Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Postdoctoral Position Available At Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence SDSU

Postdoctoral Position Available: Geospatial change analysis of the western hemisphere

We are seeking a highly motivated and capable PDF to pursue cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in the field of geospatial sciences within the context of the newly funded NASA project:

Change in our MIDST: Detection and Analysis of Land Surface Dynamics in North and South America Using Multiple Sensor Datastreams.

We propose to answer the cross-cutting question: “Where in the western hemisphere is the vegetated land surface changing significantly during the past 15 years in response to direct human impacts? We formulate our question as a suite of testable hypotheses about changes in the vegetated land surface, as follows:

[H1] Areas of significant positive change occur in areas of moderate human impact, due predominantly to agricultural land uses;
[H2] Areas of significant negative change that occur in areas with low human impact, arise predominantly from forest pests and forest fires; and
[H3] Areas of significant negative changes that occur in areas with high human impact, appear predominantly associated with the expansion of human settlements, particularly cities.

We will build and implement a system to detect significant changes in land surface properties using time series of key NASA remote sensing data products from sensors aboard Terra and/or Aqua, supplemented by products from NASA's Global Land Data Assimilation System and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission. We will calculate trends since 2001 for metrics of the vegetated land surface using multiple sensor datastreams. An important aspect of the system is trend analysis on two or more scales, e.g., 500m and 0.05 degree. We will highlight areas manifesting highly significant changes in land surface properties in North, Central, and South Americas to assess changes since 2001, with particular interest focused on [1] the rapidly transforming cerrado region of Brazil and [2] the hemisphere’s largest conurbations. We will analyze for the drivers and consequences of change through a combination of regularized generalized canonical correlation analysis, recursive partitioning, and probabilistic mixture modeling of land surface phenologies.

Applicants should have earned Ph.D. in ecology, geography, environmental science, or a closely related discipline along with a strong conceptual background in landscape ecology, land change science, ecological remote sensing, or other appropriate field. A background in statistical analysis, geographic information systems, experience with remote sensing, computer programming skills (C, C++, Java, etc.) and knowledge of ENVI/IDL and the R environment are all highly desirable.

Research team includes Geoff Henebry and Xiaoyang Zhang at SDSU and Kirsten de Beurs at the University of Oklahoma. Position is based at the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence (GSCE), a dynamic internationally recognized research center located in Brookings, SD. South Dakota was recently ranked the state with the 5th highest quality of life in the US. The GSCE is a friendly research environment that has excellent research infrastructure and computing support: 2009-11 Triennial Report.

To apply for this position, send an email to with the subject line “MIDST post-doc app” and the following information appended as PDFs: curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, and copies of publications, contact information for three references. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. South Dakota State University is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its faculty, staff and students. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Non-US citizens may apply.

Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence
Brookings, SD 57007-3510
Phone: 605-688-6591 (-5227 fax)


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