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Assistant Professor - Uncrewed Aerial Systems and Earth Remote Sensing

University of North Carolina Wilmington
Wilmington, North Carolina
Closing date
Nov 29, 2023

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Earth and Space Science Informatics
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Assistant Professor - Uncrewed Aerial Systems and Earth Remote Sensing

Brief Summary of Work for this Position
The Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences (EOS) in the College of Science and Engineering at the University of North Carolina Wilmington invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Uncrewed Aerial Systems and Earth Remote Sensing (UAS/RS) to begin August 2024.

The preferred candidate will:

  • Lead UAS teaching and curriculum development within EOS,
  • Apply UAS/RS-based research techniques to coastal environments,
  • Establish an extramurally funded research program, and
  • Demonstrate a commitment to community engagement and public outreach.

Teaching responsibilities include undergraduate and graduate courses that include aerial drone fundamentals and advanced applications, preparation for the FAA Part 107 test, satellite and drone remote sensing/image analysis, and other courses in the applicant’s specialty. We are looking for an individual who is eager to integrate emerging techniques in UAS/RS (e.g., simulation software, Google Earth Engine, field studies, artificial intelligence, and other cutting-edge techniques).

Application of UAS/RS techniques includes planning, acquiring data from a variety of sensors/platforms, post-processing imagery, and developing advanced geospatial analyses. New facilities include an NSF-funded Coastal UAS Observatory, teaching/applied learning 40- and 20-seat computer labs with geospatial software, and an Oceanographic Instrumentation laboratory, all of which comprise numerous drones (fixed wing and multi-copter), lidar, multispectral/hyperspectral/thermal sensors, several RTK-GPS, handheld spectro-radiometer, and additional in-situ validation instrumentation. Example research topics include but are not limited to coastal change analysis, hazards and possible mitigations, climate change impacts, and human–environment interactions.

This position has potential to address emerging environmental justice issues in the region and we welcome applications from candidates who can incorporate an inclusive narrative in their teaching, research, and outreach activities.

The UNCW EOS Department offers numerous graduate and undergraduate majors, minors, and certificates of direct relevance to this position and EOS has a strong and growing geospatial science expertise.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements
Applicants must:

  • Hold a Ph.D. in Geography, Geospatial Sciences, Earth and Ocean Sciences, or a related discipline prior to the start date.
  • Have technical experience conducting UAS/Drone missions including flight planning, flying, data download, post-processing, image analysis and theoretical background in remote sensing.

Preferred Education, Knowledge, Skills & Experience
Preference will be given to individuals who:

  • Have the technical expertise to develop fieldwork and UAS research that expands the technology.
    • For example, the ideal candidate investigates emerging techniques in UAS/RS, simulation software, Google Earth Engine, field sampling techniques, artificial intelligence, multi-scale image analysis, big data analytics, object-based image processing, deep learning, motion detection, pattern detection, and other advanced analytical techniques.
  • Have teaching experience in remote sensing.
  • Have a record of publication and grantsmanship.
  • Display an eagerness and aptitude to become actively engaged in the management and future of a coastal UAS observatory.

Required Certifications or Licensure
Must have FAA part 107 license at time of appointment.

Primary Function of Organizational Unit
The Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences ( offers the following degrees: B.S. in Geology and Oceanography, M.S. and B.A. in Geosciences, B.A. in Geography and Geospatial Science, and a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science. The department maintains an outstanding record of research and scholarship and provides powerful undergraduate/graduate student experiences that include applied learning, field studies, and mentored research. UNCW maintains a wide range of analytical facilities in support of research including sedimentology, geospatial analysis, electron microscopy, stable isotope mass spectrometry, aqueous chemistry, NMR and DNA facilities, as well as a dive shop, machine shop, and instrument shop at the UNCW Center for Marine Science (

College/School Information
The College of Science and Engineering offers a variety of programs leading to Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees, as well as Doctor of Philosophy degrees in applied coastal and ocean sciences; pharmaceutical chemistry; integrative, comparative, and marine biology; and psychology degrees. The college also offers combined bachelor’s/master’s degree programs in information technology/computer science and information systems, computer science/computer science and information systems, and B.S. in mathematics/M.S. in mathematics. To implement its academic programs, the college provides instruction and research opportunities in the natural and behavioral sciences, information technology, data science, computer science, mathematics, pre-engineering, and engineering. The eight academic departments in the college provide courses of study in each of these areas, in addition to interdepartmental programs in information technology, cybersecurity, and digital arts. A 2+2 in engineering; and 3+2 programs in computer science and electrical or computer engineering; and physics and electrical engineering, are also offered in the college. Post-baccalaureate certificate programs in environmental studies, applied statistics, and geographic information science are also available.

CSE students work with distinguished faculty and scientists, use cutting edge technology, and conduct impactful research. Faculty-directed research projects empower CSE students to apply what they learn inside the classroom and laboratory to real-world situations and prepares them for a variety of careers or advanced study.

University Information
The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to the integration of teaching, mentoring, research and service. Widely acknowledged for its world-class faculty and staff and continuously recognized at a national level for scholarly excellence and affordability, UNCW offers a powerful academic experience that stimulates creative inquiry and critical thinking and a community rich in diversity, inclusion and global perspectives.

A public institution with nearly 18,000 students, UNCW offers a full range of baccalaureate- and graduate-level programs, as well as doctoral degrees in educational leadership, marine biology, nursing practice and psychology; and many distance learning options, including clinical research, an accelerated RN-to-BSN program, an Executive M.B.A. program structured for working professionals, and the nation’s only bachelor’s degree program focused on coastal engineering.

The university’s efforts to advance research and scholarly activities have earned UNCW the elevated designation of “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” institution (R2 University) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

UNCW has been part of the University of North Carolina System since 1969.

Please apply online at

Special Notes to Applicants
Prior to the official appointment to the university, the candidate(s) selected for hire must be able to demonstrate eligibility to teach assigned courses by successfully meeting the credentialing requirements based on official transcripts and other documentation as required.

Applications will be accepted until 11:59PM EST on 01/15/2024. To apply, please complete the online application process available at and attach the following materials as an Adobe PDF document including:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Research Summary – Statement of Research Plans
  4. Teaching Summary – Statement of Teaching Plans
  5. List with contact information for three professional references

Note that all requested components must be submitted in order to meet the application requirements.

For questions regarding the search, contact Search Committee Chair, Dr. Phil Bresnahan at

For questions about the online application process, contact Ms. Mel Rausch at or 910-962-3490.

EEO Statement
At the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW), our culture reflects our values of inclusion, diversity, globalization, ethics and integrity and innovation and we are committed to providing equality of educational and employment opportunity for all persons without regard to race, sex (such as gender, gender identity, marital status, childbirth, and pregnancy), age, color, national origin (including ethnicity), religion, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran status, military service member status, genetic information, or relationship to other university constituents – except where sex, age, or ability represent bona fide educational or occupational qualifications or where marital status is a statutorily established eligibility criterion for State funded employee benefit programs. UNCW believes that embracing the unique contributions of our faculty, staff and students is critical to our success and paramount in being recognized for our global mindset.

Eligibility for Employment
Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. UNC Wilmington participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.

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