Biodiversity Assessment Technologist Competition Type: Permanent A panel may be formed from which future similar vacancies may be filled; such a panel will remain active for a period of 12 months with the option to extend for a further 12 month period. Location: Teagasc, Crops Environment and Land-Use Programme, Johnstown Castle, Wexford. Grade/Salary: T echnologist Grade 1 with a salary scale of €35,502 to €68,796. Remuneration may be adjusted from time to time in line with Government Policy. Basic Function: This post plays an important role in increasing Teagasc s investment in it s biodiversity research programme. The successful applicant will work with researchers from both REDP and CELUP to support the design, initiation and implementation of a new biodiversity survey within the Teagasc National Farm Survey. This will involve working with REDP staff on survey design, spatial location of farms (GIS), data recording, managing and storage; and working with CELUP staff to define biodiversity indicators of both habitat quantity and quality, and develop sampling, recording and reporting protocols. The survey will be repeated on a regular basis. Over time, this post may involve assisting the oversight of any tenders for implementation of a biodiversity sampling programme for Teagasc. The appointee will also contribute to the development of digital tools and the design and implementation of other surveys and fieldwork for biodiversity and ecosystem services that will be undertaken by Teagasc staff and postgraduate students from both CELUP and REDP Background: The Irish agriculture and land-use sector faces significant challenges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030 and reach climate neutrality by 2050 as set out in the 2021 Climate Action Plan. In response to this Teagasc has developed a new Climate Action Strategy. This new post will be central to supporting Teagasc in the delivery of this strategy. Teagasc is expanding its research and Knowledge Transfer (KT) programme to rapidly advance the science and implementation of current and new measures to meet the biodiversity and climate challenges that farmers are facing. In addition to new appointments, there is a large capital investment to establish the National Agricultural Sustainability Research and Innovation Centre (NASRIC). New appointees will join current research teams and will utilise the research infrastructure across the entire organisation. Johnstown Castle (Crops, Environment and Land Use Programme, CELUP) is Ireland s leading research institute on soils and environment related research, and conducts both fundamental and applied research on a wide range of subjects, including soil health, soil-plant interactions, biodiversity, nutrient efficiency, water quality, gaseous emissions, agroecology, and land use. The Rural Economy and Development Programme (REDP) produces high quality social science research and policy advice to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the Irish Agri-Food sector and to enhance the quality of life in rural Ireland, and its remit includes the Teagasc National Farm Survey, a nationally representative sample of in excess of 1,000 farms. Halting and reversing the decline in biodiversity is a key policy objective set out in the Climate Act and the Climate Action Plan 2021, and the management of farmland for biodiversity will play a crucial role. By 2030, 10% of farmland area is to be targeted for high diversity features and 30% of designated habitats and species are to reach favourable conservation status. The market reputation for sustainability of Irish agri-food products will be increasingly reliant on environmental attributes, including biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. This post will support the aim of Teagasc to protect and enhance biodiversity on farms and facilitate the regular collection of biodiversity quantity and quality data in the Teagasc National Farm Survey, and to manage the collection of biodiversity data via other survey instruments managed by Teagasc s Crops, Environment and Land-Use Programme (CELUP) and Rural Economy and Development Programme (REDP). Data from such surveys will contribute to monitoring change over time and will assist evidence-based decision-making about biodiversity in the wider countryside (outside of Natura 2000 areas). Job Objectives: Main Duties and Responsibilities: • Design, implement and manage a new survey of farmland biodiversity as part of the Teagasc National Farm Survey. • Ensure effective collaboration and co-operation between CELUP and REDP in the implementation of national-scale biodiversity surveys as part of the Teagasc National Farm Survey. • Support the design and implementation of other studies of biodiversity and ecosystem services. • Undertake quality control of analyses and ensure good data management. • Establish and manage databases and perform statistical analyses of data. • Provide biodiversity support to research staff and postgraduate students. • Assist the dissemination of research findings to a variety of audiences as appropriate. • Assist Teagasc in meeting the commitments of the Quality Customer Service Charter and Action Plan. • Actively participate in the annual business planning and Performance Management Development System (PMDS) processes. • Fully co-operate with the provisions made for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of oneself, fellow staff and non-Teagasc staff and co-operate with management in enabling Teagasc to comply with legal obligations, including full compliance with the responsibilities outlined in the Safety Statement. • Carry out 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 responsibilities and is intended to be neither definitive nor restrictive. It will be reviewed from time to time with the post-holder. Required Skills: Essential • Candidates must have a QQI Level 8 degree in ecology, botany, geography, agriculture, environmental science or a related discipline. • Demonstrated technical expertise and familiarity with field methods for identifying and assessing the quality of farmland habitats. • Ability to use GIS to map farmland habitats and analyse associated available spatial data. • Good interpersonal communication skills. • Excellent skills in project management, organization, report writing and data analysis. • Excellent knowledge of factors affecting the quality and biodiversity level of farmland habitats. • Good knowledge of Irish agriculture, general agronomy, soils, and botany. Desirable • Postgraduate degree and/or research experience in farmland ecology and GIS would be a distinct advantage. • Expertise in the identification of farmland wildlife groups e.g. plants, bryophytes, pollinators. • Understanding of Irish agricultural systems.
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