Report: Earth Observation Skills Framework Research (JNCC 2020)

Source: JNCC


Report objectives

This report aims to enable staff and organisations to gain the knowledge, confidence and skills to become intelligent customers and practitioners of EO. For most organisations this will require additions to current expertise. This document aims to help with the identification of what is needed for this, how to maximise existing skillsets and how to bring the right skills together across a team or organisation. Many of the skills needed for EO will already exist in any given organisation, for other purposes. Whilst some required skills are particularly EO specific, these can often be picked up by people with other spatial skills and the effort required for gain is relatively small. It is hoped that this will promote rapid uptake of EO to make a difference in the delivery of public functions. Information on relevant existing frameworks is presented, illustrating alignment and gaps between the skills needed for working with EO overall and current support and resources available.

What is needed to work with EO?

In addition to the more general ‘soft skills’ required in many jobs (such as networking, adaptability, ability to learn on the job), working in EO requires a number of technical skills and knowledge. These can be achieved to differing levels of proficiency, from basic to expert. Becoming a basic user will often require only a small knowledge and skill gain but will open up a wide range of applications. Whilst it is important for a team working with EO data to develop the full range of skills and knowledge listed below, this is most often achieved through bringing together people with different and complementary skillsets and knowledge bases, rather than expecting any one individual to be proficient in everything. EO is most powerful when used as a tool to provide information in many downstream applications which means that domain specific info is often needed in addition to EO.

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