PhD Assistanship in Remote Sensing of Ecosystem Functioning

author: admin
March 29, 2013

PhD Assistanship Available: PhD student in Remote Sensing of Ecosystem Functioning

The Townsend lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the department of Forest & Wildlife Ecology seeks a motivated Ph.D. student interested in the linkage of remote sensing with plant physiology. The work will involve use of imaging spectroscopy data (such as AVIRIS), thermal infrared imagery (such as MASTER) as well as data from multispectral sensors (Landsat, MODIS, VIIRS), in addition to field measurements. The position is associated with multi-investigator projects examining the capacity of remote sensing to measure the photosynthetic capacity of both natural and agricultural ecosystems, and how these properties vary with environmental drivers. Ultimately, we plan to use our findings to develop methods to incorporate data from forthcoming remote sensing instruments to improve modeling of ecosystem response to environmental change. For this position, we are in search of a student with a strong background in plant biology or ecology who is also interested in using remote sensing technologies to quantify physiological aspects of plant growth, especially as they relate to variations in climate. The research will involve the linkage of field measurements of photosynthesis and physiological status to remote sensing and ecosystem models, in addition to development of methods to map landscape pattern from remote sensing data. The student will matriculate in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Questions about the position should be directed to Professor Phil Townsend, ptownsend@wisc.edu.

Position is available starting on or after July 1, 2013. The position is a standard 50% time research assistantship, with a stipend (currently $20,808/year), tuition remission (minus segregated fees), and access to health benefits.

Town:
Madison, Wisconsin consistently ranks as one of the best places in the United States to live, work, and study. It is Wisconsin’s capital city, with a vibrant population of approximately 300,000 that combines small town charm with a nice variety of leisure and cultural opportunities. For more information on campus and town see http://www.wisc.edu/about/location.php

Application Process:
Deadline for application is April 15, 2013. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and review will continue until candidates are chosen. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

Interested applicants are asked to e-mail the following documents listed below to our Student Services Coordinator Sara Rodock (rodock@wisc.edu) (in ONE PDF file). Please specify in your letter when you would be available to start.

Required Documents:

– The “Forest and Wildlife Ecology; University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate Application Cover Sheet” which can be found at: http://forestandwildlifeecology.wisc.edu/sites/default/files/coversheet_townsend_1142.doc

– A well-crafted cover letter outlining research interests, academic and professional backgrounds

– Resume/CV

– Copies of transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable at this point)

– GRE scores if available (TOEFL if applicable)

– Names and contact addresses of three references

Qualifications:

A MS degree in environmental science, ecology, biology, geography, forestry, or other related discipline is required. Applicants with a BS degree will only be considered if substantial relevant experience can be shown.

A solid working knowledge of remote sensing, GIS, and statistics is required. Programming or scripting experience (e.g., in R, Python, IDL or Matlab) is beneficial. Good English writing and verbal communication skills, as well as the ability to work in a team, are essential.

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