Position Available: Geospatial Developer 2023 – Filled!

This position has been filled!

Job Title Geospatial Developer
Location Twin Cities
Regular/Temporary Regular
Job ID 356532
Job Code 9702IT
Empl Group Acad Prof and Admin
Full/Part Time Full-Time
Job Open Date 07/17/2023
Initial Application Review Week of 8/14/2023
Job Close Date Until Filled

Help Make a Difference in Polar & Environmental Science

The Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is seeking a geospatial developer to join the Products & Data team. This position contributes to management of the satellite imagery archive and the software/tools that facilitate organization and access to the data. The employee will be part of a team responsible for building and maintaining imagery management and processing workflows, coordinating data production in response to customer requirements, and leveraging High Performance Computing (HPC) resources to achieve production goals.

The successful candidate must be able to multitask and work on a variety of projects both independently and in collaboration with others. The applicant should possess strong problem-solving skills and the ability to learn quickly. Work at PGC is fast-paced and constantly evolving, so the applicant must have good organizational and communication skills.

The applicant is expected to develop new tools for image processing and analysis to support PGC’s User Services team including applications of AI/ML for geospatial remote sensing datasets.  They are also responsible for updating and maintaining legacy projects. Interactions with supported science teams will be required to capture requirements and deliver data.  Knowledge of scripting and software development and GIS and Remote Sensing concepts is required. The PGC developer team uses primarily Python and Bash, Postgres/PostGIS for databases, and our web services are published through GeoServer and ArcGIS Server.

What You’ll Do

In your first week you will be introduced to the PGC team and PGC’s role in geospatial science. You will learn about the core systems that drive data storage and access. You will have dedicated training on PGC’s data resources, project tracking systems (github, trello), and development cadences. You will also attend various weekly meetings to learn how PGC operates.

In your first month you will begin contributing to a set of projects that support PGC’s data operations. You will learn about the Products & Data team development activities and how they fit into PGC’s long-term goals. You will work with other team members to build and maintain imagery processing workflows.

In your first year you will become an important member of the Products & Data team, managing data production on High Performance Computing (HPC) systems and interacting with researchers and polar operations personnel to help them use satellite imagery and geospatial data to serve their science. Your expertise in PGC’s data architecture and technologies will grow. You will work collaboratively with the Products & Data team to build tools that leverage the large and growing data archive to serve the polar science community. 

The Geospatial Developer responsibilities include:

  1. Develop new tools for image processing and analysis, including incorporating AI/ML techniques with remote sensing Earth observation data.  Update and maintain legacy tools used by the PGC and external collaborators.  (35%)
  2. Build and maintain imagery management and archiving workflows to acquire high-resolution commercial satellite imagery and derived elevation data, validate and index the data stream (30%)
  3. Data production using High Performance Computing (HPC) resources to effectively meet the objectives of supported PIs and projects (15%)
  4. Provide direct support to science teams by processing, preparing, and delivering imagery and evasion data according to customer requirements (20%)


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


The Office of Human Resources has a guide to the University’s benefits including the Regent’s Scholarship, Faculty Retirement Plan, Leave, and Medical.

For this job, the expected salary range is from $66k to $82k.

How to Apply

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

Before you start, you should have:

  • A resume
    • 1-2 page formatted document
  • A cover letter
    • Tell us what excites you about this job, work you’ve done and where you want your career to go
  • Names and contact information (phone & email) for three references
    • Mentors, bosses, co-workers, people you study with or talk to at meetups
    • These will be needed after the second round of interviews

The information in the three documents listed above are what PGC will reference throughout the recruitment process.Other information manually entered into the UMN employment application system will be stored by the Office of Human Resources.

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 Applications Developer – Polar Geospatial Center.

If you have any questions while applying, look at the Using the Job Application System page, or reach out to PGC at pgc-support@umn.edu.


We use two interviews.

  1. A brief one-on-one Zoom interview to determine qualifications are met and/or clarify details from application (30min)
  2. A panel interview with a panel of developers and the Products & Data Manager (90min)

Second round interviews will be conducted in a consistent format for all candidates.The format may be in-person or in a remote setting depending on the candidate pool.

Answers to Some Common Questions

Is this job remote or in person?
Currently our work location is a hybrid environment that adheres to the Universities Work with Flexibility Guidelines. Staff are asked to have an in-office presence on two suggested PGC team days with the flexibility to be in-person or remote on non- PGC team days.  PGC remains committed to providing a flexible work environment that fosters collaboration, teamwork, and effective support of our polar science community.
Do I need to be in Minnesota?
You should be within commuting distance of Minneapolis, MN.
Is travel involved or required?
There are opportunities to travel (when safe and approved by the University) for outreach initiatives as well as staffing our office in McMurdo Station, Antarctica during the austral summer months.
How about visas or relocation funds?
Academic Support Resources does not currently:
  • sponsor visas
  • offer relocation funds
  • offer signing bonuses

Desired Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or BS/BA and 2+ years experience in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing, GIS or similar science field
  • Proficiency in GIS/Remote Sensing principles, software, and analysis
  • Experience in software development, particularly in Python

Advantageous Qualifications

  • Knowledge of Linux command-line systems and Bash scripting
  • Experience with AI/ML in image processing, especially with regards to earth observing imagery
  • Experience in scientific computing or research cyberinfrastructure
  • Experience working with spatial databases and basic knowledge of SQL
  • Expertise with Git or other version control and collaboration tools
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
  • Experience with testing frameworks

About the Polar Geospatial Center

The Polar Geospatial Center provides geospatial support, mapping, and GIS/remote sensing solutions to researchers and logistics groups in the polar science community. 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. Visit our website: www.pgc.umn.edu.

Polar Geospatial Center
R280 Learning and Environmental Sciences 
1954 Buford Ave. 
St. Paul, MN 55108 


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