[unav_all] Position Announcement: GPS/BSM Data Engineer II

Holly Zilling zilling at unavco.org
Wed Mar 21 11:15:46 MDT 2012

UNAVCO is seeking a dedicated GPS/BSM Data Engineer II. This position is based at UNAVCO's main offices in Boulder, Colorado.

For nearly three decades, UNAVCO has spearheaded the utilization of cutting-edge technology while providing robust operational support for researchers exploring tectonics (earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics), the deformation of ice, the Earth's response to ground water, sea level, and aspects of the hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Our instrumentation toolbox includes high-precision GPS,  LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) for Airborne Laser Swath Mapping and Terrestrial Laser Scanning,  InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar),  and more.  We host the NSF’s Geodesy Data Archive and provide cyberinfrastructure to support the full data life cycle and interoperability with national and international Earth science Data Centers.

Our long-term success depends on development of a forward-looking, diversified workforce that draws on and cultivates talent across the demographic spectrum of gender and ethnicity, across international boundaries, and across scientific disciplines.

We invite candidates to review the position description below and to submit an application by going to https://unavcocareers.silkroad.com/. This position will be open until filled; screening date begins 4/1/12.

Summary of Job

Manages and maintains the daily monitoring and troubleshooting of dataflow, data archiving of data/metadata, and/or data post-processing from geophysical instruments.  Writes and modifies software code for dataflow, data archiving, and/or data post-processing and analysis for one or more instrument types.

The individual is primarily responsible for deploying and operating computer software/hardware systems for real-time data acquisition and delivery.  The individual will also share responsibility for maintaining and upgrading software systems for file-based data acquisition and delivery via internet protocol to archives and analysis centers.

Working Relationships

Internal: Independently performs assignments under general supervision, guidance, and review.  Consults supervisor or team lead concerning unusual problems. Works in a team environment with software development staff to ensure data flow software are performing properly, with system administrators to troubleshoot problems and for configuration setup and support, and with web metadata and data access software developers on functionality. May review the work of more junior staff.  

External: Works with community members for obtaining archiving metadata, data flow setup, flow monitoring setup, and instructs and guides Principal Investigators, their staff and students on metadata entry tools and data flow monitoring tools that are accessible externally. Works with staff from national and international organizations to resolve data management and data access issues.

Essential Job Functions

Work with PBO Operations and Systems Administration staff to deploy, operate and maintain computer/hardware systems for real-time data acquisition from the PBO Geodetic network and delivery of these data to end users, partner analysis centers and data archives.

Manage external vendor's ongoing development and maintenance of PBO's real-time network control software, including work on the user interface, web-based display of data/metadata, and integration with PBO's operational database.  

Install and configure real-time network control software at partner sites, integrating remote software with existing PBO real-time dataflow.

Assist with design and development of PBO web pages dealing with real-time data operations.

Assist other PBO Data Engineers in maintaining reliable (non-real-time) data/metadata acquisition and delivery from GPS, strainmeter, tiltmeter and other stations to internal systems, partner analysis centers and data archives.

Help develop and maintain automated processes for IP based network data collection, monitoring and status reporting, including software modules to support data transfers, error reports and process statistics related to network activities.

Helps develop and provide reports and other feedback regarding data quality and/or other data metrics on an operational basis.

Designs and develops web pages documenting data processing and/or data management. 
Helps develop and refine software tools and programs to support the monitoring and reporting of data management operations.  Acts as point-of-contact with third-party software developers.

Supports the planning process for hardware resource usage and upgrades.

Writes and maintains internal code as needed to manage dataflow and archiving.

Creates and modifies data/metadata integrity checks using SQL scripts and tools to ensure quality of data collection and database.

Keeps abreast of current best practices and trends in data processing and/or data management.

Occasionally travels offsite as job needs dictate.

Other duties may be assigned as necessary for the successful operation of the business.

To perform this job successfully, this individual must be able to perform each essential job function satisfactorily.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Required Skills

Demonstrated skill with network/internet protocols, IP-based data acquisition systems, network analysis and monitoring tools.

General knowledge of GPS, InSAR, Geodesy and/or Geology/Geophysics.

Is expected to understand and comply with procurement and allowable-costs standards within a grant-funded organization.

Proficient skill in Python (or Perl) and UNIX shell-script programming and practices. Working knowledge of SQL.

Competent written and oral English communication skills.


Skill in operating and/or maintaining software applications which integrate with relational databases such as PostGreSQ.

Knowledge of GPS file (e.g. BINEX, RINEX) and streaming (e.g. RTCM) format.

Working knowledge of real-time streaming protocols such as NTrip.

Experience with web interface development using HTML and with XML and PHP.

Knowledge of technical or specialized terminology relevant to GNSS/GPS, Seismic, Strainmeter, or other geophysical data management is helpful.

Required Experience

Bachelor’s degree in Geophysics, Physics, Computer Science, Engineering or related discipline and three years data processing, data management or related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Physical Requirements

Ability to use fingers and repetitive motion on computing and communication devices; see well enough to use computer effectively; and both hear and speak effectively on phone.  Must be able to sit for sustained periods of time.

Mental Requirements

Ability to understand, remember and communicate routine, factual information. Ability to organize and prioritize own work schedule on short-term basis (longer than one month). Ability to make decisions which have moderate impact on immediate work unit. Ability to compose letters, outlines, memoranda, and basic reports and/or to orally communicate technical information. Ability to compute, analyze and interpret numerical data for report purposes.


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