[ES_JOBS_NET] Faculty Research Assistant, causes and consequences of landscape change, Oregon State University

Christine Wiedinmyer christin at ucar.edu
Sun Jan 25 09:09:09 MST 2015


Position Title
Faculty Research Assistant
Job Title
Faculty Research Assistant
This position requires a clear and unambiguous commitment to compliance 
of all National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations for 
Division I (FBS) universities.
Appointment Type
Academic Teaching/Research Faculty
Job Location
Earth, Ocean & Atmo Sci 261000 OAS
Position Summary
The College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences invites 
applications for a full-time (1.00 FTE), 12-month, Faculty Research 
Assistant position. Reappointment is at the discretion of the Dean.

This Faculty Research Assistant (FRA) will aid in research by extracting 
an understanding of the causes and consequences of landscape change from 
large geospatial datasets. The position will be heavily focused on 
computational methods in order to manage and manipulate time-series of 
remotely sensed imagery; analyze relationships and trends in those 
datasets through application of machine learning and statistical 
approaches; and research and explore appropriate approaches to visualize 
and distribute relevant findings. The FRA will both implement existing 
algorithms to develop geospatial estimates of landscape change, and 
develop improved and novel algorithms to describe change. Additionally, 
the FRA will build from existing machine-learning and web-based 
approaches to model the causes of landscape changes both in the western 
United States (U.S.) and globally. Finally, this position will 
contribute to summary analyses to address underlying science questions 
related to landscape change.

The College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) is 
internationally recognized as a leader in the study of the Earth as an 
integrated system. It operates cutting edge computing facilities, 
laboratories, and teaching facilities. The College has an annual budget 
of more than $50 million, with much of the research support coming from 
the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other 
federal agencies. It has approximately 104 faculty, 220 graduate 
students and 600 undergraduate students. Graduate programs include 
Master's and PhD degrees in Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; 
Geology; and Geography; and a Master's degree in Marine Resource 
Management. The new undergraduate program in Earth Science, together 
with the Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Program, provide 
educational and research opportunities for the best undergraduate 
students, a national honors college for the Earth.

CEOAS is a major participant in the three signature areas of Oregon 
State University's strategic themes: Advancing the Science of 
Sustainable Earth Ecosystems; Improving Human Health and Wellness; and 
Promoting Economic Growth and Social Progress.
Position Duties
25% Data and Computing Management
Work with the Principal Investigator (PI) and others in the lab to 
develop, implement, and maintain a productive computing environment for 
lab research. Use shell and Python scripts to manage >80Tb of 
mission-critical data on a Linux server and distributed desktop 
workstations, maintaining organizational structure to allow automation 
of algorithm implementation. With the support of college computing 
facilities, maintain integrity of the platform including basic software 
installations and user management. Maintain remote login capabilities 
and management of Virtual Network Computing (VNC) connections.

45% Image Processing and Map Development
Implement and improve existing LandTrendr algorithms for development of 
disturbance maps, land-cover maps, biomass maps, and maps of change 
agent attribution for large areas of the western U.S. and abroad. 
Explore and test relationships in these maps using Interactive Data 
Language (IDL), Python and R to manipulate Landsat and other imagery 
according to best image processing practices. Work fluently with 
Geospatial Abstraction Data Library (GDAL) packages for manipulation of 
spatial data as necessary. Contribute to development of novel processing 
algorithms, and work to scale up such novel algorithms to very large 
datasets. Contribute to development of cloud-based implementation of 
these algorithms on Amazon Web Service (AWS) and Google EarthEngine 

30% Data Analysis, Summary, Reporting and Distribution
Through Python, R, or other suitable open-source packages, work with the 
lead scientist to develop robust statistical analyses of spatial and 
temporal patterns of landscape change. Use appropriate statistical tools 
to link these with a diversity of geospatial data (climate data, 
environmental data, socioeconomic data) to explore/analyze causes and 
consequences of landscape change. Work with the lead scientist to 
interpret results and develop tabular and graphical format reports 
suitable for publication. Develop web-based tools for outside users to 
access reports and data, including File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site 
maintenance and possible web-based map serving. Contribute to the 
preparation of reports and data analysis for use in peer-reviewed 
publications. May make presentations at scientific symposiums or 
Position Duties (continued):
Working Conditions/Work Schedule:
Majority of work will be in a typical office environment. Will work, as 
needed, in computing lab environment.
Minimum/Required Qualifications
Bachelor's degree in geographical, computational, statistical, 
mathematical, economic, ecological, environmental sciences or related 
field and direct experience (6 months or more) in computational methods 
for scientific research in the field.

Familiarity in application of statistics (univariate and/or 
multivariate) through scripting.

Programming experience and demonstrated ability to learn and implement 
new programming tools quickly.

Familiarity with script- and command-line manipulation of datasets and 
file systems, including Linux.

A creative problem-solving nature; ability to learn and integrate new 
concepts quickly; comfort applying solutions computationally; strong 
work ethic and ability to work independently; good oral and written 
communication skills; attention to detail; and demonstrated ability to 
maintain a positive attitude.
Preferred (Special) Qualifications
Strong background in Python, GDAL, and/or R.

Theoretical background in remote sensing, including basic coursework in 
remote sensing.

Direct work experience processing optical satellite imagery and applying 
multivariate algorithms to image datasets, particularly for time-series 

Experience with data mining and machine learning algorithms including 
random forest and similar approaches, preferentially implemented in the 
R scripting language or in Python.

Demonstrated understanding of sampling theory in statistics.

Experience with Flash, Javascript, MySQL, and HTML 5.

Demonstrated understanding of land cover dynamics and drivers.

A demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity.
Scholarly Outcomes for Position (academic faculty only)
Indicate how you intend to recruit for this search:
Competitive / External - open to ALL qualified applicants
Posting Date
For Full Consideration Date
Closing Date
Recommended Full-Time Salary Range
Salary is commensurate with education and experience.
A demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity is:
A preferred qualification
Special Instructions to Applicants
When applying you will be required to attach the following electronic 

1) A resume/CV that includes the names of at least three professional 
references, their e-mail addresses and telephone contact numbers (Upload 
as 'Other Document' if not included with your resume/vitae).
2) A cover letter indicating how your qualifications and experience have 
prepared you for this position.
3) One example of written work where the applicant is first author, 
either as a published work or from a class (Upload as Other Document 2).

Inquiries about the position may be directed via email to Dr. Robert 
Kennedy, rkennedy at coas.oregonstate.edu.

Please visit http://ceoas.oregonstate.edu/ for information about the 
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.
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