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PhD opportunity in Monitoring tropical Forests with CIFOR and University of Wageningen

Duties and ResponsibilitiesThe candidate is expected to work in component 3 and focus on studying terrestrial laser scanning for assessing tropical forest characteristics such as height, volume, foliage and biomass and related changes due to human activities. Terrestrial laser scanning has received increasing attention for its capacity to allow retrieving forest structural parameters and better linking ground and remote sensing data for quantitative forest monitoring. Although there are some experiences of exploring this technology in sub-tropical and tropical forest environments, systematic studies in tropical forests are largely missing. Research would involve evaluating different data acquisition strategies in terms of sampling and scanning density in different forest densities and understory characteristics, assessing the accuracy of t-LIDAR estimates to determine key forest parameters such as height, volume, and biomass, studying the role of the full-waveform t-LIDAR signals and different processing schemes and process and using the LIDAR data for collaborative research with the other project partners.Function RequirementsEducation, experience, technical skills and competencies:
  • A motivated researcher with MSc degree
  • Related experiences in Forestry, Remote Sensing, Terrestrial surveying, Ecology, Environmental Science, or Geography or a related field.
  • A background in terrestrial laser scanning and related data analysis and processing is an asset.
  • Knowledge about tropical forests and the REDD process is appreciated. Experiences and willingness to work with and in developing tropical countries, and organizing and conducting field work in tropical forests is important.
  • Excellent written and spoken English
  • Personal attributes and competencies:
  • Be self motivated, outgoing and welcome the opportunity to work with significant autonomy
  • Be a team player and have excellent interpersonal communications skills
Terms and Conditions:
  • The PhD position is supported by CIFOR with a monthly stipend of €1700 for up to 4 years. The PhD research is conducted mainly at the Centre for Geo-Information at Wageningen University (NL) and the related Graduate School ( under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Martin Herold in close collaboration with CIFOR partners.
  • The successful candidate is  expected to spend some time at CIFOR’s headquarter in Bogor, Indonesia, and to spend a significant amount of time with field work in different locations. He/she is also required to engage in international exchange and meetings.
Application process
  • The application deadline is 15 March 2014.
  • We will acknowledge all applications, but we will contact only short-listed candidates.
To apply, please visit our career page and submit your application materials (including a CV and a motivation letter) at the Wageningen University vacancy page
University of Wageningen Website