Department of Geography

Postdoctoral Researcher - Data scientist in remote sensing and photogrammetry
80 %

The announced postdoctoral researcher is part of the new Remote Sensing of Environmental Changes group within the Remote Sensing Laboratories at the Department of Geography, University of Zurich.

Remote sensing is vital in documenting and monitoring environmental changes worldwide. Analyzing remote sensing data is complex, and finding solutions often requires custom-tailored algorithms. For what concerns environmental changes, most problems come with additional challenges, i.e., dealing with the inherent limitations of each sensor and platform and determining how to apply solutions at different scales.

The research group aims to address these challenges and to make an impact in quantifying, understanding, and mitigating environmental changes in the cryosphere, forestry, and geomorphology. To this end, we aim to address fundamental and methodological questions in remote sensing. Yet, several challenges exist, including managing the sheer volume and variety of geospatial data available from open and commercial sensors and across different spatial and temporal resolutions. Furthermore, the imminent launch of new satellite missions will open new research perspectives.

Your responsibilities

The candidate will have a central role in the research group by addressing the following methodological and technological research topics in close collaboration with all team members.

Your profile

We seek an enthusiastic, creative, and independent researcher interested in working with various remote sensing data to quantify changes in cryosphere, forestry, and geomorphology. Specifically, the research topics will cover a broad range of technology and environmental sciences, including but not only glacier changes in elevation and velocity, periglacial changes due to glacier retreat and related mass movements, spatiotemporal changes in forest cover and height along with the characterization of vertical and horizontal forest structures. Remote sensing data include historical and digital aerial images, airborne Lidar, optical satellite data, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), satellite laser and radar altimetry. In addition, research will also involve the simulation and use of upcoming ESA and NASA satellite missions.

The candidate must be able to multitask and work on various projects and applications independently and in collaboration with the team members and other colleagues. The applicant should have problem-solving skills and good organizational and communication skills. Advanced programming and computational skills, software development, geospatial data analysis and visualization, GIS and Remote Sensing concepts are required. The team will primarily use Python, QGIS, ArcGIS, and project tracking systems (e.g., GitHub). Fluent English is a requirement. German is not required, but it facilitates communication with the administrative and other members.

The candidate will benefit from a close network of collaboration with the Remote Sensing Laboratories at the department and established international collaborations, such as with the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF), University of Oslo, World Glacier Monitoring Service, TU Wien, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Ulster University, University Grenoble Alpes, TU Dresden, University of Toulouse, Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, and University of Innsbruck.

Interactions with supported science IT teams will be required to address large-scale computational research data processing and management.

What we offer

The team will be built on the values of collaboration, diversity, respect, initiative, and open science. The drivers of the research group are sharing experiences, ideas, and approaches, learning from each other, and returning what we have learned to the group and the community.

We offer outstanding working conditions, a high quality of life in Zurich, excellent support and a flexible work environment that fosters collaboration and teamwork.

Employment is 80 % for three years with a possibility of extension of another three years. The salary is defined by the level of the employee's career and age following the salary regulations of the UZH.

Place of work

The candidate will be based at the Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland. The candidate is expected to work primarily in the office with the flexibility to work remotely one day a week.

Start of employment

The employment should start as soon as possible, based on mutual agreement.
The job announcement remains open until the position is filled. We will start reviewing applications on the 22nd of April.

If you are interested in this position and fulfil the requirements, we look forward to receiving your online application consisting of:

Further information