Assistant Professor - Quantitative Global Environmental Remote Sensing


University of California, Berkeley


Friday, December 15, 2017

Start Date

Sunday, July 1, 2018


The Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM) in the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley invites applications for a tenure-track position at the assistant professor level in Quantitative Environmental Remote Sensing with an expected start date of July 1, 2018.

Remote sensing plays an increasingly important role in environmental and social sciences, providing novel ways to understand environmental and earth system dynamics at local and global scales. We are in a new era of remote sensing. There are over 100 current satellites dedicated to earth observation, and that number is expected to grow in the coming decades with new satellites, sensors, and uninhabited aerial systems (UASs). These include new constellations of private and public micro and nano satellites, active remote sensors such as LiDAR and RADAR, as well as continued operation of earth observation optical satellites (e.g. Landsat 8, MODIS, and VIIRS). Additional airborne sensors such as AVIRIS, PRISM and SENTINEL 2 are also increasingly used in earth observation and geospatial analytics. Moreover, advances in open data science are building computational frameworks that allow for new approaches to data pattern discovery, geospatial modeling, and data fusion.

The person who fills this position will focus on remote sensing and environmental and earth observation and will have strong quantitative skills. We encourage applicants whose research integrates remotely sensed measurement with field data in quantitative approaches. Successful applicants might focus on the development of new analytical capabilities, algorithms and classifiers to take advantage of current and new remotely sensed data from both active and passive sensors as integrated with other conventional data types. We seek an individual who applies innovative tools and novel approaches with remotely sensed data to meet public demand for science that addresses the environmental challenges facing society.

The successful recruit is expected to develop an internationally recognized research program in remote sensing focusing on environmental and earth observation, large data computation and multi-sensor fusion and synthesis. Possible areas of emphasis for this position would include:

  • Data driven discovery, analysis and modeling of trends and dynamics of ecological processes and environmental concerns such as carbon emissions, wildlife, disturbance, land use, productivity and biodiversity.
  • Developing and implementing decision support tools for sustainable use of earth observation data for contributing solutions to local and global challenges.
  • Estimating biophysical parameters in support of ecological modeling.
  • Utilization of remotely sensed data from a range of sources (e.g. multispectral, hyperspectral and active sensors such as Lidar and RADAR).
  • Scaling ground-based data from sensor networks with remotely sensed data.
  • Development of open source data processing tools for large scale applications.
  • New approaches to use remotely sensed data to understand global change.
  • Improving classification algorithms through advances in data fusion or new classification algorithms.

The Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management is a community of scholars from the biological, physical, and social sciences who endeavor to understand and sustain the ecosystems of the world. Our approach is by necessity interdisciplinary given the complexity of the questions we ask and the problems we confront. We are home to a top-ranked graduate program in environmental science and a vibrant mix of undergraduate majors. The person who fills this position will work to strengthen the departmental and campus-wide group of faculty focusing on remote sensing and geospatial data science by complementing the recent hires in Land Change Science, Ecoinformatics and Landscape Ecology in ESPM and remote sensing in both Geography and Landscape and Urban Planning departments. The successful applicant will be expected to network with the engineering group, the UC Space Sciences Lab, the Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF), the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS), the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center as well as other key departments on campus. This position will capitalize on a long-standing relationship of cooperative work with NASA Ames, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, US Geological Survey, and US Department of Agriculture to build an even stronger geospatial program at Berkeley. The successful applicant will also be part of UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ (ANR) Statewide Program on Informatics and GIS (IGIS), and have access to the University of California’s diverse complement of field sites including UC Natural Reserves, ANR’s research and extension centers, and UC Berkeley’s Research Forests. Our collaborative multi- and interdisciplinary approach to environmental sciences will provide the successful candidate with outstanding opportunities for intellectual and professional achievement.

The successful candidate will have or be working towards a doctoral degree in a relevant field such as (but not limited to), ecology, forestry, computer science, natural resources or geography. At a minimum, applicants must have completed all degree requirements for the Ph.D. or equivalent degree with the exception of dissertation at the time of application. Ph.D. or equivalent degree is required by the appointment start date. We seek a candidate with strong quantitative skills who can conduct innovative research to advance our abilities to discover, analyze and model trends and relationships in very large spatio-temporal datasets derived from numerous remote sensing sources of varying scales, attributes, and multiple dates of observation which must be synthesized. The successful candidate must have strong quantitative, modeling and simulation skills as applied to environmental spatio-temporal processes. Prior experience in applications of remote sensing and field data collection in land, air and water resources is desirable due to the drought and wildland fire problems that are facing California.
We are especially interested in candidates who have postdoctoral or equivalent research experience in remote sensing and geospatial analytics with a demonstrated record of research excellence using innovative approaches and broad array of research techniques (e.g., field data collection, data mining, spatio-temporal analysis, object-based analysis, data fusion, etc.).

Preferred qualifications include demonstrated excellence in research, extensive modeling and quantitative skills, evidence of outstanding scholarship within a relevant discipline, a dedication to excellence in teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, a commitment to working in an inclusive and interdisciplinary environment, an interest in communicating with the scientific community and broader public, and a dedication to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion that aligns with UC Berkeley’s mission to meet the educational needs of California’s diverse population.

Serious consideration will be given to the candidate’s potential for success in mentoring Ph.D. students and teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Professional service, including issues of access to and diversity in higher education and the academic profession will also be considered. The successful applicant will be responsible for developing a broad-based remote sensing course at the undergraduate level and a graduate course of their design in remote sensing. These courses will contribute to the Graduate Certificate, and the Minor, in GIS and Technology. To learn more about our department please visit:

Applications should be submitted online at

Candidates should submit the following materials for a complete application:

  • A cover letter
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A statement of research interests and experience
  • A statement of teaching
  • A statement of contributions to diversity
  • Three publications or writing samples
  • Names and contact information for three referees. Letters of reference will only be solicited for finalists.

Each document should be submitted as a separate pdf file. Filenames should include the applicant’s last and first names. All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letters.

The closing date for applications is December 15, 2017. Please direct questions to

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

The department seeks candidates whose research, teaching, or service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and inclusion in higher education. The department is also committed to addressing the family needs of faculty, including dual career couples and single parents. For more information, please go to To learn more about UC Berkeley’s Principles of Community, please go to:

Contact Email