Location:          WASCAL Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Duration of contract:            3-years fixed term renewable contract

WASCAL seeks to hire a GIS and Remote Sensing Research Scientist. This is a local position and shall be based at the WASCAL Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

WASCAL is a research and education-focused institute designed to provide knowledge and climate services that should help tackle the climate change challenge and thereby enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems. It does so by strengthening the research capacity and infrastructure in West Africa related to climate change by pooling the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany. The West African countries include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d‘Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and Cape Verde.

West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) with support from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany (BMBF) is   providing environmental and climate services. WASCAL, therefore, seeks to fill the position of GIS & RS scientist.

The role of the GIS and Remote Sensing Research Scientist is to provide leadership to the GIS/RS lab in the design, development, and delivery of data-driven climate services using GIS/RS instruments (mobile phones, GPS devices, Drones. Satellite receiving antenna), technologies, data and systems. Reporting to the Head of the Data Management Department (DMD), he or she is expected to contribute to WASCAL research and innovation programs (e.g WRAP2), projects, and activities.

Major Responsibilities

  • Contribute to any on-going remote sensing and GIS-related research in WASCAL.
  • Develop in coordination with WASCAL scientists, a robust geospatial information system aimed at better identifying recommendation domain/targeting for technological innovators.
  • Manage the GIS laboratory, the satellite receiving station, and their associated hard and software at the WASCAL Competence Centre.
  • Contribute to the management of WASCAL Data Infrastructure and to the development of web/mobile RS/GIS applications and platforms
  • Organize regular hands-on, short-training courses to students, scientists, and technicians in and out of WASCAL on the application of geospatial technologies to solve development- and climate-related problems.
  • Provide technical support to the WASCAL Basin coordinators in their day-to-day work as and when they are needed.
  • Contribute to the development of the RS Value-Added Data Repository to complement WADIREP.
  • Contribute to the provision of raw and value-added spatial data to support research and project implementation in WASCAL.
  • Contribute to the development of research proposals.
  • Work with other scientists to develop climate and environmental services and products including climate hazards maps, LULC maps, climate scenarios/prediction maps, etc.
  • Contribute to the overall climate change scenario analysis of WASCAL and the trade-off analysis and policy advice on sustainable land use.
  • Conduct scientific research and communicate its results to various audiences in various forms including technical reports, scientific articles, policy briefs, as well as poster and oral presentations.
  • Develop collaborations with advanced research institutions in West Africa and beyond, and link with global initiatives related to remote sensing.
  • Contribute to fund mobilization as support for the research activities of WASCAL by leading and/or contributing to the development of project proposals and implementation.  Any contract renewal shall be subject to a thorough assessment of staff performance on fund raising activities and the amount of grants raised.
  • Any other duties that may be assigned from time to time.

Educational, Training, Skills, and Experience Requirements

  • PhD in remote sensing, GIS, Geomatics, environmental sciences, or any other field close to GIS and Remote Sensing.
  • Good understanding of the role of geospatial sciences in combating climate change.
  • Practical know-how of design and implementation of GIS systems / applications
  • Practical know-how of extraction, analysis and integration of data from various existing remote sensing satellite sources (e.g. Landsat, MODIS, Sentinel), color ranges (RGB, NIR) and indexes (NDVI, VARI), data formats (e.g. GeoTIFF, ECW, MrSIDHDF, NetCDF), resolutions (e.g. radiometric, spatial, spectral, and temporal) etc.
  • Demonstrated expertise in developing practical GIS and remote sensing applications and decision support tools is an advantage.
  • High degree of initiative and self-motivation.
  • Good track record in resource mobilization and research proposal development is an advantage.
  • Ability to lead and mentor junior scientists.
  • Experience in developing training materials and organizing and conducting training workshops.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, experience in working and interacting effectively with a variety of stakeholders and demonstrated ability to collaborate well across disciplines and with key collaborative institutions and agencies.
  • Working knowledge of main remote sensing and GIS tools and software.
  • Research experience in interdisciplinary working environments.
  • Strong publication record in peer reviewing journals.
  • Fluent spoken and written English, and conversant with French.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • Ability to generate new ideas and implement them.
  • Ability to work as part of a dynamic and multicultural team.

Application procedure:

Applications including a cover letter (no more than two pages) highlighting the candidate’s experience against the criteria listed above (desired skills and experience) and a curriculum vitae with names and e-mail addresses of three professional referees should be emailed to candidature@wascal.org. Please indicate the job title in the subject line.

Applications will be accepted up to 31 July 2023. Applications will be acknowledged, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Please visit www.wascal.org for further information.