop and deliver evidence outputs drawing together the observing capacity of earth observations, field level observations from JNCC surveillance or international partners, using advances in modelling, analytical approaches, and big data processing capabilities.  Developing a clear understanding of the evidence requirements will be critical, spotting opportunities for novel solutions and scoping analytical projects.  The post will interact with a larger group of analysts and data specialists within JNCC.


The main duties of the post are:

  • To devise and lead the delivery of novel evidence products that provide strategic or actionable evidence for the management of natural capital at UK and country levels, or for areas of interest internationally.  This will require evidence on stock (including condition of stock), activities and pressures.
  • To develop and maintain an overview of the techniques ready to draw into practical routine evidence production, as well as the requirements and opportunities to advance these through more novel work.   Build relationships through academic, SME and other networking to identify partners that can aid our delivery, or with whom we can advance approaches using external income.
  • To liaise with a range of stakeholders using evidence produced by the team, with an emphasis on UK and devolved government policy officials and staff working within Country Nature Conservation Bodies, in order to understand their priorities for evidence, the opportunities to integrate with their plans, and to establish the fit of JNCC delivered evidence to their needs.
  • To contribute to the running of JNCC’s business through taking responsibility for any of: i) line managing and developing staff members, ii) running team or project co-ordination activities, or iii) helping deliver activities to develop technical/science skills more widely. This duty would be balanced across team members so that the focus of the role is in understanding requirements and leading the development of evidence products.
  • Support proposal preparation for evidence work in addition to grant in aid that aligns with strategy, by either leading proposals and co-ordinating the input of others, or providing work packages to proposals lead elsewhere in JNCC
  • To provide and seek external evidence quality assurance for the methods and products developed in line with JNCC evidence quality assurance policy.

The post-holder will be required to attend meetings and other fora at various localities in the UK, involving overnight stays away from home.  Some projects may require international travel and meetings.



Specialist and Technical   

  • Applicants should have a degree or equivalent experience in an appropriate subject and relevant post-graduate experience that shows aptitude and creativity in combining multiple information sources to meet environmentally related evidence requirements. (Essential
  • General knowledge of the UK's habitats and the ecology of a wide range of taxa. (Desirable)
  • Experience of undertaking analysis using multiple large spatial data sets and of integrating these with models (Essential)
  • Experience of analysing remote sensed data (optical, radar, Lidar) (Desirable)
  • Experience of analysing species observation data either from designed standard protocol sources or more unstructured sources (Desirable)
  • Understanding of data management principles and awareness of key policy/legislative drivers around accessibility of data (Essential)
  • An understanding of the relationship between evidence and policy and the role of risk in designing evidence for policy choices (Desirable)


Seeing the big picture

  • Be alert to emerging issues and trends which might impact or benefit own and team’s work (Essential)
  • Seek to understand how the services, activities and strategies in the area work together to create value for the customer/end user (Essential)


Changing and improving

  • Find ways to improve systems and structures to deliver with more streamlined resources (Essential)


Making effective decisions

  • Invite challenge and where appropriate involve others in decision making to help build engagement and present robust recommendations (Essential)
  • Explore different options outlining costs, benefits, risks and potential responses to each (Desirable)


Leading and communicating

  • Take opportunities to regularly communicate and interact with staff, helping to clarify goals and activities and the links between these and JNCC strategy (Essential)


Collaborating and partnering

  • Establish relationships with a range of stakeholders to support delivery of business outcomes (Essential)
  • Deal with conflict in a prompt, calm and constructive manner (Desirable)


Delivering at pace

  • Plan ahead but reassess workloads and priorities if situations change or people are facing conflicting demands (Essential)



£34,984 per annum
Hours of work

Normal minimum hours of attendance for the post are 36 hours per week over a 5-day period, Monday to Friday.  Flexi time is available.  This post may also be suitable for job share.


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 leave pro rata.


The closing date for this post is 09:00 on 27 July 2018.

The anticipated interview date is week commencing 06 August 2018.