Position Announcement: PhD Student in Permafrost – University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute

16 February 2021

Position Announcement
PhD Student

Geophysical Institute
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, Alaska

Application deadline: 1 March 2021

For questions and more information, contact:
Dmitry Nicolsky
Email: djnicolsky [at] alaska.edu

Louise Farquharson
Email: lmfarquharson [at] alaska.edu

The Permafrost Laboratory at the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) invites applications for a PhD student to work on the National Science Foundation-funded research project: Resilience and adaptation to the effects of permafrost degradation induced coastal erosion. This full-time, four-year position will be located in Fairbanks, Alaska.

To goal of this project is to understand the complex interrelationships and mutual impacts of continued climate change in the Arctic among the following components: permafrost degradation and coastal erosion, civil infrastructure and development, and community well-being and sociodemographic and cultural resilience. Results from this study will be used to formulate a holistic and predictive model that will aid future adaptation of social systems and the built environment to the unprecedented natural environmental changes in the Arctic.

The successful applicant will primarily focus on modeling and predicting the rate, magnitude, and mechanisms of permafrost degradation and associated land loss within communities on the north coast of Alaska; and help with the development of several infrastructure hazard maps for the northern Alaskan coastal region under the effects of permafrost degradation and coastal erosion.

This position is open to both non-U.S. and U.S. applicants. The start date for this position will be 1 September 2021 or 1 January 2022.

Duties will include:

  • Utilize and improve high-resolution permafrost dynamics models;
  • Develop and address your own set of scientific hypotheses and questions within the bounds of the project;
  • Participate in remote field trips, help with installation of monitoring stations, provide quality control of the collected data, and incorporate collected data into the models; and
  • Present research results at national and international conferences, community meetings, and publish in peer-reviewed journals.

There will also be potential to participate in several other ongoing research projects and associated field work with the focus on understanding permafrost response to climate and disturbances.

Requirements include:

  • Master's degree in geophysics, applied mathematics, physics, or related field;
  • Some experience with geocryological processes is beneficial;
  • Good computational skills and knowledge of at least one high-level programming language (e.g. Matlab, Python) and experience with Linux is an asset; and
  • Good working knowledge of the written and oral English language.

Application deadline: 1 March 2021

For questions, additional information, and application guidelines, contact:
Dmitry Nicolsky
Email: djnicolsky [at] alaska.edu

Louise Farquharson
Email: lmfarquharson [at] alaska.edu