At present, BODC has staff made up of mostly Data Scientists and IT specialists. We handle large volumes of diverse marine data from a multitude of sources, both national and international. We are responsible for developing techniques for the processing, preserving and distribution of oceanographic data.
Our work is intellectually challenging and is carried out in a team environment.
The majority of our staff have postgraduate qualifications (21 with PhDs and 14 with an MSc). These are mainly in the field of oceanography and the natural sciences, but some are in IT and computer science. Most have at least a science or IT degree.
The senior team
Dr Juan Brown has a background in physical oceanographic research. He has responsibility for the overall strategy and direction of BODC. This is performed in consultation with the rest of the BODC team.
Dr Lesley Rickards has extensive experience in marine data management. As part of BODC’s national and international responsibilities, Lesley represents us on scientific bodies such as the Inter-Agency Committee on Marine Science and Technology (IACMST) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
Dr Roy Lowry is responsible for the implementation of the IT strategy. He has an impressive background in the technical aspects of data management and is involved in many national and international projects including the NERC DataGrid (part of the e-Science Programme) and Marine Metadata Interoperability (MMI).
Our Data Scientists follow well-defined procedures when processing marine data. Their duties include
- Direct involvement in marine research projects
- Encouragement of sound data management techniques right from the point of data collection
- The processing of data which involves
- Transferring the data into a standard format
- Screening and other quality control of the data
- Archiving the data in order to preserve it for the future
- Making the data available for project participants or the public and responding to their requests
Techniques in data collection and processing are continually evolving. This can have a direct effect on how the data need to be managed and data scientists often have to develop new processing approaches. This involves working closely with
- Marine project scientists to develop a clear scientific insight into the data being handled
- BODC's IT specialists to implement solutions
The Data Scientists participate directly in some research cruises. They assist and promote correct data management procedures during collection of the raw data. During the cruise, they also have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with data collection equipment and techniques.
Each Data Scientist’s duties vary depending on their individual responsibilities and expertise. Some may be very specific, such as responding to enquiries and requests for data. Some have staff management responsibilities. Some even get involved in IT development. All have direct contact with those collecting the data.
We have six members of staff directly responsible for IT development and maintenance (four Software Programmers, the Web Master and the Database Administrator).
The IT group develop and maintain the software infrastructure that supports our activities. They are also responsible for writing the applications necessary to deliver data on CDROM or via the web. They have skills in
- C and C++
- Java and Java Server Pages (JSP)
- Microsoft Access
- Oracle SQL*Plus
- Unix scripting languages
- Delphi for developing Windows applications
Related BODC pages
|Current vacancies||Our national role|
|Recent vacancies||Our international role|
|What is BODC?||Information technology|
|NERC DataGrid||Project data management|
Related external links
|Inter-Agency Committee on Marine Science and Technology (IACMST)||e-Science programme|
|Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)|