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19-9. Satellite remote-sensing advances for monitoring, analyzing, and predicting coastal change hazards


Closing Date: January 4, 2021

This Research Opportunity will be filled depending on the availability of funds. All application materials must be submitted through USAJobs by 11:59 pm, US Eastern Standard Time, on the closing date.

How to Apply

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Coastal change hazards (e.g., wave/storm hazards, beach/cliff erosion, and sea-level rise) are difficult to understand let alone predict, owing to the complexity of the underlying physical processes and the sparsity of large-scale observations.  Nevertheless, reliable, quantitative predictions of coastal change hazards are increasingly sought by coastal managers.  

Recent advances in remote sensing show promise to transform the field of coastal science from a ‘data-poor’ field into a ‘data-rich’ field with the proliferation of remotely-sensed coastal data products.  Notable advances include satellite-derived shoreline observations (Luijendijk et al., 2018, Vos et al., 2019), with global-scale, repeat coverage from 1-14 days and spatial accuracy on the order of 5-15 meters.   

Advancing large-scale, satellite observations of coastal change hazards is the primary goal of the proposed Mendenhall Research Opportunity (RO).  This RO seeks proposals that address the research challenges on the path towards the realization of EarthMAP, a national-scale, data-integrated earth system model that intelligently synthesizes observations and simulations.   

Proposals to this Mendenhall RO are expected to make fundamental research contributions in satellite remote sensing of coastal change hazards.  Strong candidates are expected to possess demonstrated knowledge of coastal systems via the application of remote sensing technologies and/or numerical models to research problems. 

Possible topics of research include (but are not limited to): 

  • Advancing algorithms for satellite-derived coastal data extraction  

  • Evaluating and improving the accuracy of satellite-derived coastal data products 

  • Uncertainty quantification of satellite-derived coastal data products 

  • Integrating machine learning / deep learning with remotely-sensed coastal observations 

  • Remote-sensing analysis in cloud computing environments 

  • Coastal data products derived from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites 

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Research Advisor(s) early in the application process to discuss project ideas. 

Proposed Duty Station: Santa Cruz, CA 

Areas of PhD: Oceanography, civil & environmental engineering, geology, geography, applied mathematics, atomospheric science, computer science, data science, or related fields (candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines, but with extensive knowledge and skills relevant to the Research Opportunity may be considered).

Qualifications: Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications: Research GeologistResearch GeographerResearch Oceanographer

(This type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the occupations stated above.  However, other titles may be applicable depending on the applicant's background, education, and research proposal. The final classification of the position will be made by the Human Resources specialist.) 

Human Resources Office Contact: Beverly Ledbetter, 916-278-9396, 

Apply Here