Thursday, September 1, 2016


Position: Remote Sensing and GIS Technician
Contract: Full Time
Project: USAID Community-based Forests Program (CFP)
Location: Lusaka, Zambia
Reporting To: Senior Carbon Accounting Manager
BCP (BioCarbon Partners) is a dynamic African-registered and headquartered REDD+ project development and management company. The organisation is currently recruiting a Remote Sensing and GIS Technician to support the BCP carbon accounting department. The GIS and Remote Sensing Technician reports directly to the Senior Carbon Accounting Manager. The primary responsibility of the position is the remote sensing and GIS components of REDD project implementation and design as well as broader BioCarbon Partners data management strategy. Project design, implementation and management is prescribed by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) as well as other organisations such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The main tasks will be management and analysis of all geospatial data. Furthermore, the GIS and Remote Sensing Technician will be tasked with general BCP database development, data housing and management including population of database/s with geospatial and terrestrial carbon data. In addition to the Geospatial components of the job the GIS and Remote Sensing Technician will also manage aspects of the digital data collection systems employed by BioCarbon Partners.
GIS tasks other than basic cartographic techniques will be the development of carbon and land use maps using QGIS and other Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Furthermore the GIS and Remote Sensing Technician will provide ground teams with GIS support including assistance with the design of vegetation sampling strategies, setting up GPS enabled devices and plot placement, data management and processing.
The GIS and Remote Sensing Technician directly supervises the GIS and Data Management Assistant.
The position will require some travel to remote areas, mainly in Africa. The candidate will have to be a team player that can interact with people from diverse backgrounds, but it is essential to be able to operate unsupervised. The specific work assignment may also include biomass data management as well as the authoring, deploying and managing digital data collection activities using Smartphone technologies.
  • Remote Sensing: The use of Google Earth Engine programing environment and imagery catalogue for land cover and land use change (LCLUC) analysis to inform the design, implementation and management of REDD+ projects. This includes the analysis of historic deforestation trends for viability studies and site selection, the evaluation of existing LCLUC and terrestrial carbon / biomass datasets, and the use of current imagery to monitor threats to project management, such as encroachment and fire.
  • GIS: Cartography, spatial database management, development of ad-hoc maps for project management and business development. Provide GIS support to forest inventory and other field teams. This includes spatial data collection protocol development and in field setup. Development of field data quality control systems. Setting up data capture systems using GPS enabled mobile devices. Develop and manage systems to facilitate participatory mapping and land use planning to ensure REDD+ project design complies with carbon standards.
  • Vegetation sampling and mapping: Field visits to remote areas to assist field teams with GIS/RS components of forest surveys and land cover mapping, e.g. designing ground-truthing surveys. Basic GIS/Field survey training of field staff.
  • Spatial Data management: Spatial data capture and quality control. Managing of GIS and RS data sets. Safe storage of data in the cloud and elsewhere. Development and implementation of a spatial database for BioCarbon Partners.
  • Mobile Data: Mobile device and data management as well as the authoring of surveys for data collection. Mobile data management protocol development and processing. Data management strategy as well as the systems required for efficient data processing including the use of the SMART and Open Data Kit systems.
  • Database Development and Implementation: Develop and implement spatial database for BioCarbon Partners. This is a cross cutting database that will accommodate all relevant, spatially referenced data including socio-economic, biodiversity and terrestrial carbon data.
  • Staff Management: Directly manage and supervise the activities of the GIS and Data Management Assistant employed to assist the Carbon Accounting Department activities. This includes managing the technician’s day to day activities. Ensuring the assistant meets deadlines. Identification of training needs. Overseeing administration, expenses, performance appraisals and leave.
  • Data Sourcing: Locating and sourcing spatial data. Developing partnerships with relevant institutions to gain access to spatial databases.
  • Locates sources of GIS data from Government, state agencies, and private companies.
  • Assists in analyzing image data using basic image processing software.
  • Knowledge of global positioning systems (GPS).
  • Perform duties general/routine to moderately complex in nature.
  • Ability to think and work independently, prioritize, exhibit initiative and good judgment.
  • Other job related duties as assigned including technical support for field based data collection.
  • Willing to travel and work in remote environments for extended periods of time in challenging conditions.
Required Qualifications
  • BSc (or BTech) degree in Geographic Information Systems, computer science, geography or a GIS certificate from an accredited institution.
  • A post graduate qualification will be an added advantage.
  • Minimum of two years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required.
  • Typical experience ranges from 2-5 years.
Required Competencies
  • Report Writing: Advanced scientific report writing. Assist the Senior Carbon Accounting Manager in the writing of feasibility reports, VCS and CCBA Project Documents and internal reports.
  • Computer skills: Use of FOSS remote sensing and GIS software, such as Java Script for Google Earth Engine, R, Gdal, QGIS, GRASS, data collection tools such as Open Data Kit and CyberTracker, and GPS applications such as BackCountry Navigator.
  • Knowledge of GHG mitigation Standards: VCS REDD+ methodologies, the VCS standards and guidelines in general as well as other applicable UNFCCC guidelines such as the IPCC guidelines as well as relevant components of the CCB Standard.
  • Project Management: Contribution to Carbon Accounting department work schedules, develop timelines, tasks and contribute to budgeting exercises.
  • Carbon Standards: Maintain knowledge of REDD and REDD+ standards and methodologies as they pertain to the VCS, CCBA, UNFCCC and IPCC.
  • General: The GIS and Remote Sensing Technician must at all times apply exceptional organisational and communication skills, and be prepared to communicate regularly with remotely based field teams.
Working Conditions
The position advertised is for a manager to join the Carbon Accounting department of BioCarbon Partners based in Lusaka, Zambia or elsewhere. The successful candidate will be required to travel to various SADC countries in support of BCPs core business activities. The position will also have to supervise a GIS/RS Assistant.
An internationally competitive salary will be offered.
Interested candidates, please send a copy of your CV and a cover letter (max 350 words) explaining how you match these requirements by email to or with Remote Sensing and GIS Technician in the subject line.  Send relevant samples that will make your application stand out.
Application accepted until the position is filled.


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