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NCEAS Assistant Data Scientist

Position overview

Position title: NCEAS Assistant Data Scientist
Salary range:
Percent time: 100% FTE
Anticipated start: Fall 2022
Position duration: 1 year, with the possibility of extension pending available funds and strong performance

Application Window

Open date: August 23, 2022

Most recent review date: Friday, Sep 9, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Saturday, Dec 31, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

General Summary of Duties and Responsibilities:

The NCEAS Assistant Data Scientist develops software to manage, process, analyze, and visualize data for synthesis projects at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and its affiliated projects, including the Arctic Data Center, the Permafrost Discovery Gateway, and others. The data scientist collates data and creates generalized processing workflows in code to clean and integrate data, process it into derived products, and feed it into analysis, modeling, and visualization applications. These workflows are of moderate to high complexity, and include components that efficiently operate in parallel on petabyte-scale data on high performance computing systems, and on cloud computing providers. The data scientist also performs a wide variety of analysis and data modeling activities to assess and remedy data quality issues, as well as characterize and visualize data for synthesis. The data scientist works closely with the Director of Informatics Research and Development to identify issues that need attention to streamline the data processing and analysis process, with NCEAS' Scientific Programmers to implement approaches to streamline data operations, and with researchers from targeted projects to process data and create analysis products. The analyst also organizes and mentors graduate student interns and fellows who contribute to the data goals of the Center, and participates in data science training activities serving the Arctic research and other NCEAS communities.

Job Functions and Duties

50% Data Processing Coding

  • Works with development team members and with scientists from targeted research projects to develop processing code for scientific research data, analysis, and modeling, and visualization.

25% Software Development

  • Assists in developing, testing, documenting, and publishing software tools for data processing, analysis, and visualization. Development of tools involves working in concert with data and computer scientists to test and devise effective and scalable workflows to serve the environmental science community

25% Collaboration and Training

  • Collaborates on data and analytical activities among staff, interns, and fellows working on related projects, training and mentoring their work on data science tasks, and participates in developing data science training workshops and short courses for the environmental science community.

RESIDENCY AT NCEAS: NCEAS is located in scenic downtown Santa Barbara, California. Established in 1995, NCEAS is a research center of the University of California, Santa Barbara and has a growing and thriving community of postdocs, resident scientists, and analysts, and a frequent influx of leading scientists and practitioners from around the world for scientific trainings and working groups. For over 25 years, NCEAS has been developing data science tools, supporting environmental research and training environmental scientists. There is broad acknowledgement that NCEAS has significantly altered the way ecological science is conducted, towards being more collaborative, open, integrative, relevant, and technologically informed.

NCEAS is committed to improving diversity and inclusion in science. We value the diversity of expertise, backgrounds, needs, and experiences reflected among our residents, visitors, and broader communities. We are committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender identity, parental status, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, citizenship status, and nationality. To see the steps we are taking to advance diversity and inclusion please see our full statement here:

The department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
  • Master's degree in data science, computer science, or other equivalent statistical and mathematical disciplines with demonstrable statistical analysis and modeling skills
Preferred qualifications

You will have demonstrable experience and proficiency with:

  • one or more scripted statistical frameworks such as R or Python
  • demonstrated excellent writing and speaking skills in English allowing communication of complex technical topics with a science audience.

We are looking for people with strong organizational skills, strong problem solving skills, and be service oriented. Some combination of the following additional skills with be desirable, although we don't expect any given candidate to possess all of these skills:

  • Experience with geospatial analysis, remote sensing data, or web mapping tools
  • Experience using cloud computing (e.g. Kubernetes, Google Earth Engine, MS Planetary Computer)
  • Knowledge of parallel and concurrent programming techniques
  • Background in advance statistics and modelling, such as deep learning and machine learning
  • Knowledge and skill in data management, metadata standard, and data archival procedures
  • Experience with tooling for the software development lifecycle, including version control systems, continuous integration, and testing framework
  • Experience and skill in other programming languages is desirable
  • Any degree in earth, environmental, ecological, or related science fields

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - Cover letter including:

    Interest in the position
    Qualifications related to the position
    Experience supporting diversity , equity, and inclusion

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)

Name and contact information for three references.
The top candidate's references will be contacted before the final job offer.

Apply link:

Help contact:

Campus Information

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy: All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for the deadlines applicable to new University of California employees. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Santa Barbara, CA