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Agricultural Data System Specialist


Position Description

Our Sci is seeking a highly collaborative individual to support the design, translation, and maintenance of data models for agricultural data.  You will work on a team alongside needs assessment specialists to help non-profits, government agencies, and farm information management systems design and translate their data.  Your mission is to support data interoperability, comparability, open source standards, and a collaborative technical community.  You should be familiar with JSON Schema or other structured data standards, Javascript (or the capacity to manage data in other languages like Python), and the ability to work effectively across many stakeholders to find collaborative technical solutions.  Knowledge or direct background in agriculture is a big plus as schemas often hinge on a nuanced understanding of agricultural systems.

Our Sci supports the development of research capacity in communities through software, hardware, and training.  Using SurveyStack.io and SoilStack.io, our communities can flexibly collect, share, and visualize data in a way not possible through other services.  In addition, we are the primary contributors to the Common Farm Convention for OpenTEAM.community and the USDA.  This Common Farm Convention, and its related software for creating, sharing, and publishing, are the primary software tools used for this position.

Why we are different

We are a small company passionate about supporting community-driven science and we are building a fully open source future to provide that support.  We also think that only through radical collaboration can we achieve our goals, that’s why we are active in the GOSH and GOAT and OpenTEAM communities.  If you want to shift the world towards transparency and ‘free as in freedom’ thinking, we may be a good fit!

As a supporter of communities, we also recognize the importance diversity plays in understanding and reflecting the needs of those we serve. We also all personally enjoy working with colleagues who have wide ranging life experiences and appreciate the opportunity that affords all of us to learn and grow. As such, we are committed to prioritizing diversity within our organization.


We are looking for a full time specialist to work with diverse partners through OpenTEAM.community and the USDA to design and translate data while also improving our software tools to do so more easily in the future.

You are: Someone who likes working in the weeds, designing data collaboratively through discussions,  enjoys making systems work while simultaneously working to make systems better, and ultimately believes speaking a common data language is actually a big, big deal 🙂.

Activities for this position include:

Taking requirements from domain specialists and needs assessment teammates to design new Conventions (Conventions are specified as JSON Schema, design is done using Javascript).

Providing feedback and/or directly contributing to the software components around the Convention creation process (written in Javascript)

Translate between various API’s or data dictionaries to the Convention.

Interface with partners to better understand data design requirements.

Skills & Languages used in this position:

Javascript, especially for data manipulation (sanitization, restructuring, organizing, etc).

JSON Schema (ideally) or (alternatively) experience with other structured data standards like RDF or JSON-LD.

Experience with ontology development, linked data structures, and graph databases.

Continuous Integration and associated scripting. We are using Gitlab CI/CD currently.

Ability to work in real time and asynchronously with internal and external partners with frequent communication using Gitlab, Slack, meetings, etc.

Experience with best practices in managing and maintaining open source projects, including experience with: version control (e.g., gitlab), documentation tools (e.g., mkdocs), issue management, deploy pipelines, JS library creation / management (npm).  Additionally some server administration and code automation (e.g., bash scripting) would be a plus.

(optional) Experience with API development, Rest, Solid or other Web API standards.

(optional) In our team we also do data analysis and custom scripting.  Skills and interests in these domains are also a plus.

We welcome both more and less experienced applicants, and pay/hours for this position is flexible based on experience.  As a small team, we’re focused on finding the right person and ensuring the work fits them rather than limiting the work.

Preferred Experience:

2 – 10 years of relevant work experience in coding.  This could include database, data schema, data analysis, full stack, or scripting, and should show mastery in one or more areas.

1 – 5 years of experience in agriculture (any).  Ideally experience in ag tech, preferably around in database or data structure development or use.

A portfolio, overview of previous projects, or links to sample projects, is required.

The position is available for full time (40 hours) or part time (20+ hours) and can start as soon as possible.  The full time rate range is $50,000 – $110,000 annually based heavily on experience, skills, and hours.  You must submit a cover letter in addition to your resume to be considered.  You may submit your application via LinkedIn job post or email Greg Austic directly (admin@our-sci.net), and feel free to email if you have additional questions.  We look forward to working with you!

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