PhD Assistantship focusing on integrating Environmental Social Science and Geospatial Analytics

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PhD Assistantship focusing on integrating Environmental Social Science and Geospatial Analytics
Job Type: 
NC State, Center for Earth Observation
Raleigh, NC, USA
January 5, 2014


Doctoral Research Assistantship:
Geospatial Analytics of Human Responses to Environmental Change

The Center for Earth Observation (CEO) at NC State University is seeking a highly qualified candidate who is committed to pursuing a Ph.D. focused on the integration of Environmental Social Science and Geospatial Analytics starting Fall 2014. Candidates should have a strong desire to engage in high-quality research that couples social science methodologies with geospatial analytics to address human responses to environmental change. Co-advised by Dr. Jordan Smith and Dr. Ross Meentemeyer, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to work on a variety of interdisciplinary research projects related to: decision making under risk; social and information networks; and integrated social-ecological modeling approaches.

The assistantship is a 12-month 20-hour per week position. The position includes a competitive stipend, tuition, and health insurance benefits. Funds for professional development purposes (e.g., conference presentations) are available. This position is funded for 3 years and is renewable each year based on satisfactory progress.

The successful candidate will work out of CEO’s Geovisualization Laboratory, a facility dedicated to state-of-the-art modeling and visualization of spatial and spatio-temporal data. The laboratory houses a range of tools and instruments including an immersive 360° head-mounted display for virtually simulating built and natural environments, several 3D GIS workstations, numerous interactive displays, servers for big spatial data, and a 3D high resolution projector for presenting large, spatially complex data sets (e.g., those collected through lidar) in three dimensions. More information about the laboratory can be found here. The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to work closely with NC State’s Institute for Advanced Analytics.

1. Actively engage a interdisciplinary research team and develop new areas of inquiry in collaboration with faculty advisors. Research activities entail literature reviews, research design, data collection and analysis, and result dissemination.
2. Assist and lead in writing grant proposals, technical and non-technical reports, and peer-reviewed journal articles.
3. Maintain good graduate standing and make satisfactory progress toward completion of Ph.D. degree.

Potential candidates for the assistantship must meet admission standards and be fully accepted in PRTMs doctoral program focused on Environmental Social Science and Community Health or FERs doctoral program in Forestry and Environmental Resources with GIS minor. Candidates must have highly positive recommendations from previous positions. Prior research experience is expected through a Master of Science degree (or equivalent). Strong GIS, project management, and communication skills are preferred.

To apply, send a current CV and 1-page letter of interest to Dr. Jordan W. Smith ( and Dr. Ross K. Meentemeyer ( Applications received by January 5, 2014 will receive full considered.

NC State is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. NC State University welcomes all
persons without regard to sexual orientation or genetic information.