PhD Studentship Opportunity - Microwave Remote Sensing of Arctic sea ice

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PhD Studentship Opportunity - Microwave Remote Sensing of Arctic sea ice

Vishnu Nandan
Dear Cryolist Members

Please find below (and attached) details about a PhD Studentship in Microwave Remote Sensing of snow covered Arctic first-year sea ice at the Cryosphere Climate Research Group, Dept of Geography, University of Calgary. 

Please circulate and forward this mail to any potential interested students, thank you very much in advance!

PhD Studentship Opportunity (Beginning Sept. 2018)

Multi-frequency Polarimetric Microwave Scatterometry of Snow Covered Arctic First-Year Sea Ice

Position Description:

The focus of the research to be undertaken will be the development and application of space-borne and/or surface-based multi-frequency, multi-resolution microwave (SAR and scatterometer) remote sensing datasets for improved characterization of Arctic snow covered first-year sea ice thermophysical processes over the annual cycle. Emphasis is placed on enhancing the existing capacity of space-borne multi-frequency, multi-resolution polarimetric microwave scatterometry for determining critical timings associated with the thermodynamic evolution of sea ice during the spring-summer seasonal cycle and determining regional scale variations of the thermodynamic and geophysical processes operating at the air-ocean interface. Special emphasis on determining/validating the snow water equivalent (SWE) on first-year sea ice will be of particular importance. The objectives for this Ph.D. studentship will be focused around (1) development of a robust methodology for estimating snow thickness distributions on first-year sea ice (FYI) from time series surface-based polarimetric scatterometer data and provide ‘up- scaled’ estimates using polarimetric space-borne SAR data (ie. RADARSAT-2, Sentinel-1A, Cosmo SkyMed, ALOS PALSAR) and (2) developing a set of methodologies to infer the surface optical/radiative (albedo) properties of sea ice throughout the spring melt season from time series polarimetric microwave scattering. Opportunities for field work in the Canadian Arctic or Sub-arctic Sea ice are likely in 2019 and/or 2020.

Award Details:

  • Funding will be comprised of a combination of Department teaching Assistantships and supervisor supplemented top-ups, overall valued at $30,000 (CAD) for 4 years.
  • You will join our dynamic Cryosphere Climate Research Group (CCRG) that involves Arctic researchers and a large, collaborative team of Arctic sea ice scientists specializing in microwave remote sensing of snow covered Arctic sea ice.
  • Current Master’s students nearing completion of their degree and entering a PhD program as a new student are eligible.

  • You hold a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Geography, Geomatics Engineering, Earth or Environmental Science, Geophysics or related discipline.

  • Demonstrable experience in working with handling space-borne optical/SAR satellite datasets with specialization in Polarimetric SAR being a distinct advantage.

  • Demonstrated experience in producing peer-reviewed publications is an asset.

  • Programming experience in either R, Python, IDL or MATLAB is desirable.

  • Previous knowledge in using SAR datasets for sea ice applications is an advantage.

  • You have an entering GPA of at least 3.5 on the 4 point scale (or equivalent) in your last two years of study

  • You are intellectually curious, driven, have technical aptitude

  • You have experience in undertaking field research and are interested in working in the Arctic

Application Process:

Please submit your letter of interest, CV, transcripts and contact information of three referees to:

Prof. John Yackel
Cryosphere Climate Research Group
Department of Geography
University of Calgary

Application Deadline: October 31, 2017

For additional information about the University of Calgary see: , the Department of Geography see:

The University of Calgary has a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada's top five research universities by 2022, where innovative teaching and groundbreaking research go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. The strategy is called Energizing Eyes High, inspired by our Gaelic motto, which translates to 'I will lift up my eyes'. We are increasing our scholarly capacity by investing in people who want to change the world, bringing the best and brightest to Calgary to form a global intellectual hub and achieve advances that matter to everyone.

On behalf of Prof. John Yackel


Vishnu Nandan
Cryosphere Climate Research Group
Dept of Geography
University of Calgary

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