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.
- apply and adapt algorithms for image classification to airborne data from aircraft and helicopters,
- apply and improve processing algorithms for airborne short-wave solar radiation data,
- derive melt pond characteristics (e.g., areal fraction, size distribution, depth, freeboard, albedo) from airborne data,
- analyse the spatial and interannual variability of derived pond characteristics over the last decade and compare results with findings from satellite remote sensing,
- present your work at national and international meetings and write up the results for peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Additionals skills and knowledge
- Master’s degree in Geophysics, Meteorology, Environmental physics, Physics or related field
- Good programming skills in at least one high-level programming language (preferably Python)
- Good working knowledge of the English language, fluently both written and spoken
- Willingness to participate in research expeditions to the Arctic
- Knowledge in atmosphere-ice-ocean interactions or sea ice physics would be of advantage.
- A background in processing of airborne or satellite imagery and in image classification or in processing airborne data of short-wave solar radiation would be considered advantageous.
For further information, please contact Dr. Gerit Birnbaum
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
- our scientific success - excellent research.
- collaboration and cooperation - intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary.
- opportunities to develop – on the job, aiming at other positions and beyond AWI.
- a culture of reconciling work and family – an audited and well-supported aspect of our operation
- our outstanding research infrastructure – ships, stations, aircraft, laboratories and more.
- an international environment – everyday contacts with people from all over the world.
- having an influence – fundamental research with social and political relevance
- flat hierarchies – facilitating freedom and responsibility
- exciting science topics, with opportunities also in technology, administration and infrastructure
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