The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 27 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
The Geoscience Energy and Maritime Division provides advice, technical assistance, research and training support to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). There are three (3) areas of scientific programming and two areas of focus within this division:
1. Oceans and Maritime Programme (OMP) – assists member countries with services that provide applied ocean science and knowledge for evidence-based policy-making and technical solutions for improved ocean and maritime governance, management and capacity development.
2. Georesources and Energy Programme (GEP) – assists member countries by applying technical knowledge in the areas of geoscience and sustainable energy use.
3. Disaster and Community Resilience Programme (DCRP) – assists member countries to demonstrate strengthened resilience through integrated action on disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, natural resource management and increased access to water and sanitation.
The threat of climate change demands SPC take a whole of organisation response to this critical regional challenge. SPC is in the process of developing and strengthening a more strategic and integrated approach of climate change, through a Climate Change Flagship Programme (CCFP). This flagship seeks to enhance climate change services and capability in a more wholistic, strategic, and cohesive way.
The CCFP aims to bring greater visibility to the breath of SPC’s climate change action and related resilience work, progress this in a manner consistent with the demand for ambition and support from members and leverage the commensurate resources to support this. This aligns directly to the implementation of KFA 1: “Resilience and Climate Action” which is at the centre of the new SPC Strategic Plan and should also help to more clearly define SPC’s value add to the region in the climate change space and its complementarity with the capability and services of other regional architecture supporting our members. The Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Programme (CCES) is charged with facilitating its development and implementation, however all divisions, teams and programmes of SPC are also contributing.
The Coastal Numerical Modelling Specialist is responsible for the effective and timely development, and implementation of hydrodynamic numerical models throughout the Pacific region. The primary focus will be on regional and local circulation models. Within the framework of new SPC Climate Change Flagship, the incumbent will also ensure that partners and stakeholders have the understanding and skills to use the products and information developed, and that model data are relevant and accessible.
The key responsibilities of the role include:
Hydrodynamic numerical modeling
• Be responsible for implementation of numerical models of regional to coastal.
• Build weather and climate variability and change scenarios based on statistical/probabilistic studies.
• Use efficient modelling framework whenever relevant to explore large sample of scenarios (e.g. hybrid modelling approach) or to explore efficient operationalisation of the models.
• Advise on regional and national oceanographic / modelling issues and way forward.
Training and information transfer
• Support online information sharing and accessibility for stakeholders with a client focused approach.
• Service data requests from stakeholders and industry partners.
• Respond to feedback, bug reporting, and new feature recommendations.
• Support internships, training, and professional attachments.
Project Support and Implementation
• Assist in developing costed work plans, providing timelines and outputs; plan and advise on numerical modelling requirements.
• Support the development of project proposals.
• Keep track of project timelines.
• Support the organisation of workshop and project meetings.
For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.
Key selection criteria
• Master’s degree in oceanography, ocean engineering, data management or related field.
• At least 5 years of working experience on applied multidisciplinary projects including modelling and solving problems related to hydrodynamics of coastal systems such as waves, circulation, dispersion, pollution and storm surge, tsunami inundation.
• Expert level computer literacy, experience with computer programming and specialised physical oceanographic and open-source modelling software packages, specifically SCHISM, ROMS, NEMO or CROCO.
• Sound knowledge of operational ocean forecasting and physical processes relating to tropical ocean circulation.
• Capable and organised report preparation and communication skills.
• Strong analytical skills and ability to master new technology quickly.
• Aptitude for the provision of high-quality service.
• Ability to provide necessary training and transfer of skills as demanded by the project.
• Ability to set priorities to meet deadlines.
• Good English communication skills (oral and written) with a working knowledge of French being an advantage.
Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
• Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment.
Salary, terms and conditions
Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted until 31 March 2026 subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.
Remuneration – The Coastal Numerical Modelling Specialist is a Band 10 position in SPC’s 2023 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 2,575‒3,218 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 7,595–9,494 (USD 3,450–4,313; EUR 3,268–4,085). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.
Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,350–3,000 per month. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave travel, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).
Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.