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Research Assistant position within the DFG Research Unit Cosmic Sense

22.10.2018 - Technische Universität (TU) Berlin, Germany

The Faculties VI– Planning-Building-Environment at Technische Universität (TU) Berlin offer a 0.75 part-time Research Assistant position within the DFG Research Unit Cosmic Sense.

Salary grade E 13 TV-L Berliner Hochschulen for TUB positions (0.75 part-time)
Faculties VI– Planning-Building-Environment
Reference Number: tba (from 01.12.2018 until 30.11.2021 / closing date for applications 02.11.2018)

Project description:
Soil moisture content acts as the key state variable for a variety of interactions in the biosphere and hydrosphere. State-of-the-art observations of soil moisture content are ranging from continuous point-scale measurements via field-scale snapshots to remote sensing products on the basin scale and beyond. They have to deal with a space-time trade-off since the measurement frequency typically decreases with the covered spatial scale. Thus, our knowledge of soil moisture patterns, their dynamics, and the underlying processes, is still limited.
The research unit Cosmic Sense aims at bridging existing gaps between scales Cosmic-ray neutron sensing (CRNS), which measures the presence of water by sensing changes in neutron density above the ground. We will develop a quantitative, adaptable, and transferable approach for observing representative soil moisture content values on the field scale while accounting for other dynamic water pools on the land surface. This research unit will strengthen an engaged and innovative community that constitutes a driving force in the field of soil moisture measurements via CRNS. Our team will provide an excellent and timely starting-point for advancing the frontier of understanding field-scale and regional water storage and fluxes in soil-vegetationatmosphere systems.

Job description and requirements:
The Geoinformation for Environmental Planning Lab of the TU Berlin offers a research assistant position in remote sensing. The aim of this research project within the DFG researh unit is to understand the processbased relations between the integral spatial recording of the soil moisture content derived by CRNS and the mainly surface-based prediction with different remote sensing detectors (thermal, hyper-, multispectral, SAR and LiDAR). Intensive in-situ measurements with CRNS devices will be combined with drone (UAS) and satellitebased remote sensing information on different study sites investigation the temporal and scale-dependent relations, especially including different vegetation cover. Based on machine-learning techniques, a transferrable model of deriving the soil moisture content will be developed.
The successful candidate holds a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in relevant discipline, preferably Environmental Sciences, Geo-ecology, Physical Geography, Hydrology, or a related field and is enthused about the prospect of working in a collaborative team with international participation. Skills in optical remote sensing and experience in digital image processing as well as programming (e.g. IDL, R) are required. Experiences in using drones and skills in active remote sensing are desirable. Fluency in English and a strong interest in fieldwork is a requirement.

How to apply:
Please send your application with the reference number and the usual documents by e-mail and address enquiries to Prof. Birgit Kleinschmit and Dr. Michael Förster (; Only single pdfs containing all relevant information are accepted. To ensure equal opportunities between women and men, applications by women with the required qualifications are explicitly desired. Qualified individuals with disabilities will be favored. The TU Berlin values the diversity of its members and is committed to the goals of equal opportunities.