Open Positions

Please visit this page regularly to check for open positions. If no positions are available in your field of interest, nevertheless feel free to contact the relevant group leave to inquire about future possibilities.

  • PhD Position on the impact of changing firn on Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance

    Job description

    The PhD position on “The impact of changing firn on Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance” is funded for four years in the framework of the ERC project “CASSANDRA - Accelerating mass loss of Greenland: firn and the shifting runoff limit” at the Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

    Surface runoff is the largest contributor to mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet. Recent years saw the runoff area expanding into Greenland’s vast firn area. We hypothesize that this uphill migration is not just a direct effect of increased melt, but is amplified by changes in firn characteristics that favour runoff. This interplay between melt, firn and runoff could play a decisive role in Greenland’s future mass balance.

    The PhD focuses on understanding the changes in the relationship between surface melt and surface runoff. To answer this research question, the successful candidate will apply spatial statistics to regional climate model data, melt extent measured from passive microwave data and remotely sensed surface runoff extent. The PhD candidate will also test the ability of existing firn models to replicate observations. Finally, the work involves participation in field studies on the Greenland ice sheet where the PhD candidate will carry out their own measurements.

    More about the position

    The optimal starting date for the position is 1 October 2019, which is five months after kick-off of the CASSANDRA project. Some flexibility with respect to the starting date, however, exists.

    A group of five researchers will work In the CASSANDRA project: the PI (Horst Machguth), two postdocs and two PhD students. The PhD candidate will be supervised by a postdoc and the PI.

    This position is associated with the Cryosphere group within the Geography unit of Fribourg University. The Cryosphere group has currently a staff of c. 20 with a strong expertise in surface processes of glaciers and ice sheets, permafrost and geophysics.

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  • PhD Position on measuring and modelling of heat exchange processes in permafrost

    Job description

    The PhD position on “Measuring and modelling of heat exchange processes and runoff in permafrost terrain” is funded for three years in the framework of the Innosuisse project “Permafrost meltwater assessment expert tool  - PERMA – XT” at the Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland and in collaboration with the company GEOTEST AG.

    Heat exchange between the surface and the atmosphere is a dominating factor for the development of permafrost and the main driver of seasonal active layer thawing and permafrost-ice melt. The project focuses on the measurement, the analysis and the modelling of the associated heat exchange processes and aims at an improved analysis and assessment of water resources in periglacial catchments (including rock glaciers) and their temporal evolution and the expected melt water runoff. Advances are expected in the understanding of energy exchange processes between the permafrost and the atmosphere and the development of a runoff model including these processes. A further focus will be on the determination of ice content in the subsurface by the use of geophysical surveys and the application and further improvement of an existing model to quantify subsurface ice and water content.

    The PhD student will be working in a team consisting of scientists and experts from the private sector on the development of suitable parametrizations of a heat exchange model aiming at the quantification of permafrost melt, including geophysical and hydrological field measurement campaigns in Switzerland (and optionally in Chile).

    More about the position

    The optimal starting date for the position is 1 August 2019, which is one month after kick-off of the PERMA-XT project. Flexibility with respect to the starting date exists.

    This position is associated with the Cryosphere group within the Geography unit of Fribourg University. The Cryosphere group has currently a staff of c. 20 scientists with strong expertise in surface processes of glaciers and ice sheets, permafrost and geophysics. The position also includes the collaboration with experts at the implementation partner GEOTEST AG.

    Read more

  • Monitoring of rock glacier kinematics using InSAR

    Job offer (1 year, scientific researcher, part-time position)

    Alpine Geomorphology Group, Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg (Switzerland)

     

    A 1-year position will be open in the framework of several research projects dedicated to inventorying and monitoring the kinematics of mountain permafrost-related landforms (e.g. rock glaciers).

     

    The successful candidate is expected to contribute actively in the development of automatic methodologies mainly based on satellite Interferometric SAR data (InSAR) for:

     

    • estimating the activity status of selected landforms,
    • determining annual changes (trend) in the annual motion rate of selected landforms,
    • monitoring the intra-seasonal variation of motion rate.

     

    We encourage applications from scientifically highly motivated, independent and creative individuals with interests in alpine geomorphology and remote sensing applications, and who enjoy working in a team.

     

    The open position will be embedded in ongoing activities of the research group on Alpine Geomorphology (led by Prof. Reynald Delaloye), Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland. The Department of Geosciences offers an interdisciplinary, international working environment within a bilingual (German/French) University.

     

    Requirements
    The position is best suited for a post-doctorate level.

    • Applicants should have at least a Diploma or MSc degree in Computer Sciences or in a closely related field; and preferably an advanced experience in computer sciences (e.g. PhD) including remote sensing and GIS.
    • Experience and skills in programming (Python, R, Matlab, etc.).
    • Experience in InSAR processing and more generally in image processing.
    • Experience in database management, background in alpine geomorphology and skills in fieldwork and mountaineering would be an asset.
    • Good writing and oral communication skills in English. Knowledge of German and/or French is considered as an advantage.

     

    Period and working time

    12 months starting from September 2019 (or eventually slightly later) Part-time (50-60%) position.

     

    Website: https://www3.unifr.ch/geo/geomorphology/

     

    Contact: chloe.barboux[at]unifr.ch

     

    Please send your application including a cover letter, statement of research interest, CV, relevant diploma(s) and the names and contact details of 2-3 potential references, by e-mail in one pdf-file to chloe.barboux[at]unifr.ch.

     

    Review of applications will start on the 15th of June 2019.