Student enrolling in Environmental Management to work in the ABoVE

A graduate student is sought to work and study at Montclair State University with Dr Mark Chopping and external collaborators on a research project contributing to NASA's Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE).

The goal of the research is to use semi-automated methods in the interpretation of high resolution imagery in order to assess changes in cover and aboveground biomass of shrubs in ~200 sites across the Alaskan and Canadian erect dwarf-shrub and low-shrub Arctic tundra zones over a 10- to 15-year period. The position will be based in the Department of Earth and Environmental Studies, located in the new Center for Environment and Life Sciences, in the College of Science and Mathematics. The student will also be admitted as a member of the MSU Remote Sensing Lab.

Position starts in Fall 2016

Qualifications: Masters in a scientific discipline with a focus on quantitative skills. Experience/expertise in image processing methods, GIS and Remote Sensing, and computer programming are highly desired.

Commitment: 20/hrs per week over two years. The student selected will enroll in the Environmental Management PhD program.

Support: Stipend of approximately $20,000 p.a., plus tuition.

The student will work on:

  • assessing imagery availability using catalogues
  • locating sites
  • generating high resolution canopy maps and statistics from the application of the PI's CANAPI algorithm with high resolution imagery
  • development of remote sensing products (with the Principal Investigator)
  • compilation of canopy statistics at the scales of NASA/US remote sensing instruments (Landsat, MODIS, MISR, VIIRS)
  • co-ordination with project collaborators
  • evaluation of the accuracy and precision of results.
  • manuscript preparation.

Note: The work at Montclair may or may not involve travel to the Arctic; this is not a requirement of this position.

About the ABoVE Program

NASA's Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) Campaign: The ABoVE campaign will take place in Alaska and western Canada during the next 5 to 8 years. ABoVE will seek a better understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems and society to this changing environment, as Climate change in the Arctic and Boreal region is unfolding faster than anywhere else on Earth, resulting in reduced Arctic sea ice, thawing of permafrost soils, decomposition of long-frozen organic matter, widespread changes to lakes, rivers, coastlines, and alterations of ecosystem structure and function.

For more information please contact:
Mark Chopping, Ph.D.
Department of Earth & Environmental Studies
Montclair State University
Montclair, NJ 07043