Ph.D. Student Opportunity in Remote Sensing of Vegetation

I am seeking a self-motivating and enthusiastic Ph.D. candidate to conduct fundamental research in very high resolution (10-1 – 101 m scales) remote sensing of vegetation. The position offers the opportunity to integrate in-situ measurements, multi-sensor satellite and UAV remote sensing data, physically-based modeling, and machine learning to advance the characterization of vegetation canopies and dynamics.

The student will develop their research focus on topics related to 1) the retrieval of plant biochemical, physiological, and structural traits, 2) synergistic utilization of multi-sensor and multi-scale data streams, 3) realizing the full potential of new sensing platforms such as UAVs and constellations of small satellites (e.g., CubeSats), or 4) using spectral metrics of plant traits and vegetation function to inform upon agricultural systems and improve modeling of the food-water-energy nexus.

Applicants should have a master’s degree in an Earth science discipline with a strong focus on quantitative remote sensing and geospatial analyses. High level programming proficiency (e.g., IDL, python, R) is a requirement, and familiarity with machine learning and data-driven techniques are desirable.

The successful candidate will pursue a Ph.D. in Geospatial Sciences and Engineering, an interdisciplinary program at South Dakota State University, with an anticipated start date in August 2018. The annual compensation is currently $31K. Further details on the program can be found at:


Applicants should send their CV, a cover letter outlining their research interests, copies of transcripts, and contact details of at least one referee to Dr. Rasmus Houborg at Applications will be reviewed as they are received.


Rasmus Houborg
Senior Scientist, Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence
Assistant Professor, Department of Geography
South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD 57007-3510
(605) 688-5384