Researcher VII

Woods Hole, MA
Work Type: On-Site
  • Job Category: Life, Physical & Social Science
  • Travel: None
  • Clearance: Not Applicable
  • Req ID: 2024-8042


Job Summary:

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) conducts a wide range of interdisciplinary research activities in marine, estuarine, lacustrine, and terrestrial regions of the United States, including the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Great Lakes, and Alaskan North Slope, as well as international locations (e.g., South America and Europe). The research addresses issues of local, regional, national, and global concern, such as natural hazards, environmental quality, living and non-living resources, and climate change. The fundamental goal is to develop a scientific understanding of Earth processes that contributes to decision making in coastal and marine environments. Data management of imagery datasets is carried out under the USGS Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program (CMHRP) and includes cooperative research with other USGS programs and USGS Science Centers including the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) in Santa Cruz, CA, and the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPMSC) in St Petersburg, FL.

Beginning with photographs of sea-floor sediments and spanning six decades of data collection, images have had a part of nearly all aspects of USGS research, fieldwork, lab analyses, publications, conferences, and outreach events at the center and around the world. Recent advances in technology have enabled us to collect images with underwater vehicles (SQUID-5, SeaBOSS, BOBSled), uncrewed aerial systems (UAS, drones), and long-term deployed fixed camera systems (CoastCams) at orders of magnitude beyond that of our previous capabilities.

Since 2019, the CMHRP has been working to create a new imagery database to handle the vast photographic data portfolio of the Program. The CMHRP's Imagery Data System (IDS) brings to fruition over ten years of planning to standardize how images are organized, cataloged, and archived for the three CMHRP centers (Woods Hole, MA; St. Petersburg, FL; and Santa Cruz, CA). Currently, the IDS is already host to more than 250,000 images on its internal side (on the CMHRP's internal server Compass) and approximately 120,000 publicly available images that have been published via recent USGS data releases.

Akima Systems Engineering is looking for a Researcher VII that will work with USGS staff on the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) project entitled “Cataloging, Modernizing and Preserving Legacy Imagery from the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center.” This work involves creating innovative computing tools and technologies to streamline processing and visualization of imagery data, specifically for inclusion and archiving in the USGS CMHRP’s Imagery Data System. Working with images from the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine’s legacy photo database (formerly known as “Nantucket”) will be the priority, followed by a search and discovery effort to identify and then process other historical imagery datasets. Additionally, the Researcher VII will assist USGS staff with creating metadata and reports writing as described in the NGGDPP project requirements.


Job Responsibilities:

  • Create innovative computing tools and technologies for processing imagery data and data management of datasets using Python and other programming languages.

  • Create a streamline processing workflow with Python notebooks and/or web-based or stand-alone user-interfaces that will enable batch processing for legacy image datasets ranging in number from individual images to 100s of thousands of images.

  • Test and refine programs/scripts based on user feedback.

  • Create similar interfaces (Python notebook, web-based, and/or stand-alone GUI) for newly collected imagery datasets. Work with USGS technical and science staff to design interfaces/scripts to best accommodate the general need of the center.

  • Create or reformat data into standard geospatial formats using geoprocessing tools.

  • QA/QC project geospatial data using standard GIS and technical software (e.g., ArcGIS, MATLAB).

  • Write FGDC-compliant metadata records and use standard metadata tools to covert metadata to multiple formats (e.g., XML, TXT).

  • Collaborate, coordinate, and communicate with multiple internal and external projects to gain access to data, improve data quality and dissemination.

  • Lead, with assistance from WHCMSC staff, processing, upload/archiving and publication (if applicable) of image datasets and writing the NGGDPP grant metadata and reports.

  • Using the workflow and tools developed, processing image dataset to the standard outlined in the current CMHRP imagery header guidance.

  • Working with CMHRP image and data managers, upload/archive image dataset to the CMHRP Imagery Data System.

  • Assist USGS staff with writing any metadata and reports as outlined in the NGGDPP grant requirement.

  • Research and discover additional datasets in need to archiving. Coordinate with CMHRP staff to acquire additional datasets for future processing and archival.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Possess an expertise in Python programming and strong familiarity GIS software (e.g. ArcPro, QGIS) to work with spatial data.

  • Experience with R programing and running other shell scripts in the command-line environment is desirable.

  • Core competencies include interpersonal communication skills using email, telephone, or virtual spaces, strong writing skills, the ability to work independently on assigned tasks with minimal supervision.

  • Knowledge of earth science in a coastal and marine environment, equivalent to a master’s or PhD degree in computer science, engineering, earth science, geophysics, oceanography, or geography.

Job: Life, Physical & Social Science

Travel: None

Organization: ASE - Akima Systems Engineering

Clearance: Not Applicable

Work Type: On-Site

Remote: No

ReqID: 2024-8042