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Regional Network Officer

Posted: 4 Nov 2019 Closes: 3 Jan 2020
England Competitive
Permanent & Full-time met-office/20191104153652

Observations are fundamental to almost all the services the Met Office provides - as direct data and as products; for initialising NWP and other models; for verification of forecasts; as the basis for many weather & climate related consultancy services and for providing evidence of climate change. The demand is increasing for both observational data as well as new and innovative ways of meeting the requirements of our data users.
Regional Network Officers (RNOs) conduct routine inspections of meteorological instruments at land and marine observing sites within their area of responsibility and are the first point of contact for voluntary observers and site authorities. Colleagues in this role will often have a specialization in either the marine (Port Met Officer) or land (Regional Network Manager) environments, but in the case of the Northern England role this is combined role responsible for overseeing all surface network stations in the region, including both land sites and observing ships.

Activities involved in sustaining this network will include: monitoring station performance & responding to incidents; recruiting new stations; installing meteorological instruments; and the inspection and maintenance of observing equipment to maintain high standards of observation quality, timeliness and availability. The post holder will manage and prioritise their own workload across both land and marine networks as required as well as liaise with both internal and external stakeholders to coordinate activities and resolve problems. Additionally, this position will be required to encourage and promote participation in the Met Office’s Voluntary Climate Observer Scheme or the WMO Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) Scheme as appropriate, so that a reliable network of high-quality observations is sustained, so as to contribute to UK climate records and the global safe passage of mariners as set out in the Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Convention.

The job holder will need to travel extensively within their assigned region of the UK and operate with a high degree of independence. The RNO is also expected to become an authority on surface-based meteorological instrumentation, both manual and automatic, as well as the methods of observation.


Job Purpose:

To be the regional focal point managing and ensuring the quality, timeliness and availability of observations from surface-based observations networks.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Routinely inspect and assess the suitability of surface observing stations, install, repair & maintain equipment and advise on the deployment of instruments to ensure that the required observing standards are met.
  • Instruct, encourage and provide feedback to voluntary observers on how to undertake the observing task to improve the quality and quantity of observations they produce.
  • Ensure quality, timeliness and availability of observations from surface observing sites meet requirements by monitoring performance, ensuring instrument calibration and accuracy, seeking new stations and recommending sites for withdrawal or automation.
  • Collect, manage and archive metadata in accordance with both Met Office and international requirements
  • Plan site visits in an efficient & organised manner, liaising with internal and external stakeholders where necessary to ensure the maintenance of a high-quality surface network.
  • Manage and maintain sufficient local stocks of calibrated instruments, observing equipment and literature required
  • Develop, manage and maintain close links with other members of the team as well as wider Surface Networks/Observations colleagues and external stakeholders within the area of responsibility
  • Specifically for the RNO Northern England post: Liaise with international marine colleagues and assist in the identification of suitable ships and delivery of instruments for drifting buoy deployments, as part of our annual contribution to the Global Drifter Programme.

Essential Qualifications, Skills & Abilities:

  1. A broad knowledge of surface observing systems (both land and marine) and an understanding of the principles behind the operation of manual and automatic instrumentation in the differing environments
  2. A proven ability to work independently in an organised and timely manner, to deal with multiple tasks and prioritise a busy & dynamic schedule.
  3. Evidence of excellent IT skills, particularly in relation to the Microsoft Office suite of tools as well as an ability to learn and adapt to new processes quickly.
  4. A flexible approach to work with a willingness to work outside normal office hours when necessary and to undertake overnight visits to observing locations when required
  5. Evidence of excellent interpersonal skills with a proven ability to influence, negotiate and develop sound working relationships with external customers and team members
  6. A proven ability to communicate technical information clearly and concisely in a range of formats and to a range of audiences with varying levels of technical understanding
  7. Ability to physically transport and install equipment at remote surface stations (including, in the particular case of the RNO N England, ships in a port environment), occasionally being required to work at height or trek over rough terrain, sometimes in poor weather.
  8. Holder of a clean, valid UK driving licence and a willingness to drive regularly for work purposes


Desirable Qualifications, Skills & Abilities:

  1. Technical knowledge and experience of installing and maintaining automatic weather stations and sensors
  2. Competent in the use of ServiceNow and the Office365 package.
  3. Map reading skills and or/experience of hill walking
  4. Specifically for the RNO Northern England post: Experience of working in a post within the marine industry, or a proven interest in maritime issues

Additional Supplementary Information:

The most important Met Office behaviours required are to approach the work with drive, commitment and integrity, working in a location remote from line management, independently and with others (internally and externally) in a united way to deliver results. The successful applicant of the Northern England post will be expected to undertake the role in both land and marine environments, whilst for the Northern Scotland role, there may at times be opportunities to assist with marine-AWS maintenance, depending on the business requirements.

To apply, please click on the ‘apply’ button below.

Key Dates: Closing date 24th November 2019 with interviews expected to take place on 13th December 2019. Please note that you will be notified if you are successful or unsuccessful.

Should you be offered an interview, please be aware there may be a selection exercise which could include a presentation, written test or a scenario-based activity. If you require any reasonable adjustments during these exercises, please include this information in your application.

Please note, when joining the Met Office all new employees will start on the salary band minimum.

Location: various - please see above for more details around the location of the available roles.

This recruitment post is not offering UK Visa and Sponsorship and therefore requires all applicants to be eligible to work within the UK / EU without restriction. If you are a non–EU candidate, you will be required to provide and attach all relevant eligibility documentation to your application at the time of applying.

Please note that successful candidate/s will be required to satisfactorily undergo security clearance checks. This will generally require the candidate to have lived in the UK for at least three out of the last five years.

Met Office

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