PhD candidate position - Remote Sensing of River Sediment Dynamics

University of Zurich

Zürich, Switzerland 🇨🇭

We invite applications for a PhD candidate position in the field of remote sensing of river sediment load. The successful applicant will contribute to the SNSF-Sinergia project “DeltAs – Evaluating delta-wide changes in geogenic arsenic (As) contamination under anthropogenic pressures: An integrated approach to assess groundwater vulnerability in Vietnam”. The project is a joint effort from Swiss scientists at ETH-Zurich (L. Winkel, A. Nghiem), Eawag (M. Berg), University of Neuchatel (P. Renard), and the University of Zurich (UZH) (A. Damm-Reiser), and several partners in Vietnam and the United States.

Your responsibilities

We are looking for a highly motivated, creative, solution-focused and independent person with a passion for remote sensing technology and aquatic research. The successful candidate will develop remote sensing methods to assess sediment transport in the Mekong and the Red River delta and will investigate how sediment dynamics are influenced by natural and anthropogenic drivers and how sediments affect the water balance of both deltas. The collection of multi- and hyperspectral satellite data and in situ measurements from local partners or during field campaigns is an important task. Collaboration and knowledge transfer with project partners to connect derived remote sensing results with geo-hydrological modelling is expected. The documentation and outreach of results in peer-reviewed scientific journals and at conferences is an integral part of the work.

Your profile

The ideal candidate must hold a MSc degree in remote sensing, physics, environmental science, or a related field. Experience in working with optical satellite data is essential. Experience in programming linked to organizing, exploiting and analyzing large datasets with advanced data science methods (e.g. radiative transfer modelling, machine learning, cloud-based computing) is essential. Excelling writing and communication skills in English are mandatory, as well as a strong interest in working in a team-oriented environment. Willingness to independently collect data during extended field campaigns is important.

What we offer

We offer outstanding working conditions, a high quality of life in Zurich and an excellent support environment. UZH’s Remote Sensing Laboratories are internationally renowned, have expertise in various domains such as spectroscopy, SAR, LiDAR, and thermal remote sensing, and apply remote sensing technologies in various application fields such as water systems research, earth systems science or biodiversity.

Place of work

The successful applicant will be based at the Department of Geography in Zurich and supervised by Alexander Damm-Reiser together with Daniel Odermatt (Eawag). This project involves close exchange and collaboration with project partners in Switzerland, Vietnam and the US and therefore the successful candidate is expected to undertake some travel, e.g. to join field campaigns and workshops in Vietnam.

Start of employment

The successful candidate can ideally start from February 1st, 2024. The position is funded for a period of three plus one years. Salaries correspond to the SNSF regulations for PhD candidates.
Applications can be submitted as of now and will be accepted until the position is filled. The application must include a motivation letter, a curriculum vitae, contact information of two references.





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