Master and PhD Positions in Geoinformatics and Climate Change, University College Cork, Ireland

The Geography Department and Coastal and Marine Resources Centre of University College Cork, Ireland, have two funded research studentships available to commence in October 2008. The studentships cover university fees at the EU level, and an annual stipend. The PhD project aims to address issues of the use of Geoinformatics technologies for predicting the effects of climate change with respect to those coastal areas that are most at risk.

The potential benefits of integrating remotely sensed data derived from satellite, airborne and field sources, with other spatial information will be considered. Automated image processing routines will be developed in order to better understand the coastal system at present. Through scenario testing of potential climatically induced terrestrial, marine and meteorological changes, the response of different coastal habitats will be modelled to provide greater insight into the present and future functioning of marsh, dune, lagoon and estuarine environments along the Cork coastline. The use of geovisualisation for communication of results to local interest groups will also be explored.

The MSc project will explore the utility of high spatial resolution, multispectral optical and SAR satellite data to map the habitat distribution and vertical expansion/contraction and stability of raised bogs. Methods to characterise habitat distribution include the investigation and classification of the combined multispectral optical and SAR data. Advanced supervised classification techniques will be explored using both hard and soft/fuzzy classifiers in attempting to classify peatland species and habitats. Interferometric techniques, using a time series of C-band and L-band SAR images, will be used to determine the feasibility of identifying and quantifying centimetre level vertical displacements within the bog.

Applicants should have a minimum of a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in an Earth, Environmental or Engineering Science discipline. Experience in remote sensing, image processing, quantitative environmental science and in undertaking fieldwork would be an advantage. For further information please contact:

Dr Fiona Cawkwell (e-mail: f.cawkwell@ucc.ie, telephone: +353 (0)21490 2707) for the PhD project or Dr Ned Dwyer (e-mail: n.dwyer@ucc.ie, telephone: +353 (0)21 470 3104) for the MSc
project.

Applicants should send a copy of their CV, with the names and addresses of 3 referees, plus a brief statement outlining their academic interests and their reasons for wishing to undertake this research project to the email addresses above.

Closing date for applications is 25th July 2008.