At present, most of BODC are either Data Scientists or 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, preservation and distribution of this data.
Our work is intellectually challenging and is carried out in a team environment. The majority of our staff have postgraduate qualifications. These are mainly in the field of oceanography and marine science, but some are in IT and computing.
The senior team
Head of BODC
Dr Graham Allen is responsible for ensuring BODC's work enables research outcomes of the highest quality and ensuring stakeholders derive maximum impact from the data and knowledge derived from it. He was appointed in 2014.
Deputy Head of BODC
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 Marine Science Co-ordination Committee (MSCC) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
Dr Roy Lowry 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
- Data processing, which involves
- Transferring data into a standard format
- Screening and quality control
- Archiving data in order to preserve it for the future
- Making data available for project participants or the public and responding to their requests
Data collection and processing techniques are continually evolving. This can have a direct effect on how data need to be managed; Data Scientists often have to develop new processing approaches. This involves working closely with
- Marine project scientists - to develop clear scientific insight into the data being handled
- BODC's IT specialists - to implement solutions
Data Scientists participate directly in some research cruises. They assist and promote correct data management procedures as the raw data are collected. Cruise experience also gives them 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 are involved in IT development. All have direct contact with those collecting the data.
The IT group (Software Developers, Webmaster and Database Manager) develop and maintain the software infrastructure that supports our activities, including the applications necessary to deliver data via the web. They have skills in
- C and C++
- Java and Java Server Pages (JSP)
- Microsoft Access
- Oracle SQL and PL/SQL
- Unix scripting languages