Ocean Environment Scientist – UK Hydrographic Office


This role sits within the Ocean Environment Team – part of the wider Scientific Analysis Group. The team is specifically responsible for managing a diverse range of marine environmental data (e.g. marine biological, oceanographic, geological, acoustic and ocean climatological) to support the UKHO’s input into commercial, SOLAS, MOD and Allied requirements. To balance the skillsets within our team, we are currently requiring a marine scientist with a specialism in Physical Oceanography.

Job description

The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is a world leading centre for hydrography, specialising in marine geospatial data to support safe, secure and thriving oceans. 

As a trading fund of the Ministry of Defence, we support defence, safe maritime navigation, and marine development around the UK and worldwide. Working with a wide range of partners, we source, process, and provide access to data ranging from seabed to surface. We make this data available through our ADMIRALTY Maritime Data Solutions – a portfolio of world leading charts, publications, and data sets, found on over 90% of ships trading internationally. 

Everything we do is underpinned by our core values: together, responsibility, excellence and discovery. These are the guiding principles that help us work together to achieve our goals. 

Tasks fall in to 4 key areas: 

› Capability: Liaison with organisations (both UK and overseas) to meet the needs of assigned work and keep abreast of developments in marine environmental data and analytical techniques. Make the necessary arrangements to obtain data and provide this information as a dataset in a form readily useable by the customer. Develop a network of contacts throughout the scientific/NGO community to facilitate the best available current scientific understanding and enable collaboration activities to enhance the team’s capability. Take part in outreach activities to raise the profile of the team as a leading supplier of maritime scientific data and expertise. 
› Data analysis and presentation: Data is analysed to create representative descriptions of the environment. The post holder will undertake analysis of data relevant to the teams tasking, to derive representative visualisations of the expected marine environmental conditions as well as improve analysis methodology in order to provide a better service, more efficiently. 
› Development: The job holder will develop a good understanding of the customers need for and use of environmental information and feedback from users is actively sought to inform development planning. Methods and software tools used for analysis or presentation of results will be continually reviewed and updated to meet changing demands, to improve products and to make best use of developments in data handling and processing technology. 
› Report writing and Quality Assurance: The holder will be expected to produce technical reports to record methodology and results or to present a case for changes to working practices, ensuring documentation is maintained for all analysis work.


Our customers require professional advice and a range of Situational Awareness products providing information about the marine environment to assist in their planning. To support this, the Ocean Environment Team, within the Scientific Analysis Group, acquires data from a variety of sources and analyses those data for subsequent use. The purpose of this post is to provide the expertise necessary to advise on the use of environmental data and development to provide an assessment of the environmental conditions likely to be encountered. This will be achieved through collaborations with external organisations and scientific communities. 

We are seeking a highly motivated marine scientist who has credible experience in the field of physical oceanography and enjoys applying scientific concepts and advances to meet real world customer needs. You will already use programming languages to analyse geospatial data and have the ability to adapt to meet the evolving requirements of our customers in addition to having a genuine desire to work collaboratively as part of a small, dynamic team. 

Full brief of the Behaviours, knowledge, skills and experience required 

Civil Service Behaviours Level 3 

Changing and Improving 
Communicating and Influencing 
Working Together 
Developing Self and Others 
Delivering at Pace 

Specific Technical/Functional Skills and Experience 

› Postgraduate qualification in physical oceanography, including experience of working within marine sciences. 
› Be confident in data analysis as applied to marine environmental data, including demonstrable experience of computer programming skills in either one or more of the following: R, Python, Matlab, and are able to adapt to other programming languages. 
› The ability to apply data presentation and visualisation techniques to marine environmental data. 


› Minimum 5 years postgraduate experience in marine environmental science domain. 
› Good working knowledge of geospatial software packages (e.g. ArcGIS, QGIS). 
› Experience of liaison and collaboration activities, preferably in the scientific arena. 
› Membership of a relevant professional body e.g. IMarEst, Institute of Physics, etc.


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Developing Self and Others
  • Changing and Improving
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Developing Self and Others

Technical skills

We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Postgraduate qualification in physical oceanography, including experience of working within marine sciences.
  • Experience of computer programming skills in either one or more of the following: R, Python, or Matlab.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the principles of physical oceanography
  • Demonstrable computer programming skills in either one or more of the following: R, Python, or Matlab.

We only ask for evidence of these technical skills on your application form:

  • Postgraduate qualification in physical oceanography, including experience of working within marine sciences.
  • Experience of computer programming skills in either one or more of the following: R, Python, or Matlab.


We offer a range of benefits to support your lifestyle, including generous leave allowances, flexible working hours, a lift-share scheme and regular training and development opportunities. 

Working for UKHO, you could enjoy the following range of benefits: 26.5 days annual leave, increasing after five years service. 

Flexible working options include: Flexible working hours scheme, that includes up to two days per month Flexi leave, remote working, part-time working, job sharing, paid special leave, career breaks and unpaid leave. 

We offer maternity, adoption and or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay, followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid leave; plus paternity leave of up to two weeks full pay, subject to certain qualifying criteria. 

We also offer a brand new state of art award-winning building.

Learn more and apply: https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/index.cgi?SID=dXNlcnNlYXJjaGNvbnRleHQ9MTMxMTU4MzMzJmNzb3VyY2U9Y3Nxc2VhcmNoJm93bmVydHlwZT1mYWlyJmpvYmxpc3Rfdmlld192YWM9MTcyNzcyNSZwYWdlYWN0aW9uPXZpZXd2YWNieWpvYmxpc3QmcGFnZWNsYXNzPUpvYnMmb3duZXI9NTA3MDAwMCZzZWFyY2hfc2xpY2VfY3VycmVudD0xJnJlcXNpZz0xNjI1MDcwOTAwLWM4ZGNhYzMxNTE2ODZjZmIyYjFiYjk1YjkwOGY3ZTczZTVlYmVmOWY=

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