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Data and Communications Officer (Wetlands, Coastal & Marine Environments) - Cairns based

To apply, please click here

Applications closing April 24th, 2024.

Please note, this position is based in Cairns.

When applying, please include responses covering the key selection criteria.

Please direct any queries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   

About Us

Earthwatch Institute is a leading global environmental not for profit organisation, committed to conserving the diversity and integrity of life on Earth to meet the needs of current and future generations.

Founded in 1971, and with five offices around the globe, we aim to empower people to save the natural world. We do this by engaging the community directly in environmental and sustainability experiences through Work (corporate programs), Life (student and teacher programs) and Play (public expeditions). This hands-on experience bridges the gap between science and the community, creating an informed society that can translate scientific knowledge into sustainable action.

Earthwatch Institute is the largest citizen science business in Australia. We focus our research on the most critical issues facing our planet (climate change, ocean health, restoring our iconic landscapes and protecting our unique wildlife), and have supported thousands of research expeditions across the globe.

We are a small, yet powerful organisation united in the following values:

Responsibility: The wellbeing of our staff, researchers, volunteers and the environments in which we work is at the core of our operations

Integrity: We act at all times in good faith and with exemplary honesty and transparency Professionalism: All of our actions demonstrate our commitment to the highest standards of professionalism and service

Inspiration: We are inspired by our work and we seek to inspire others with experiences and knowledge that enable them to take action

Inclusion: We are greater than the sum of our parts; we collaborate with others and bring together diverse backgrounds with dignity, respect and fairness

About You

Wetlands, coastal and marine environments, data and science communication are your thing?

We want to hear from you!

You’re proactive and innovative with a can-do attitude. You consider organisation, innovation, data management and science communication key strengths.

With your degree, and some relevant experience in marine science, ecology, geography or environmental management, you’re able to confidently assess citizen science data to generate communication materials that help translate citizen science data into on-ground outcomes relevant to local community environmental management. You successfully work autonomously as well as effectively within a small team environment and you're keen to be supported within a culture that promotes collaboration and outside the box thinking.

The Role

We're looking for a passionate and motivated individual to assist the delivery of our Wetlands, Coastal & Marine Environments programs, reporting directly to the Senior Program Manager in collaboration with our local program delivery partners at The Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC). This role requires some knowledge of mangrove and saltmarsh habitats, experience with citizen science programs, knowledge of Wet Tropics environments and communities and data handling, data management, data analysis and science communication skills. Working from the CAFNEC office in Cairns, day-to-day activities include processing and analysing data from the CAFNEC MangroveWatch program, generating data outputs for reporting, working with the CAFNEC team to generate science communication materials that assist with local community-led environmental management and conservation initiatives, and providing technical support for equipment, including video cameras, cameras and GPS. The role provides opportunities for the input of innovative ideas to improve data handling and processing and science communication to support marine conservation.

This 2 day per week role will be based in the Cairns CAFNEC office. Whilst being an Earthwatch employee, you will also be welcomed as a member of the CAFNEC team and will be encouraged to participate in staff meetings and activities across both organisations (where viable and mutually agreed).

Key Accountabilities

Project Support

• Process citizen science data in preparation for scientific analysis, including combining video imagery and spatial data using R, the ESRI platform and Excel.

• Assist with MangroveWatch S-VAM (Shoreline Video Assessment Method) imagery assessment to generate ecosystem condition indicators.

• Support the delivery of impactful citizen science data communication, reporting, and citizen scientist data feedback, including improving online data communication and data input using, but not limited to, web-based ESRI Storymap interfaces.

• Perform ancillary spatial data analyses that support local environmental management including remote sensing analyses using the Digital Earth Australia Open Data Cube (Python) or Google Earth Engine (Python & JavaScript).

• Submit citizen science data to external data repositories.


Stakeholder Relations

• Work in collaboration with CAFNEC staff to assist delivery of project objectives and milestones.

• Maintain strong connections & rapport with citizen science data collection partners, including Indigenous ranger groups, schools, sponsors, and delivery partners, to ensure timely and quality data provision, including technical support related to data management, data handling, data upload and equipment.

• Collaborate with external end-user data stakeholders, including traditional owner groups, government facilities, research organisations, reef report card organisations, local government and community partners to ensure citizen science data outputs meet reporting requirements and environmental management needs.


Program Marketing & Communication

• Compile data metrics and ensure timely provision of impact data for reporting and communication.

• Ensure timely internal distribution of citizen science data outputs for Earthwatch Australia managed projects for impact reporting, marketing, sales and fundraising purposes.

• Collaborate internally to ensure data outputs are effectively communicated on the Earthwatch Australia webpage and via social media, including assisting with ArcGIS (ESRI) Storymap API’s.


Other duties that support our mission

• Adhere to HSEC

• Travel as required

• Undertake upskilling & professional development as agreed/required to fulfil your role effectively

• Assist in the continual improvement of EW processes and procedures

• Fulfil other tasks as mutually agreed


The Essentials


• Be an Australian citizen or hold a valid work visa for work in Australia

• Hold a valid Australian driving license

• Current Working with Children Check or willingness to obtain

• Up to date Qualification/Certification in First Aid or willingness to obtain

• Hold a degree from recognised tertiary institution in a relevant field (marine science, ecology or conservation)


Skills & Competencies

• Sound knowledge and experience in marine science or related field (i.e., ecology, geography or environmental management)

• Strong organisational skills

• Demonstrated experience in data management and analysis

• Demonstrated experience in science communication

• Demonstrated proficiency in ArcGIS and ESRI platform, R and python code and in Microsoft 365 apps, including Excel and Sharepoint site management

• Ability to work collaboratively with diverse teams of people and stakeholders

• Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal

• Sound understanding of the value and key concepts of citizen science and behaviour change

• Demonstrated ability to work independently


Desirable attributes

• Knowledge of mangrove, saltmarsh and coastal wetland habitats

• Experience in developing web and/or app-based data input and data communication interfaces

• Experience with Power BI

Key selection criteria

• A relevant qualification and a sound understanding of marine science or related field (i.e., ecology, geography or environmental management), citizen science and/or behaviour change

• Confidence in effective science communication

• A collaborative team member, who easily builds rapport and can contribute to a positive work culture

• High level of technological proficiency with relevant platforms: ESRI, R, Excel and others


What we offer

MODE OF EMPLOYMENT: 0.4FTE, 1-year, fixed term contract

SALARY: Tier 1  $65,000 per annum ($26,000 pro-rata) plus superannuation in line with the rates set by the Australian Government Superannuation Guarantee. 8 days annual leave.


Fully remote working

Supportive small team environment

Flexible work arrangements

Employee Assistance Program

Salary Packaging option

Professional Development with upskilling support

This is an evolving role in a small, but growing organisation, so it should be noted that this outline cannot be representative of the full tasks list to be undertaken by the successful applicant. It is recognised that the duties of all roles can be subject to change from time to time. Alterations to duties and responsibilities within the scope of the role should be expected and as the company grows, reporting lines may evolve.

How to apply

To apply, please click here: