• Placement Reference #: EQU/2020/26  
  • Careerwise Placement
  • Aberdeen

Website Marine Scotland

Marine Scotland is responsible for the integrated management of Scotland’s seas. Its purpose is to manage Scotland’s seas for prosperity and environmental sustainability, working closely with our key delivery partners and others.

Job title: Oceanographer II

Department: Oceanography Group, Marine Scotland Science

Location: Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen                                 

Duration: 3 months

Salary:  Approximately £1,610 per month (equivalent to A3 grade)

Placement Ref: EQU/2020/26                                    

 

Basic purpose of the placement and its primary objectives

The Faroe-Shetland Channel is one of the main oceanic gateways where warm, saline Atlantic waters in the surface layer flow from the Atlantic Ocean towards the Arctic, and where at depth cold, fresh Arctic-origin waters flow back towards the equator, forming the lower limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.  Marine Scotland Science (MSS) has monitored water mass properties in this region since the late 19th century and circulation since the mid-1990s.   In 2019, MSS also deployed a Pressure Inverted Echo Sounder (PIES), in collaboration with Sonardyne and researchers from the University of East Anglia.

A PIES is an instrument placed on the sea bed which measures pressure of the water column above and the travel time of an acoustic pulse travelling to the sea surface and back.  The pressure exerted by the overlying water column and the travel time of the acoustic signal are both influenced by the density of the water overlying the instrument.  Using measured profiles of temperature and salinity, and therefore density, look-up tables can be constructed to relate the pressure and acoustic travel time to derive water column structure.  In addition, these measurements can also be used to investigate changes in the interface depth between the Atlantic and Arctic water masses (also known as the pycnocline depth).  The Faroe-Shetland Channel is a region with strong internal wave activity, and this data set will provide opportunities to further investigate this.

The primary objective of this project is to work with the Oceanography Group at MSS to investigate the potential applications of this short PIES deployment by analysing the data collected in 2019 by the PIES itself, as well as the supporting datasets collected historically and during the 2019 deployment.  Specifically, the project will try to establish the look-up table between pressure and travel time to construct temperature and salinity profiles during the deployment.  A secondary objective will be to see how the internal waves at the deployment site can be characterised using the PIES technology.

This project will give the successful applicant experience in analysing large datasets and computer programming, as well as working in a government scientific research institute. They will gain insight into the oceanographic conditions of the Faroe-Shetland Channel, and will contribute to our understanding of the water properties and internal wave field in the region.

Main duties:

The job holder will be expected to work with and analyse the data collected during deployment of PIES in 2019 and from MSS’ offshore monitoring programme. This research will involve generating a look-up table between pressure and travel time to construct temperature and salinity profiles during the deployment. Students will be required to deliver a short presentation at the end of their internship on their particular project and their findings.

Knowledge and skills required:  

Essential:

  • Experience of data analysis and statistical methods
  • Studying a relevant scientific discipline
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Good numerical skills and attention to detail
  • Strong analytical skills and able to interpret and present data

Desirable:

  • Experience of data analysis in Matlab, R, Python or similar coding environment
  • Studying oceanographic or atmospheric sciences

Person skills:

Capable of working independently and as part of a team

Working conditions:  

The suggested project will be based at Marine Scotland Science (Aberdeen) and most of the work will take place in an office environment (Aberdeen). The successful applicant will work closely with members of the Oceanography group at Marine Scotland Science and will gain an insight into working for a scientific institute which is part of a government department.

Person Specification

 EssentialDesirable
Education/Qualifications

 

Studying a relevant numerate scientific discipline.

 

 

 

 

Studying marine science, oceanography, mathematics, physics, environmental or atmospheric sciences
ExperienceExperience of data analysis and statistical methods

 

Good numerical skills and attention to detail

 

Strong analytical skills and able to interpret and present data

Experience of data analysis in Matlab, R, Python or similar coding environment
Skills/Personal Requirements Communication and interpersonal skills