Landslide specialist at the Icelandic Met Office

The Icelandic Met Office (IMO) is a government institute under the auspices of the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources. The institute is a multidisciplinary monitoring and research institute focused on Earth system processes and natural hazards in Iceland, employing about 140 staff members with various educational backgrounds and skills covering many disciplines.

Large landslides have been prominent in Iceland in recent years and their frequency and potential ramifications may increase during the coming decades as a result of environmental and societal changes, such as climate change, land-use, and growth in the tourist industry. These conditions require increased mapping and monitoring of unstable slopes. New technology such as remote sensing has evolved rapidly during the last decade which IMO plans to pursue further for landslide monitoring and forecasting.

IMO seeks to recruit a landslide specialist in a full-time position within the division of Processing and Research.  About 50 specialists work in the division on diverse projects related to weather and climate research, avalanche and landslide hazard mapping, glaciology, hydrology and oceanography, as well as tectonics and volcanology.

The position is in the field of landslide and avalanche science, a field that employs about 10 specialists at IMO, the majority of whom are stationed at the Avalanche Research Centre in Ísafjörður, NW-Iceland. They work in collaboration on hazard mapping, monitoring and research and development projects on landslides and avalanches.

Main tasks

  • Data collection and processing, mapping and monitoring of landslides
  •  Landslide risk assessment and dissemination of products within the field of landslide monitoring and risk assessment
  •  Leading role in development of remote sensing methods for mapping and monitoring landslides
  •  Designing of and participation in research and development projects related to landslide monitoring and risk analyses
  • Project management of defined projects

Education and qualification requirements

  • Master's degree in the field of natural science and/or engineering
  • Successful experience and/or knowledge of landslide processes
  • Experience in remote sensing is an advantage, e.g. processing of InSAR data
  • Good knowledge of Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Good interpersonal and social skills
  • Ability to work independently and as a part of a team
  • Ability to communicate results within a team and externally
  • Organizational skills and professional competence
  • Advanced computer skills are essential
  • Good language skills in Icelandic and/or English are essential
  • Experience in project management is an advantage

Further information about the position is available from Jórunn Harðardóttir, Manager director of Processing and Research (, Magni Hreinn Jónsson, Group Leader of Avalanche and Landslides ( and Borgar Ævar Axelsson, Human Resources Manager (, tel: +354 522 6000.

The job is a full-time position and the salary is in accordance with government wage contracts and the appropriate union. The preferable location of the landslide specialist is at the IMO's Avalanche Research Center in Ísafjörður.

The deadline for applications is January 6, 2020. 

To apply please send a CV (including a publication list), contact details for two referees, and a letter stating the reasons for applying and outlining why you consider yourself suitable for the position. Applications should be submitted by e-mail to

The key values of IMO are knowledge, reliability, progressiveness and teamwork. Recruitments at the institute take these attributes into consideration.

More information on the Icelandic Met Office are provided at

About IMO

The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) is a public institution, under the auspices of the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources. The institution has 130 employees with various educational background and skills covering many disciplines. Additionally, 120 people assist with observation and surveillance work around the country. Monitoring and research at IMO encompasses four areas:

  • Air
  • Water
  • Snow and glaciers
  • Earth and oceans

The role of the institution is to accumulate, process and preserve data, as well as communicating findings and warnings. The office comprises four divisions: Warnings and Forecasting, Observation, Processing and Research and Finance and Administration. Further information about IMO can be found here on the institute's website. The values of IMO are knowledge, reliability, progressiveness and teamwork. Recruitments at the institution take these values into consideration. For further information contact Borgar Ævar Axelsson

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