NASA funded PhD position at the University of Delaware (Summer/Fall 2021) via AGU

University of Delaware

Newark, DE, United States 🇺🇸

The EArth observation for Sustainable Ecosystem and Livelihood (EASEL) group in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences at the University of Delaware is seeking a motivated PhD student interested broadly in environmental remote sensing to join our program in summer/fall 2021. As a part of a larger NASA-funded project, the student will work on coastal ecosystem mapping and modeling.

The Team: Dr. Pinki Mondal and Dr. Rodrigo Vargas will co-advise the PhD student, who will be working with a team of interdisciplinary scientists. The student will be housed in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences. Please check out EASEL Lab website and Vargas Lab website for overall research focus.

The Project: Large-scale variability (global environmental change) and mesoscale processes (such as regional sea level rise) influence coastal ecosystems and adversely affect water supply and quality, with consequences for coastal communities and population across Delaware. Addressing these issues requires state-of-the-art information on how the coastal ecosystem responds to large-scale variability. Remote sensing is one of the most powerful tools for improving understanding of the coastal ecosystems and land-aquatic interface. One of the specific objectives of this NASA-funded project is to deliver real-time satellite-derived big data for environmental change research. Our goal is to examine aquatic-terrestrial environments across the coast of Delaware. However, the PhD student will be able to develop their own research ideas within the project context. The ideal candidate is expected to utilize UD’s big data and high performance computing system DARWIN.

What we are looking for: The ideal candidate is passionate about and has expertise in geospatial (remote sensing/GIS) applications in environmental sciences. Prior experience in spatial and/or process-based modeling is desirable; proficiency in Google Earth Engine (GEE) and/or R/Python is a plus. We are looking for a candidate who has (i) an interest in interdisciplinary research, (ii) good oral communication and writing skills, (iii) attention to detail, and (iv) willingness and ability to work independently.

What we offer: The position offers competitive stipend, a tuition waiver, and subsidized health insurance. The Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences is a nationally and internationally recognized department that offers Ph.D. degrees in both Climatology and Geography, and a graduate-level certificate program in Geographic Information Science. Our students are given the opportunity to pursue coursework in a variety of topics in Data Science. We have a diverse group of faculty with research expertise in GIS and remote sensing, climatology, political ecology and ecohydrology among others.

The University of Delaware is an equal opportunity affirmative action employer. Recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of America’s best universities to work for in 2012, the University of Delaware is located midway between Philadelphia and Baltimore, and is a Sea Grant, Space Grant, and Land Grant institution.

The application process: The deadline for priority consideration for admission and funding is January 5, 2021. Please check out UD’s application website for more details.

Women and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Application fee waiver is available to eligible candidates (for more details, see application website).

GRE score reporting is not mandatory and will not be considered for application evaluation. In your application letter, please mention how you will contribute to the project with emphasis on your current skillsets and research experience/interest. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a virtual meeting between January 5 and 12, 2021. Interested applicants are welcome to send a brief letter of interest and a copy of their CV via email to Dr. Pinki Mondal ([email protected]).