Post-Doctoral Associate or Assistant Research Professor in Geographical Sciences

University of Maryland College Park
Maryland, United States
Competitive Salary
Jul 02, 2021
Employment Level
Non-Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time

The Department of Geographical Sciences at University of Maryland, College Park, is seeking multiple Professional Track Research Faculty Members (non-tenure positions) at either the Post-Doctoral Associate rank or the Assistant Research Professor rank, commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Salary and benefits are highly competitive. These researchers will support the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) and other research projects. GEDI ( is an Earth Ventures Instrument (EVI) deployed on the International Space Station. GEDI uses a multi-beam waveform lidar to obtain 3D structural information on vegetation canopies. GEDI is led by the University of Maryland in collaboration with NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center (GSFC), the US Forest Service, Brown University, Northern Arizona University, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Data from GEDI are used for biomass estimation, habitat characterization, and prognostic ecosystem models, among others. GEDI data are also being used in research projects specifically targeting their fusion with our remote sensing data, including passive optical, lidar, SAR and SAR-interferometry, such as NASA’s NISAR and ICESat2 missions, and DLR’s TanDEM-X mission. The GEDI mission is expected to continue making observations in 2022 and potentially beyond, with final mission data products and associated science through FY2024.

Candidates will contribute to various aspects of GEDI mission execution and science analysis, including refinement and validation of science algorithms, post-flight calibration and validation, development of field observation data bases, science data product development, data, multi-sensor data fusion among others in support of GEDI and allied projects in the International Center. Applicants should have a background in disciplines aligned with mission science objectives, including interests in remote sensing science, machine learning, biomass estimation, ecosystem modeling, habitat/biodiversity studies and related areas. In addition to supporting the GEDI Mission Team (  and the new GEDI Competed Science Team ( applicants are encouraged to develop their own research interests in these areas, leveraging the resources and the University of Maryland, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center (GSFC) and others. Technical expertise in lidar remote sensing is desirable; however, applicants with strong experience in other areas of remote sensing, such as radar and optical, or in application of machine learning to remote sensing are also encouraged to apply.

The researchers will be located at the new International Center for Innovation in Earth Observation and Geospatial Analysis at the University of Maryland, but may also spend time nearby at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center. There will also be periods of fieldwork, both domestic and foreign, in support of aircraft calibration and validation campaigns. 

Minimum Qualifications and Required Skills

An earned doctoral degree in Geographical Sciences or allied fields in environmental science, such as Biology and Forestry is required. Candidates with doctoral degrees in other fields (for example, Physics, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering) with a demonstrated knowledge and understanding of remote sensing of the land surface will also be considered. Competent programming and statistical skills (e.g. such as Python, IDL, MatLab, C/C++,  R, TensorFlow) are required. Candidates at the level of Assistant Research Professor must have a demonstrated ability to independently conduct research as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications.

Applications should include a personal statement of background and experience relevant to the position, a signed, dated Curriculum Vitae, reprints (or accessible download urls) of selected peer-reviewed publications, and names and addresses (including e-mail) of 3-5 references.

For best consideration applications should be submitted no later than June 30th, but the search will continue until a suitable candidate is appointed. 

To Apply: Applications from women and minorities are particularly sought.  The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer.

Further information on the research programs of the Department may be obtained from the address above and can be found at