Thwaites Field Coordinator

Job reference:
BAS 22/86
Contract type:
Fixed-Term Appointment (2 Years- until June 2024)
£31,931 to £39,915
We offer generous benefits
British Antarctic Survey
Cambridge and Antarctica
Closing date:
10 July, 2022 11:59 pm


The Thwaites Field Coordinator acts as the primary point of contact in the collaboration between BAS and the US Antarctic Program at ITGC (The International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration), which is in itself the largest single program of Antarctic deep field science projects and studies undertaken, and takes place on Thwaites Glacier, one of the most remote glaciers on the planet.


Working closely with the Field Operations Manager and Head of Field Operations, and key stakeholders at USAP and NSF the post holder will take a key role in the detailed planning, and delivery of this complex and challenging science program. The planning cycle is carried out from March-September in the UK. With a strong focus on safety and logistics, the successful candidate will be able to discuss and understand fine detail with science team leads and members, whilst maintaining a solid grasp of the wider programmatical picture. The ability to carry out complex and critical calculations relating to fuel burn, air hours, payloads and an understanding of the nuances of Antarctic field and air operations are essential. A project planning background and/or previous involvement in the planning and delivery of challenging projects is highly desirable.

The delivery cycle runs from October to March, and encompasses deployment to Antarctica through Rothera or McMurdo Stations, and deployment to deep field locations in support of the delivery of the ITGC program. As the primary coordinator on the ground for BAS you will put your detailed understanding of the project planning phase to good use, ensuring safe, smooth and efficient delivery of the program, and showing the ability to dynamically replan if and when issues are encountered. You will require excellent communication skills to ensure the clear concise information is passed to teams on the ground, and to key personnel at Rothera and McMurdo, and back in the UK and US.


No formal qualifications required


  • To work closely with the HOF and FOM and key USAP and NSF personnel during the boreal summer ‘planning phase’
  • To act as main point of contact and lead on coordination on the ground for BAS whilst deployed to Antarctica in the austral summer ‘delivery phase’
  • To keep the wider BAS Ops team well informed and appraised at all times of the details of the ITGC program, during the planning and delivery phases
  • To carry out detailed project planning, fuel and air hours calculations, cargo tracking and payload plans, pax movements etc.. alongside our US counterparts
  • To continuously apply BAS’ rigorous safety standards across the ITGC program
  • To continuously evolve and replan the program taking account of the plethora of changes and challenges Antarctic Operations regularly encounters
  • To support the FOM and in ensuring ITGC dovetails as efficiently as possible with the wider BAS Antarctic Field Program
  • To support the FOM in recruitment and personnel matters relating to ITGC
  • To maintain excellent awareness of the wider picture within BAS Operations, in order to maximise potential efficiencies both within ITGC, and the BAS program as a whole
  • Ensure excellent communication and information flow between all ITGC stakeholders, across all nations, from a senior program level, to a teams on the ground level

Publication date: 10 June 2022
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 10 July 2022

At BAS, our vision is to be a world-leading centre for polar science and operations. Making our vision a reality depends on the excellence and diversity of our staff. We are committed to creating a workplace where all our staff can flourish and succeed. BAS is a Disability Confident employer, we are proud to hold a bronze Athena Swan award and we are a member of enei, the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion.

We appreciate the importance of achieving work-life balance and support this with a number of family and carer-friendly policies. Plus a flexible working policy for those who may wish to amend their working pattern or arrangement.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills

  • Proficient in written and spoken English Language - Essential
  • Able to chair meetings - Essential
  • The ability to discuss personal and professional matters clearly and objectively - Essential
  • Able to write clear and concise reports - Essential
  • Confident public speaker comfortable presenting to large audiences - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Word Processing and compiling spreadsheets. - Essential
  • Familiarity with MS Project or other project planning tools - Essential
  • Able to understand and use GIS - Essential
  • Able to understand and interpret satellite/remotely sensed imagery - Essential
  • Knowledge of and experience using HF, VHF radio, IridiumGO!, InReach etc… - Desirable [2]

Decision Making

  • Can evidence experience of making balanced judgements in regard to risk management - Essential
  • Experienced decision maker able to implement and follow policy and procedure - Essential
  • Able to remain calm in emergency situations and use good judgement to resolve complex decision making - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Good team worker. Ability to mix with BAS/ non-BAS staff at all levels. - Essential
  • Good staff manager, leader and negotiator - Essential
  • Able to proactively engage with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders - Essential

Managerial ability

  • The ability to work alone unsupervised and as part of a team with people from a variety of professional backgrounds - Essential
  • Experience of managing remote logistics - Essential
  • Able to lead and manage small teams - Essential

Numerical ability

  • Ability to perform calculations with regard to air hours, payloads and fuel burn etc… - Essential

Other Factors

  • The post holder must be physically fit to cope with the working environment - Essential


  • No formal qualifications required. - Essential
  • Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor / Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (Formally MIA / MIC) - Desirable [4]
  • PMP/Prince2 or other project management qualification. - Desirable [4]

Resource Management ability

  • Experience of managing finite resources, monitoring and storage - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Practical experience living, working and travelling in the polar environment - Essential
  • Experience of field safety and overland travel - Essential
  • Proven experience living and working with small teams in remote environments. - Essential
  • Experience of implementing safety management systems - Essential
  • The ability to orchestrate complex logistics decisions and actions - Essential
  • In depth knowledge of field equipment, use and maintenance - Essential
  • Field skills teaching experience - Desirable [3]
  • Demonstrable mountaineering experience and competence in rock, ice and alpine - Desirable [3]
  • An understanding of BAS carbon reduction targets and how this role can contribute to meeting them - Desirable [3]
  • Experience of GPR from a practical use, and data analysis point of view - Desirable [5]

In order to apply, please complete and upload all the application forms listed below. If you experience any issues in uploading your Application Form, please email us your complete application, making reference to the job reference and title.

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, please visit this website before applying.

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Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Recruitment team is working remotely and cannot access the building. If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, please contact us: [email protected]

If you need more information

[email protected]
+44 (0)1223 221400
+44 (0)1223 362616

The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.

The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.

Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.

Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.