Postdoctoral Fellowship

Front Royal, Virginia
equivalent to GS9 level
Apr 21, 2017
May 21, 2017
Career Level
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

Multi-Sensor Remote Sensing and Forest Mapping in Myanmar

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) ( is currently seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow to be based at SCBI’s facilities in Front Royal, VA.

The three-year fellowship is funded by NASA LCLUC program and focuses on advancing SCBI’s ongoing forest mapping and remote sensing project in Myanmar. This collaborative and multi-disciplinary project seeks to integrate multiple remote sensing datasets (e.g.  Landsat, PALSAR, Sentinel, and UAV data) with extensive field observations to map diverse forest types (e.g. intact natural forest, oil palm plantation, rubber plantation). The fellow will have the opportunity to collaborate with Global Land Cover Facility (GLCF) at University of Maryland on continuous tree cover mapping, and political scientists and human geographers on studies of socioeconomic drivers of deforestation.   

The successful candidate is expected to develop innovative research on forest mapping, data fusion, UAV data collecting and processing, and to publish science papers on the results. This position is unique in that it requires both substantial skills in organizing/ conducting ground truthing campaigns in Myanmar and in analyzing large remote sensing datasets. The fellow will be expected to spend extended periods of time in Myanmar to work with collaborators and conduct field campaigns.

The fellowship may also include work on designing and constructing an online platform to visualize and share data products. There will also be opportunities for the fellow to engage in teaching professional level GIS courses and mentoring student interns at SCBI.

The position will remain open until filled, with a desired start date of summer 2017.


The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. in Physical Geography, Remote Sensing, Environmental Sciences, Computer Science, Ecology, or a related field by the start date of the position. Must be able to work independently yet collegially in a team environment.

This appointment is renewable for up to three years. Renewing process is contingent upon satisfactory performance and NASA funding. 

. Specifically we look for:

  1. Extensive experience in remote sensing using both optical and active remote sensing data;
  2. Experience in organizing / conducting forestry survey using UAV;
  3. Experience/Interest in collaborating with social scientists to use qualitative survey data to study anthropogenic drivers of deforestation.    

Previous international experience is advantageous but not required.   

Interested applicants should submit one pdf document including cover letter (stating preferred starting time), CV, and the names and contact information for 3 references to

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute is located at the north entrance of the Shenandoah National Park about 60 miles west of Washington, D.C., in Front Royal, VA. SCBI’s mission is to advance conservation of biological diversity. In meeting the Smithsonian Institution's mandate, SCBI increases knowledge through investigations of threatened species, habitats, and communities, and disseminates knowledge through advanced studies, professional training, and public outreach.