Postdoctoral researcher, radar remote sensing of the Antarctic sea ice – University of Gothenburg

The Department of Earth Sciences has 68 employees. We have Bachelor and Master’s programmes in Earth Sciences and in Geography as well as third-cycle education. Our strongest research areas lie within climatology, ecosystem sciences, petrology/geochemistry and applied geoscience. The research strategy for the department emphasizes on further development of Earth System Science.

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The Weddell Polynya mystery
For planning shipping routes, tourist cruises or scientific equipment deployments, knowing where and when sea ice will open several months to days in advance is a prerequisite. Yet to date, routine spaceborne microwave remote sensing retrievals of sea ice are unable to provide such information, hence forecasting must rely on models that do not represent the dynamics of sea ice opening accurately. This project, ‘WINDOWS’, funded by the Swedish Space Agency aims to detect an upcoming opening of sea ice up to several months in advance using spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar, altimetry and infrared separately and by combining them. We will develop our tool specifically for the Weddell Polynya, a very large hole in the Antarctic winter sea ice cover that unexpectedly reopened for the first time in forty years in 2016 and in which our group has in-situ validation data from novel instruments.

Job assignments
You will be responsible for the radar remote sensing part. Your tasks will consist in identifying (if any) appearances of leads and/or changes in sea ice thickness weeks to months prior to the opening of the polynya over the last four austral winters:

  • Directly from SAR altimetry;
  • Indirectly from SAR backscatter at different bands (e.g. C from Sentinel and L from ALOS).

Time-dependent, you will also combine your results with the passive remote sensing ones, as well as with the observations and modelling efforts driven by my PhD student. You are expected to publish these findings in English-speaking high quality papers and attend relevant national and international conferences.

Efforts towards supervising your own Master’s student, developing your pedagogic qualifications, and writing your own proposals, will be encouraged and supported.

You need to have been awarded a PhD in a relevant subject in applied engineering and/or physical sciences through which you obtained skills in radar remote sensing of the polar regions. Documented experience in using SAR C- and/or L-band backscatter, and/or SAR altimetry are also a requirement. The ideal candidate in particular has experience with Sentinel data. You will also need written and oral communication skills including an ability to publish research results, write reports, and make scientific presentations.

The position is a temporary employment for two years with the extent of 100 % at the Department of Earth Sciences. First day of employment will be as agreed, however we would like to see this happen by 1st November 2019.

For further information regarding the position
Project leader Dr Céline Heuzé,

Learn more and apply

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