Data Scientist & Geospatial Programmer – ETH Zürich

  • Vollzeit
  • Region Zürich
  • Diese Position wurde vergeben

Webseite ETH Zürich

We are offering a position in data science programming and geospatial earth science to join the science branch of the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich – a unique research group specializing in global ecosystem ecology that aims to improve our collective understanding of the scientific processes regulating the Earth’s climate.

Job description

The focus for this position will be mapping the above and below ground terrestrial biosphere at a higher spatio-temporal resolution. Using massive ecological datasets, the Crowther Lab has developed various approaches to modelling critical ecosystem information and processes across the globe. We now aim to develop more tailored maps relevant to the needs of restoration practitioners who want to a) better understand their ecosystem, b) support the development of restoration strategies and c) monitor their progress over time. As such, the specific function of this role will be to lead the technical side of projects involving “big data”. The successful candidate will develop geospatial models (largely in Google Earth Engine) and implement cutting-edge machine learning tools to provide new information on ecosystem components like tree species diversity, global tree cover, soil carbon storage, and soil microbial distributions. The individual will leverage and improve the modelling pipeline already developed by the Crowther Lab to develop new ecological layers (local and global) and enhance the resolution of existing layers. The candidate will also help to build and design web platforms to share these geospatial layers with many of the group’s partner organizations that aid in combatting climate change and biodiversity loss. Candidates should have the ecological skills to aid in interpreting and refining these large datasets and models, as well as the readiness to learn how to adapt websites interfacing with Google Earth Engine. Part of the role will involve liaising with the group’s partner organizations (e.g. restoration projects) to better understand their needs, and concisely communicate what our models / maps are capable of showing (in terms of spatial and/or temporal resolution, and with what degree of certainty). This person will also be responsible for implementing all processes related to Information Technology within the Crowther Lab.

Your profile

We are looking for a highly-motivated candidate with experience in geospatial computing, machine learning, and “big data” science/management. In order to communicate the basis for our maps, a candidate with a PhD and/or applied experience working with scientific models would be required. Additional experience in the fields of ecosystem ecology and web application development would be highly beneficial. The ideal candidate will demonstrate a strong skill set in remote sensing with an ability to combine data science and geospatial web application development. Knowledge of multiple programming languages is required, and experience working with Python, JavaScript, and R is particularly desirable. Familiarity with other software is useful but not essential (e.g. QGIS/ArcGIS, Google Earth Engine). Candidates with experience in running multiple machine learning model ensembles, deep learning neural networks, random forests, and variations on linear regressions will be preferred.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.


We look forward to receiving your online application containing a curriculum vitae, copies of diploma/certificates, contact information of 2-3 potential referees, and a cover letter detailing your motivation for this role.

Applications are due by 30th May 2020. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.