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Micro, meso- and macro-scale variability of the albedo of rotting ice surfaces in the Dark Zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at the Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Environmental Science programme. The position is available from 1 November 2020 or later.

Title:
Micro, meso- and macro-scale variability of the albedo of rotting ice surfaces in the Dark Zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Research area and project description:
The PhD student in this project will be part of a vibrant international collaboration between Aarhus University and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ, Potsdam). This is part of an ERC-Synergy award to the project Deep Purple, providing essential field and laboratory measurements of critical physical and microbial processes associated with the darkening of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

The specific aim of this multi-disciplinary PhD project will be to develop a conceptual model of the evolution of surface albedo in the Greenland Dark Zone. There are five specific objectives:

a)     measure the spatial and temporal changes in albedo of rotting ice in the Greenland Dark Zone over melting seasons 

b)     measure the hydrological characteristics of rotting ice environments and their surface albedo

c)     work with other members of Deep Purple to refine radiative transfer models of the ice surface, including measurements of optical properties of light absorbing particles.

d)     work with other members of Deep Purple to use field measurements along with drone and satellite remote sensing to upscale observations over large spatial scales; and

e)     liaise with other members of the Deep Purple project to understand the related changes in glacier algae distributions and concentrations, and particulate concentrations and distributions.

The PhD position will contribute new knowledge about the evolution of the albedo of melting ice surfaces on the Greenland Ice Sheet, paying particular attention to hydrological change. This impacts on the hydrological connectivity of micro-niches in which dark, pigmented glacier algae grow and other light adsorbing particulates are trapped, and ultimately determines whether glacier algae accumulate or are washed away from the ice surface. Field measurements and observations will be incorporated into radiative transfer models to improve the representation of field characteristics and processes. Measurement of the optical properties of light absorbing particulates will also be made. Work at a variety of different field locations will help to understand the ease in which point field measurements can be upscaled to the whole ice sheet. Placement at another overseas research laboratory for a period of up to three months is tentatively planned.

Qualifications and specific competences:
Suitable applicants to the PhD position must have a Master’s degree in a Science, Engineering, Environmental Sciences or Geography, and must have a desire to undertake demanding remote field work. Experience with flying drones and accessing information from drone remote sensing missions is desirable, but otherwise training in these skills will be undertaken prior to the first field deployment.

Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Department of Environmental Science, Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology Section, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000-Roskilde, Denmark.

Contacts:
Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Professor Martyn Tranter (martyn.tranter@envs.au.dk).

 

Application procedures

Before you apply

Information and attachments:

Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go.

Documentation of language skills:

The English language requirement at the graduate school is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” are documented by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL test (internet-based), minimum score: 83. The graduate school does not accept the paper-based test, nor the TOEFL ITP test. Remember to ask the test center to send your test results to Aarhus University in order to enable verification of your test results. Aarhus University’s TOEFL code is 8935.
    Currently, the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test (available in selected areas) will also be accepted.
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 7.0 points
    Please note, from 1 June 2020 the Graduate School of Science and Technology will be split in two following the split of the faculty. For the two new schools, Graduate School of Natural Sciences and Graduate School of Technical Sciences, the minimum average score requirement for an IELTS test is 7.0 points (equivalent of a C1 level).
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
    Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
    Cambridge English: First Certificate with grade A (FCE)

When to take the test and how to upload the documentation:
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.

The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to gsts@psys.au.dk no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test:

  • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden).
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at a Danish university for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.

The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

How to apply:

1)      Find the application form:
Go to www.phd.tech.au.dk/for-applicants/apply-here - Note, the online application system opens on 1 June 2020.
Choose August 2020 Call with deadline 1 August 2020 at noon (11.59 AM CEST).
You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme “Environmental Science”.

2)      Fill in the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Academic background
  • Admission
  • Financing (if any)
  • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: “Micro, meso- and macro-scale variability of the albedo of rotting ice surfaces in the Dark Zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet”
  • Source (how you found out about the call)

Next to some of the information fields you will find a number. Click on the number to get further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.

3)      Application attachments:
Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.

All information in the application must be in English or Danish, preferably English. A certified English translation is required for documents written in languages other than English or one of the Scandinavian languages (i.e. Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) languages.

As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip):

  • One reference (template for references)
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • Motivation (max. 1 page)
  • Transcripts, grade point averages (weighted and unweighted), and diploma(s) for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. If the original documents are not in English or one of the Scandinavian languages (i.e. Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) then copies of the original documents as well as a certified English translation must be attached.
  • Project description (1 page). This document should describe your ideas and research plans for this specific project. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like.
  • Documentation of language skills if required.

After submission of the application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed.

GSST reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:

  • Request additional information to verify an application.
  • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made. 
  • For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSTS Application Guide.

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.

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