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Talking to farmers about drone technology in the Teagasc Stand at the National ploughing Festival:


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Job Title:                     Data Technologist
Post Type:                   Permanent
                                    A panel may be formed from which future similar vacancies may be filled. The panel will remain active for a maximum period of 12 months.          
Location:                     Department of Agrifood Business and Spatial Analysis, Ashtown Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15.
Reporting to:               Head of Department, Agrifood Business and Spatial Analysis Department or other such manager as may be identified from time to time.
Grade/Salary:              Technologist Grade 1, with a starting salary of €32,729 per annum. The current salary scale is €32,729 to €63,700.
Starting pay will be at the minimum of the scale per Government Circular E100/8/82. Exceptional circumstances may apply for candidates with current or recent previous service in the public sector (including Teagasc), subject to meeting the criteria as set out by Government.
Remuneration may be adjusted from time to time in line with Government Policy.
Basic Function:           The Agrifood Business and Spatial Analysis (AFBSA) Department in Teagasc generates large amounts of data both derived from and for research purposes. These data are largely geo-informatic in nature such as GIS, Earth observation image data, UAV, etc., but also include significant amounts of survey and demographic data. We are seeking a geospatial data specialist to help create, manage and share these data both in-house within Teagasc and with external stakeholders.  As AFBSA (and Teagasc) move into the area of “Big Data”, research outcomes will increasingly depend on our ability to mine these data for solutions to problems that were not the original focus of research.  The data technologist will understand how to manage large datasets in the context of research data mining.  They will help in the design of data processing systems dealing with data stores that change and update daily and help ensure that AFBSA data holdings meet industry standards for quality and reliability.
Background:                The Rural Economy and Development Programme (REDP) (of which the Agrifood Business and Spatial Analysis Department is a part) is a research programme of Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority, whose primary mandate is to conduct research on topics related to agricultural, food, rural development and environmental issues. It is situated at Ashtown in Dublin and in Teagasc’s Mellows Campus in Athenry near Galway City.  The Programme consists of around 60 staff and 20 PhD students, divided into the following Departments:
  • Agri-food Business and Spatial Analysis
  • Agricultural Economics and Farm Surveys
  • Knowledge Transfer Farm Management and Rural Development
The successful candidate will join a team of researchers acknowledged as national leaders in the social and geographic analysis of a wide range of data formats and sources related to agriculture. The team works across a wide range of disciplines from earth observation of agricultural production to understanding consumer preferences for healthy foods.
Main Duties and Responsibilities:
·        Maintain existing databases and data stores.
·        Design new data integration and ingestion methods.
·        Responsible for data discovery and sharing in a geospatial environment.
·        Work with REDP researchers in new data mining methodologies.
·        Assist in survey design by AFBSA researchers.
·        Provide ongoing technical management of corporate GIS infrastructure in line with INSPIRE Directive and SI No. 382/2010.
·        Actively participate in the annual business planning and Performance Management Development System (PMDS) process.
·        Assist Teagasc in meeting the commitments of the Quality Customer Service Charter and Action Plan.
·        Fully co-operate with the provisions made for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of themselves, fellow staff and non-Teagasc staff and co-operate with management in enabling Teagasc to comply with legal obligations. This includes full compliance with the responsibilities outlined in the Safety Statement.
·        Such other duties as may be assigned from time to time.
* This job specification is intended as a guide to the general range of duties and is intended to be neither definitive nor restrictive. It will be reviewed from time to time with the post-holder.
Person Specification
Note: The ‘Essential’ qualifications, skills and knowledge outlined below are ‘must-have’ which will be used in the shortlisting process.
·        Candidates must have a QQI Level 8 degree in computing, engineering, maths or geoinformatics or a related discipline.
·        3 years post qualification experience in data management.
·        Post-graduate training in relevant discipline.
·        Experience in a research/project focused environment.
·        Statistical qualifications including spatial statistics.
·        Skills in an array of scripting language environments including R, Python and familiarity with Linux.
·        Skills in working in a geospatial environment such as ESRI ArcGIS.
·        Skilled in a wide array of database environments including, Access, SQL. Server and also geodatabase formats
·        Strong oral and written communication skills.
·        Knowledge and experience of web application development technologies, tools, and frameworks.
·        Knowledge and experience of machine learning.
·        Experience of working in multi-partner and multi-disciplinary research projects.
·        Skills with data visualisation tools e.g. D3, Tableau.
·        Knowledge and understanding of a wide range of geospatial and other data formats such as Shapefile, GeoTiff, NetCDF.
·        Knowledge of the agricultural and food sector in Ireland.
·        Understanding and appreciation of the Irish Public Sector and how it works.
·        Experience with Hadoop, Spark, and NoSQL databases and real time data management.
Behavioural Competencies
·        Ability to work on own initiative and as part of a team, including consulting, collaborating and building relationships with key stakeholders.
·        Strives for high quality of work and demonstrates commitment to the programme.
·        Ability to communicate effectively to enable knowledge and technology transfer.
·        Flexible approach to work with an ability to prioritise tasks effectively.
·        A strong capacity for self-directed learning of new and emerging technologies.
·        A results-driven individual with a strong focus on goal-setting, performance delivery and accountability.
·        Excellent interpersonal skills, proficiency in communicating with a wide range of stakeholders, i.e. national and international scientists, policy makers, industry, farmers.
·        Ability to work independently, and meet self-imposed milestones and deliverables.
·        A proactive, solutions-focused approach to work with an ability to adapt to changing requirements and shifting work priorities.
·        Ability to set clear standards and have a quality customer service focus.
How to Apply
An Application Form for this position can be accessed on the Teagasc website at www.teagasc.ie/careers.
Completed Application Forms should TYPED, saved in PDF format and be submitted by email to teagascjobs@clark.ie no later than 12 midnight on Wednesday 27th September 2017.
Please state relevant reference code in all correspondence. Teagasc is an equal opportunities
employer. Canvassing will disqualify.


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Prof Nick Holden in the school of Biosystems engineering is advertising for a 15month post doc:


Working on BRD corrections for UAS acquired multispectral data

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Source: UCD GIS Post DOC

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Today we are updating stakeholders on the work of the National landcover habitat mapping working group.

We’re hosting a copy of the draft map for Kerry so people can see the potential 


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We were having a chat about data sources new and old, and EO-1 was mentioned. E0_1 has been a very long lived satellite testing hyper-spectral observations (with a remarkably good Irish coverage, especially Munster) but has recently been decommissioned.

We wondered how a satellite thats been orbiting for so much longer than intended is handle at the end of its life (boosted into a higher orbit? Accelerated De-orbited ? Managed de-orbit?)

Anyway we searched around and came up with the end of life program. And this little nugget from the document caught my eye:


“7.0       Assessment of Spacecraft Reentry Hazards

To access the risk of human casualty from surviving debris, the total debris casualty area, Da, has been calculated to be 5.9 m2 and the total average population density Pd, for the EO-1 orbit inclination of 98.2° and re-entry year of 2043, is determined to be 12.838 per square km based on information provided by the NASA Orbital Debris Program Office at JSC.  In accordance with the NASA-STD 8719.14, the resulting risk of human casualty from surviving debris is calculated to be 0.0000757 (0.757:10,000) which is within the requirement of less than 0.0001 (1:10,000)

I wonder how a 10,000 to one chance of injury was set as an acceptable threshold

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Boost your agricultural idea to the next level! Sign up for the Copernicus Masters 


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Got a brilliant service, product, or business idea using Earth observation or satellite navigation? Submit your idea for novel agricultural solutions and precision farming before 30 June 2017. Discover the topic-specific Challenges by our partners which form the largest global innovation network for Copernicus & Galileo.

Both competitions are organised by Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), specialist in building and maintaining global innovation networks and organising related competitions. AZO supports business innovations and the creation of new companies, primarily in the field of commercial aerospace applications.

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