Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Open PhD position: Proximal and remote sensing for soil property mapping (PMSoil-2013-02)

Within the Swiss National Research Programme NRP 68 (Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource a PhD position within the approved project ‘Predictive mapping of soil properties for the evaluation of soil functions at regional scale’ (PMSoil) is available. The aim of PMSoil is to create large-scale soil-property maps for three pilot study regions (areas 102–103 km2), to develop a validated system of pedotransfer functions for Swiss soils, and to apply them in the study regions to address stakeholders’ issues. This requires, that we also develop procedures and protocols for harmonizing legacy soil data.

We therefore invite applications for a PhD position in the area of proximal and remote sensing for soil-property mapping.

The remote-sensing component of the project is threefold. First, acquisition and processing of proximal and air- and space-borne data within the pilot study areas using solar reflective imaging spectroscopy and gamma ray spectroscopy is envisaged. Second, spatially non-contiguous soil property maps are derived – as well as vegetated land cover, biochemical and biophysical variables. Geostatistical approaches will be used in combination with different observational approaches to produce ‘gap-free’ soil property maps. Field work will be required to validate those maps. Last, upscaling approaches will be used to scale sparse, but high spatial resolution data to the typical process length scales of soil properties changes using medium-resolution satellite time series. The successful applicant will be based in Zurich and working for at University of Zurich (UZH – Supervision will be through Michael Schaepman, Rogier de Jong (UZH) and Andreas Papritz (ETH).

Upon start, applicants must have a completed masters degree in (Environmental) Physics, Environmental Science, Soil Science, Geostatistics or Geography, preferably with a certain degree of specialization in remote sensing of soils or using technologies such as gamma or imaging spectroscopy. Applicants must be able to pursue data-oriented computational research as well as experimental approaches and fieldwork. Good numerical skills and literacy in programming is an asset. A good standard of written and spoken English is required. The position may start as of June 1, 2013 (or as soon as possible thereafter) and is limited to 3+1 years. Salaries correspond to the Swiss National Science Foundation regulations of PhD salaries.

We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and independent person with a passion for quantitative science to join our team. We offer outstanding working conditions, a high quality of life in Zurich, and an excellent supporting environment.

Please send your application (including position reference ‘PMSoil-2013-02’) as one single PDF file (motivation letter, complete CV, and names of 2 references) to, no later than March 25, 2013. For further questions, please contact

1 comment:

mithra said...

Interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you
PhD Environmental