[ES_JOBS_NET] PhD Student Position in Remote Sensing in Agricultural Systems

Phil Townsend ptownsend at wisc.edu
Sat Nov 15 10:44:41 MST 2014

PhD Student Position in Remote Sensing in Agricultural Systems

The Townsend Lab (http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/townsend/ (http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/townsend/phil-townsend/)) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is seeking Ph.D. students interested in using remote sensing to understand the biology of agro-ecosystems, including phenotyping.  Our work involves studies at a range of scales, from leaf level biological, chemical and spectral measurements to remote sensing imagery from UAVs, airplanes and space. We are interested in the detection of a range of properties associated with crop and vegetation performance, with the objective of using remote sensing measurements to better understand how variations in pathogens and pests, genetics and environment affect plant biology. Prospective students interested in using remote sensing for phenotyping and understanding genetics by environment (GxE) interactions are encouraged to apply.  Funding for a 12-month research assistantship and tuition remission is available for a minimum of three years, pending satisfactory progress.

Prospective students should have:

a master’s degree in agronomy, biology, ecology, geography or related environmental sciences (BS considered with equivalent demonstrated experience/expertise), and

experience in remote sensing and/or GIS, either through courses or work, and

Students with backgrounds in optics, computer science or modeling and an interest in biological applications are also encouraged to apply.

Applicants must have excellent English writing and verbal communication skills, as well as the ability to work and lead a research team, are essential.


Current annual stipend levels are $21,224 per year before taxes, plus tuition remission and health care benefits.  A start date of September 1, 2015 is envisioned, but students interested in starting in with the summer, 2015 field season (June 1) or earlier are also strongly encouraged to apply.

Application Process:

Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and review will continue until a suitable candidate is chosen. Applications received before December 19, 2014 will be given full consideration.  The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.  The position is open to both US citizen and international candidates.   

Interested applicants are asked to e-mail the documents listed below to our Student Services Coordinator Sara Rodock (rodock at wisc.edu) (in ONE PDF file please).

- Our departmental graduate application cover sheet (http://go.wisc.edu/oxbq0b)

- Letter outlining research interests, academic and professional backgrounds

- Resume or CV

- Copies of transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable at this point)

- GRE scores

- Names and contact addresses of three references

Questions (but not your application) should be directed to Dr. Townsend (ptownsend at wisc.edu).

University, Department, Labs:

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the major research universities in the United States (www.wisc.edu (http://www.wisc.edu)). It ranks 2nd in research expenditures among all U.S. universities and first among public universities. Total student enrollment is 41,500, out of which 8,800 are graduate students.  Employees include 2,000 faculty. UW-Madison has a long history of excellence in ecology, conservation biology, and wildlife biology.  The Townsend Lab maintains state-of-the-art facilities for remote sensing research, including computation power, as well as a broad range of field spectrometers, calibration equipment, and ecosystem measurement instrumentation.


Madison, Wisconsin consistently ranks as one of the best places in the United States to live, work, and study.  It is Wisconsin's capital city, with a vibrant metropolitan population of approximately 500,000 that combines small town charm with a nice variety of leisure and cultural opportunities.  For more information on campus and town see: http://www.wisc.edu/about/location.php.

Phil Townsend
Forest & Wildlife Ecology
University of Wisconsin

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