Opportunity Type:

Postdoc position in remote sensing and geospatial analysis of beach and dune ecosystems

Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles

Application Window

Open date: January 1, 2024
Review date: February 15, 2024

Applications received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet
been filled.

Tentative start date: March – June 2024

Position Description

We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to join a project that uses remote sensing (satellite
imagery and UAS surveys) to map habitat zones and features (geomorphic and ecological) of
sandy beach and dune ecosystems across the state of California. This project is supported by
the California Ocean Protection Council and is based at UCLA with Dr. Kyle Emery and Dr.
Kyle Cavanaugh. We will be using PlanetScope satellite imagery to create time series of
ecosystem attributes to use in predictive modeling frameworks. We will also conduct UAS
monitoring surveys to map how these attributes change seasonally and to develop neural
network models for classification of multispectral UAS imagery. These datasets will be used
to inform statewide mapping efforts as well as to calibrate ground-based surveys with UAS
and satellite imagery.


  • The responsibilities of the postdoctoral scholar will be to:
    Conduct field-based surveys, including UAS surveys, at the statewide study sites
  • Develop and disseminate project products, including scientific journal articles and
    public-facing products
  • Utilize project datasets to develop independent research products which support the
    overall project themes and goals
  • Assist with project management, including advising undergraduate and graduate
  • Engage with agency partners

The position is for 2 years. Anticipated annual salary ranges from $60,000 to $70,000
depending on experience.


Basic/minimum qualifications:

  • A PhD in a field related to the project (e.g., Geography, Marine Science,
    Environmental Science, Computer Science, etc.)
  • Demonstrated quantitative or computational skills, particularly with UAS and/or
    satellite imagery analyses
  • Ability to work independently and lead the development and publication of research
  • Strong writing and communication skills

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience with deep learning classification methods such as artificial neural
  • FAA Part 107 UAS license and experience operating UAS equipment
  • Experience managing large datasets
  • Research experience in beaches/dunes or other coastal ecosystems
  • Experience in project management
  • Mentorship experience, such as for undergraduate researchers

Application Requirements

To apply please submit the following:

  • Cover letter, maximum of 2 pages including:
    • Research experience/accomplishments
    • Relevant training, skills, and experience
    • Why you are interested in the position
    • Your future career interests
    • Your anticipated start date
  • CV
  • Contact information for 2-3 references
  • A writing sample, such as a published or draft manuscript

Please send all materials as a single PDF by email to KyleEmery@ucla.edu with the subject
line “Beach remote sensing postdoc application”. Reach out via email with any questions.


Kyle Emery, PhD
Assistant Researcher
Department of Geography
University of California, Los Angeles