Land Cover Mapping Specialist

The Organization

The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) delivers research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people’s lives. Alliance solutions address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation.

With novel partnerships, the Alliance generates evidence and mainstreams innovations to transform food systems and landscapes so that they sustain the planet, drive prosperity, and nourish people in a climate crisis.

The Alliance is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.

About the position

The Land Cover Mapping Consultant will assist the creation of land cover maps for projects across the tropics. The key target crops will include coffee, cocoa, and other tree crops. The land cover maps are a central part of a broader effort to develop systems and services to support decision making across a range of both NGO and industry users.

The work will involve coordinating with other people to extends and improve a crop location database. The locations are obtained through interpretation of high-resolution satellite imagery. The Land Cover Mapping Consultant will also be responsible to improve, document and streamline the locations acquisition methodology. The Consultant will run satellite imagery pe-processing scripts and machine learning based mapping scripts, and be involved in validating the different land cover maps. The Consultant will have the opportunity to advance their programming skill and get more involved in the research and data processing and analysis component of the project.

Location: Preference for Hanoi in Vietnam or Cali or Bogota in Colombia, to facilitate close collaboration with existing team members. Other locations for remote working may be considered for the right candidate.

Terms of Appointment: 8-month full-time consultancy contract, with the possibility to convert to an employee contract dependent on interest and performance. This position provides significant growth opportunity, in which the Consultant is expected to move from independent work to managing a small team of junior GIS staff within one year.

Key Responsibilities

  • Gather and digitalize land cover location datasets based on high resolution imagery (eventually will coordinate a small team of junior GIS staff doing these tasks).
  • Improve and document the data gathering methodology.
  • Run pre-written satellite imagery pre-processing script with relevant input parameters.
  • Run a pre-written Java-based land cover mapping script with relevant input parameters; and
  • Validate map through robust methodology based on the methodologies in “Good practices for estimating area and assessing accuracy of land change” (Olofsson et al., 2014).

Qualifications and Requirements

  • BSc or MSc degree in related studies.
  • Knowledge of QGIS or ArcGIS.
  • Basic knowledge of Java and/or Python.
  • Strong desire to learn and acquire new skills is required.
  • Good English communication skills (speaking, reading and writing) is required.
  • Self-motivated, detail-oriented and organized critical thinker with an ability to handle multiple priorities, manage assignments independently, and work under tight deadlines.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work independently and as part of interdisciplinary teams in a culturally diverse and inclusive work environment.
  • Evidence of experience supervising others’ work and working in a highly collaborative team environment.
  • At least part time availability during May 2021 and full time availability during June-December 2021.


To be considered for this consultancy, please send an email to with the subject line “Land Cover Mapping Specialist”. In your email, please include:

  • A cover letter illustrating your motivation to apply and suitability for the above position against the listed qualifications and work responsibilities; and
  • A detailed curriculum vitae, including the names and email addresses of three professional referees who have worked with you and are knowledgeable about your skills and professional abilities.

Rolling application deadline. We will close the position as soon as the desired candidate is identified and no later than April 30, 2021.

We invite you to learn more about us at: ;

Job Details
Organisation Name: CIAT
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam or Cali or Bogota in Colombia
Application Deadline: Fri, 2021-04-30
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