The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is a member of the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and funded by federal and state government. AWI focuses on polar and marine research in a variety of disciplines such as biology, oceanography, geology, geochemistry and geophysics thus allowing multidisciplinary approaches to scientific goals.

PhD position "Airborne Remote Sensing of Melt Ponds on Sea Ice" (m/f/d)

The Sea Ice Geophysics Section of AWI studies the role of sea ice in the climate, eco, and human systems by means of in-situ, airborne, and satellite observations and modeling. Improving the predictive capabilities for the development of Arctic sea ice cover highly depends on a better understanding of the ice-albedo feedback mechanism, which is strongly influenced by meltwater ponds. How strong the impact of ponds is depends particularly on their areal fraction, their 3D-geometry and their albedo.
Within the project, physical characteristics of melt ponds will be retrieved from airborne data, which have been gathered yearly by AWI since 2010, including the MOSAiC expedition. Resulting data sets will be used to investigate the spatial and interannual variability of pond properties over the last decade. Hence, the goal is to increase our understanding of the role of melt ponds in Arctic sea ice decline as a consequence of a warming climate.

You will


Additionals skills and knowledge

Further Information
For further information, please contact Dr. Gerit Birnbaum (; +49(471)4831-1795).

This position is limited to 3 years. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes, TVöD Bund), up to salary level 13 (66%). The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

All doctoral candidates will be members of AWI's postgraduate program POLMAR or another graduate school and thus benefit from a comprehensive training program and extensive support measures.

The AWI is characterised by

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of female employees and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply.

Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present.

The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family in various ways and has received a number of awards as a result of this engagement.

We look forward to your application!
Please forward your application by April 25th 2021 exclusively online.
Reference number 21/73/G/Kli-b