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GIS Specialist

University of Washington

Seattle,  Washington
GIS Technician

IHME has an outstanding opportunity for a GIS Specialist. The main purpose of this position is to provide support to IHME’s research areas by producing high-quality and visually engaging maps of different health and health-related indicators in order to make results more easily navigable and adoptable by multiple audiences. To do so requires data quality control and formatting, an understanding of the key databases used to derive the maps, and writing the code that creates the maps themselves for a variety of formats and venues.

The GIS Specialist will play an integral role in the project by creating a variety of maps and related visual displays that make the results easy to understand and encourage uptake by a variety of audiences.

The GIS Specialist will be able to translate requests into actionable results through systematic reviews, database queries, and the application of complex code to a variety of geolocated, quantitative data. The position calls for dexterity working with complex databases and the ability to assess, transform, and utilize quantitative data using multiple coding languages (R or common GIS software skills are required). The position is contingent upon project funding availability.

Responsibilities include:

Map creation

  • Create maps that convey results and input data in a clear, comprehensive, and comparable manner to a variety of audiences and for multiple purposes (e.g., web, print publications, diagnostic tools).
  • Create spatial data files (points, polygons, and rasters) and other underlying structures required to ultimately produce the maps and related visual displays.
  • Review data and results from multiple sources to understand why they were used in the maps and ensure quality control. Sources could include but would not be limited to surveys, literature, administrative records, and internal databases of results. Prepare summaries and documentation of all stages of development and implementation of interactive maps and related visual displays.
  • Maintain, update, and adapt databases that feed into the maps and related visual displays as needed.
  • Execute queries on databases to prepare summaries of data searches, extractions, and transformations in order to respond to the needs of senior researchers and external requests from collaborators, media, policymakers, donors, and other stakeholders.
  • Perform quality assurance and routine diagnostics on data and databases.
  • Using standardized protocols, identify problems with maps, rectify issues, and systematize data for future analysis.
  • Learn and apply code in multiple languages as needed to clean, merge, manipulate, and format datasets and adapt databases based upon protocols to address needs identified in conjunction with researchers.
  • Develop and follow protocols to store data in ways that are accessible to interactive maps and other related visual displays.
  • Archive, catalog, and annotate datasets according to Institute standards to build a common library of materials for use by a wide set of researchers.
  • Become adept with and apply data conversion and extraction tools.

Research command

  • Become familiar with the research area of geospatial analysis, the related data, and the needs IHME has for portraying results in a variety of maps for a variety of users.
  • Work directly with researchers to trace back the source of data used in interactive maps, understand the context of the data, and ensure that they are relevant to the analyses themselves.
  • Work directly with researchers to explain and modify databases and maps to best serve the needs of evolving projects.
  • Create and document efficient, effective, and replicable methods for extracting data, writing and implementing code, organizing data sources, managing data quality, and explaining the results in the maps and related visual displays.

General

  • Communicate clearly and effectively while contributing as a productive member of both the geospatial analysis team and the Institute as a whole. Work closely with other team members to help them with relevant tasks, show them how to learn new skills, and help resolve emerging problems on different projects. Attend relevant meetings, adhere to deadlines, and participate as a vital member to collectively advance team-level objectives.
  • Contribute to the creation of publications and presentations as needed.
  • Participate in overall community of the Institute, carrying out duties as required as team members with other Institute members.
  • Other duties as assigned

As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.

REQUIREMENTS:

Bachelor’s degree in social sciences or related field or equivalent combination of education and four years’ work experience.

Additional Requirements:

  • Coding experience in R or common GIS software required.
  • Previous experience with handling point, polygon, and raster datasets for spatial analyses and visualization.
  • Must have demonstrated facility with analytic tasks and ability to participate productively in interdisciplinary research teams.
  • Strong quantitative aptitude, desire to learn new skills and information, and ability to interpret complex analytic quantitative information.
  • Strong sense of focus and attention to detail.
  • Interest in global health research.
  • Demonstrated organizational skills, self-motivation, flexibility, strong communication skills, and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, energetic, highly creative, entrepreneurial environment.
  • Experience with using, building, or maintaining databases of quantitative information optimal.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.



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