NASA Land Cover Land Use Change PhD Position

The Intelligent Geocomputing Lab at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) is looking for Ph.D. student to lead remote sensing analysis in an interdisciplinary grant funded by NASA. We will study rangeland conditions of the Altai Mountains in central Asia and identify linkages between land use change, climate dynamics, local decisions by herders and broad-scale political choices. Our work crosses several disciplines such as engineering, ecology and social science. This particular position focuses on analysis of remotely sensed data and potential prediction using scenario-based modeling. In addition to computer modeling, it is expected that the student will contribute to UAV testing and development in the USA and UAV deployment and data acquisition in Mongolia during a four week campaign (in the summer!).

Required qualifications:
– prior experience processing remotely sensed data
– a master’s degree in engineering, computer science, physics, geography or related disciplines
– strong statistical and programming background
– excellent English verbal and writing communication skills
– ability to collaborate and lead in a group environment
– passion to address environmental issues.

Preferred qualifications:
Experience with Landsat and MODIS data, working experience with UAVs, familiarity with machine learning methods and one publication in an English journal.

The position includes an annual stipend of $18,000-$21,000 depending on qualifications, health insurance and a tuition waiver. This is a 3 year position and the selected candidate is expected to start between May and August of 2015. The position is based at SUNY ESF’s campus in Syracuse, NY.

Application Procedure:
Interested candidates should apply in one of the two programs below requesting Dr. Mountrakis as their advisor:
Environmental Resource Engineering – Option Area: Geospatial Information Science and Engineering
Graduate Program in Environmental Science – Study Area: Environmental Monitoring and Modeling

The candidate’s statement should be specific on how he/she meets each of the required and preferred qualifications. Evaluation of candidates will begin on February 8th, 2015 and continue until the position is filled. The position is open to domestic and international students.

You can start the formal application process with ESF’s graduate school here. All questions regarding this process should be directed to Inquiries specific to the position details should be addressed to Dr. Giorgos Mountrakis at Please include your CV and GRE scores in your email correspondence.