Funding will cover tuition and fees, and provide a highly-competitive stipend comprised of three years of a Research Assistantship and one year of a Teaching Assistantships or through additional funding streams. The position is expected to start in Fall 2023, but with the potential opportunity to start in Spring 2023.
This Earth Science student will be co-advised by Dr. Eric Sproles (Earth Sciences) and Dr. Joseph Shaw (Electrical Engineering and Optics) and will complete a two-student cohort, with the second student in Electrical Engineering. The Earth Sciences and Electrical Engineering student duo will focus on the physics of optical remote sensing, working towards scientific gains in the development, testing, and deployment of hyperspectral sensors in the in the lab and the field using UAVs (drones). These sensors, techniques, and data will support the calibration and validation of space-borne satellite measurements of snowy landscapes. The field sites are located across three distinct snowy landscapes in Montana (2) and Finland (1). The students will be an integral component of a collaboration between the PIs, NASA, the USGS Landsat Science Team, and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
Competitive applicants will have strong communication skills (oral and written), be able to successfully have/obtain a FAA Part 107 Drone Pilot’s license, have/obtain a valid driver’s license, and have a valid passport. An interest in snowy, cold places, and be willing to work outside in cold, winter conditions is a must. As this project supports a two-student cohort it is critical that applicants have the demonstrated capacity to work successfully in a positive team environment.
Additionally, competitive Earth Science PhD applicants will have demonstrated analytic and computational skills, a background in geospatial data and analysis, and programing expertise (Python, R, Matlab). A student with an Master’s is preferred, but outstanding students with a Bachelor’s will be considered as well. The Earth Science student will also be expected to integrate as a colleague into the Geospatial Snow Water and Ice Resources Lab (GeoSWIRL, https://arcg.is/0ObXba
Montana State University and Bozeman, Montana provide a great place to learn and live with easy access to trails, streams, and mountains—all while living in a fun, vibrant college community.