Position Available: Director – Filled!

This position has been filled!

Job Title Director
Location Twin Cities
Regular/Temporary Regular
Job ID 352478
Job Code 9354D1
Empl Group Acad Prof and Admin
Full/Part Time Full-Time

Help Make a Difference in Polar & Environmental Science

The Director of the Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) has responsibility for development and execution of plans to achieve the center’s vision of providing geospatial support to the science and logistics communities in polar regions and advancing the use of geospatial and remote sensing data in the geosciences worldwide. The position leads and contributes to PGC’s geospatial initiatives including GIS analysis, remote sensing products, data production pipelines, cartography and visualization, data democratization, earth science and polar logistics support.

What You’ll Do

  • Direct the Polar Geospatial Center – responsibilities include project management, personnel planning, development and supervision, identification of new funding opportunities, proposal and grant writing, budget preparation, project reporting, policy development, prioritization of projects and initiatives.
  • Lead and contribute to PGC’s geospatial initiatives including GIS analysis, remote sensing products, data production pipelines, cartography and visualization, data democratization, and earth science and polar logistics support. Support and develop PGC’s commitment to DEI.
  • Identify and evaluate trends and future directions in the geoscience, remote sensing, and scientific computing communities in order to position the Center for long-term success and viability.  Develop and refine Center strategic plans.  Cultivate innovation in PGC’s staff and students.
  • Be an articulate and enthusiastic representative for PGC at conferences and workshops. Communicate PGC activities through presentations and written material.  Engage with PGC’s user communities to encourage awareness, broaden participation, and improve products. Advocate for Center interests with stakeholders and collaborators.
  • Pursue opportunities to partner with the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and others to facilitate growth of geospatial research at the University of Minnesota and contribute to geospatial education at the undergraduate through graduate level.
  • Serve as Principal Investigator and Director of the Center, including responsibility for designing research programs, submitting proposals to funding agencies, managing project execution and reporting, and communicating with Center stakeholders including PGC’s user community and funding sources.
  • Lead Center strategic planning and management efforts.
  • Is accountable for performance and results of Center initiatives to both Center sponsors and staff.
  • Provide leadership and coordination to PGC managers and conveys big-picture context to staff and students. Cultivates and empowers staff and supports PGC’s inclusive culture.
  • Set priorities for user support, community engagement, and data production initiatives.
  • Serve as primary liaison to the scientific community, including promotion of PGC’s activities and identification of opportunities to improve PGC services.


PGC is a science support organization that is built on these values:

Diversity and Respect: A mix of experiences, ideas, and approaches makes all our work better
Initiative: The drive to try, learn, or problem solve is inspiring and aids progress
Outreach: Take what you have learned and return it to the community

Desired Qualifications

  • BA/BS and at least 12 years of experience or advanced degree and 10 years of experience in the geosciences, remote sensing, or a related field.
  • Demonstrated understanding of current remote sensing technologies, trends, and opportunities.
  • Passion for science, science support, open data, and DEI principles.
  • Demonstrated ability to promote initiatives and communicate findings to a broad range of audiences.
  • Experience designing, scoping, and writing proposals for federal grants or contracts.
  • Personnel and project management experience, including hiring and developing team members.
  • Aptitude for big-picture thinking, problem solving creativity, and strategic planning.

Advantageous Qualifications

  • Familiarity with computational methods, High-performance computing (HPC), and the Big-Data landscape.

About the PGC

The Polar Geospatial Center is a part of the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences in the College of Science & Engineering. PGC provides geospatial support, mapping, and GIS/remote sensing solutions to researchers and logistics teams in the polar science community and worldwide. We collaborate with scientists to complete their research goals in a safe, timely, and efficient manner by providing a service which most groups do not have the resources or expertise to complete. Our goal is to introduce new, state-of-the-art techniques from the geospatial field to effectively solve problems in the least mapped places on Earth. PGC is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the US Forest Service, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Visit our website for more details: www.pgc.umn.edu.

About the U of M

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation’s most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit, and public service organizations.


Working at the University

The salary for this position is expected to be ~$150,000.

At the University of Minnesota, you’ll find a flexible work environment and supportive colleagues who are interested in lifelong learning.  We prioritize work-life balance, allowing you to invest in the future of your career and in your life outside of work.

The University also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes:

  • Competitive wages, paid holidays, and generous time off
  • Continuous learning opportunities through professional training and degree-seeking programs supported by the Regents Scholarship
  • Low-cost medical, dental, and pharmacy plans
  • Healthcare and dependent care flexible spending accounts
  • University HSA contributions
  • Disability and employer-paid life insurance
  • Employee wellbeing program
  • Excellent retirement plans with employer contribution
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) opportunity
  • Financial counseling services
  • Employee Assistance Program with eight sessions of counseling at no cost

Please visit the Office of Human Resources website for more information regarding benefits.


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission.  The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  To learn more about diversity at the U: http://diversity.umn.edu.

Employment Requirements

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

Please note: All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to comply with the University’s Administrative Policy: COVID-19 Vaccination and Safety Protocol by either providing proof of being fully vaccinated on their first day of employment, or complete a request for an exemption for medical exemption or religious reasons. To learn more please visit:  https://safe-campus.umn.edu/return-campus/get-the-vax

How to Apply

Ready to apply? Great! Start at the job posting.

Before you start, you should have:

1. A cover letter

2. A curriculum vitae

3. Vision statement (up to 2 pages) outlining future directions of PGC

4. Statement (up to 3 pages) addressing the following topics:

  • Project Management experience and approaches
  • Research interests, experiences, and future direction
  • Experience with and plans to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion

5. Names and contact information (email, phone) of 3 references

This position will remain open until filled.

Review of applications will begin the week of January 9th, 2023.

You can take a break at any point during the application process. Click the Save Draft button and you can return to your application later. When you log back into the job application system, click My Activities and then click on the job title.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail employ@umn.edu or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).

Apply Now!


For any questions about the Director position, please reach out to PGC’s IT Director and PGC representative on the hiring committee, Charles Nguyen, at ctn@umn.edu.

If you have general questions about the Polar Geospatial Center, please reach out to us at pgc-support@umn.edu. We’d love to hear from you!

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