Research Assistant Position (PhD Student) at UGA

Position summary: Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, invites applications for a Ph.D. level research assistantship (RA) in remote sensing beginning Spring 2020. The student will participate in a project studying the impacts of sediment runoff and nutrients from Belize’s watersheds on the health of the coral reefs of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System in light of potential changes in precipitation as a consequence of climate change. The project is funded by the NASA A.8 Program “Sustaining Living System in a Time of Climate Variability and Change”.

Responsibilities: The student will be working with a large interdisciplinary team from the University of Georgia (UGA), University of Alabama- Huntsville, Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)- Belize. The research will involve working with NASA Earth Observations (EO) products, atmospheric correction, and water quality algorithms developed for the region of interest, and in situ measurements of water optical properties along with data on coral reef extent. The ultimate purpose is to develop sustained local capacities on the use of NASA EO and hydrological modeling for decision-making in Belize. It will involve multiple field trips to Belize and partnering with the local team for field data collection.

Required qualifications: Candidate must have proven abilities to conduct independent research and to work as part of a large scientific team. Experience in data analysis and modeling, water remote sensing background, and the ability to work in a nearshore coral reef environment are also required. Experience in or an interest in learning R, GEE, or Python also are required. Additional skills in the interpretation and synthesis of multi-platform remote sensing data, water quality or hydrological modeling also would be helpful. A strong background in statistics and coastal ecology also are suggested, but the drive and willingness to learn these skills is acceptable.

Initial RA offer includes 2 years of support through the project and the possibility of renewal for 2 more years from other sources. The assistantship will include a salary commensurate with education and level of experience, tuition waiver, and health benefits. Students will join the Mishra Lab in the Department of Geography at the University of Georgia. Interested candidates should send an email describing their past experience and their motivation for pursuing a graduate degree in the above research topic, along with a CV, GRE scores, and the names and contact information for 3 references to Dr. Deepak Mishra (, Professor, Department of Geography, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 by November 15, 2019. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is January 02, 2020.

The University of Georgia values diversity and all qualified applicants are encouraged to apply. UGA is in Athens, GA, a vibrant mid-sized city with abundant shopping, restaurants, and cultural experiences. Interested candidates must apply online at by November 15, 2019. In case of any questions, please contact Dr. Deepak Mishra ( (Tel: 706-542-8927), Department of Geography, UGA.