Research Assistant-Arctic Boreal
Seasonal Dynamic Water Body Mapping
SUMMARY: Woodwell Climate Research Center (Woodwell) is a leading independent climate research institute, with a mission to advance science-based climate policies through scientific research and outreach. The keys to Woodwell’s success are the quality of its research and the ability to deliver that science to policymakers and decision makers.
Woodwell Climate Research Center seeks a research assistant (RA) to join the Arctic Boreal group to lead image processing and data analyses for a new NASA-sponsored project. The position will use high resolution commercial imagery (i.e., from Planet and Maxar) to map the seasonal dynamics of water bodies (including small ponds) and inundated wetlands for tundra and boreal regions in Alaska. The RA will also assist with developing maps of methane emission budgets for aquatic systems and wetlands. The successful candidate will work closely with the project lead scientists at Woodwell and NASA.
- Preprocessing of PlanetScope and RapidEye imagery (e.g., geolocation/image co-registration; qa/qc masking; regional mosaicking)
- Developing a water body training/validation database for Interior Alaska and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD) using Maxar WorldView imagery and data from GPS field surveys.
- Using Planet imagery to develop a multi-year temporal record of surface wetness indices (e.g., NDWI) for Interior Alaska and YKD.
- Improving and applying a semi-automated approach to identify landscape gradients of surface water across the regions, using a NDWI-based threshold approach.
- Applying segmentation algorithms to identify and characterize seasonal and multi-year changes in individual water bodies within the region.
- Providing summary statistics for water dynamics within the region, through pixel and object-based analysis.
- Using information from a regional methane flux database, and the new record of surface water change, to develop monthly and annual methane emission maps for Alaska.
- Assist with project reporting and manuscript writing for publication
Qualifications and Experience:
- M.S. degree in Earth System Science, Computer Science, Data Science or a related field.
- Experience working with remote sensing image analysis and large datasets.
- Programming skills; ability to develop and implement complex code in Python (or willingness to learn).
- Signal processing and time series analysis skills (or willingness to learn).
- Experience with Linux systems, high performance computing in a cluster or cloud environment (or willingness to learn).
Application review will begin August 27, 2021 and applications will be accepted after that date.
Desired Start Date: September 2021
Classification and Compensation: This is a full-time, salaried, fixed-term, exempt position. The salary range is $50,000 to $58,000. This is a one-year fixed-term position with the potential to extend. Woodwell offers a very generous benefits package.
Location: Remote or Falmouth, Massachusetts. There is a possibility of field work in Alaska.
Application Instructions: To apply, please send your cover letter addressing your experience and qualifications in relation to the responsibilities of this position, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references as a single PDF to our careers portal found here. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Please type RA-Water Mapping on all correspondence.
Located on a 10-acre campus near the village of Woods Hole, Woodwell Climate Research Center is a private, non-profit research center. Woodwell is a leading source of climate science that drives the urgent action needed to solve climate change. Woodwell has 70+ staff members, and is excited to welcome new employees to this work.
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