Remote Sensing of Forests, Wetlands and Water

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Pasadena, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Apply By: 

Share This Job:

Job Details

Job ID: 12622

JPL is unique among NASA Centers in that its staff are Caltech employees, yet can access NASA technical resources.  Cross-discipline teamwork is standard here: colleagues across JPL's science and engineering organizations and on Caltech's academic campus often work together. Learning to speak and understand other disciplines' languages is a doorway to the creativity needed to do what has not been done before.  JPL staff are encouraged to create mission concepts that address humanity's core questions through a combination of science and technology.  They are supported in developing ideas into proposals and hardware, and in communicating funded missions' results to the scientific community and the broader public. JPL seeks to employ scientists and engineers who are passionate about lifelong learning and excited to both contribute to and lead team efforts.  We emphasize the importance of partnering across discipline boundaries and creating a friendly, constructive work environment to overcome space exploration's challenges.  The Postdoctoral scholars at JPL benefit from an informal mentoring network, an annual conference showcasing their results, a dedicated seminar series, exposure to diverse career paths, and social connections across the JPL and Caltech community for advice on housing, childcare and other aspects of living in southern California.


The goal is to generate global baseline products of forest structure in a variety of landscapes that include inland and coastal regions. In this project, the postdoctoral fellow will use a variety of imaging sensors (e.g. ALOS/PALSAR, Sentinel-1 and-2, Sentinel-2 and Landsat), Lidar datasets (ICESAT-1/2, GEDI) and available Digital Elevation models (i.e. SRTM, NASADEM, TanDEM-X) to model landscapes. These models will support the development of algorithms to determine carbon and water stores and fluxes, and also to simulate upcoming NISAR and SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography) missions. The simulation will serve to extend the potential of these missions in complex terrains (e.g. Deltas, forest with topographic reliefs) and seasonality.
The image time-series will be used to identify land cover and land use changes that can thereby be used to determine the impact of these changes on carbon and water cycles. The baseline products, generally generated from a combination of observations (e.g. canopy height, carbon stocks, wetland extent, etc) will support these assessments. The tasks will include maintenance, processing and analysis of global databases of optical and radar remote sensing images as well as lidar estimates of ground elevation and canopy height. It is expected the ideal candidate has expertise in remote sensing, GIS and Python programming.

The appointee will carry out research in collaboration with the JPL advisor, resulting in publications in the open literature. Dr. Marc Simard will serve as the JPL postdoctoral advisor to the selected candidate.


PhD in one of those disciplines or similiar: Physics, remote sensing, physical geography, Radar, Computer Science, geophysics, environmental science.

Applicants may be subject to additional program requirements by NASA. Postdoctoral Scholar positions are awarded for a minimum of one-year period and may be renewed up to a maximum of three years. Candidates should submit the following to this site: CV, representative publications, contact information for three references, and a cover letter stating their research accomplishments and interests.

Work Authorization

No Restrictions

Connect with Us

Not ready to apply? Connect with us for general consideration.