Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


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PhD Position “Changing Carbon Fluxes of Large Temperate and Arctic River-Sea Systems”
Potsdam, Germany
Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
  • Graduate Position
PhD Position “Changing Carbon Fluxes of Large Temperate and Arctic River-Sea Systems” (m/f/d)
The intensification of climate change is altering the annual mass fluxes of rivers that discharge into coastal seas. However, these fluxes and their fate in the ocean are poorly quantified and understood. Frequent observations are essential to fully assess the seasonal variability of such fluxes as well as the hydrograph and fluvial biogeochemistry. Advancement in remote sensing techniques has enabled more frequent observations of water and matter fluxes, particularly in remote Arctic rivers that are challenging to monitor in situ. NASA’s SWOT will be the first satellite to provide high-resolution global surface water level data. This project will employ satellite observations of discharge and river concentration DOC, POC, and sediment. These remote sensing techniques offer a new, distinctive, and globally available method to obtain land-ocean fluxes.

  • Process and extract Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-2 timeseries 
  • Test and improve particulate and dissolved organic carbon concentration retrievals for optical remote sensing
  • Estimate carbon fluxes of the Elbe and Mackenzie rivers into the respective coastal zones, including through field work in both regions
  • Support numerical model experiments and integrate those outputs with satellite and in-situ observations to assess carbon dynamics in the coastal North Sea and in the Beaufort Sea

  • Master’s or equivalent degree in remote sensing, oceanography, or a related discipline
  • Experience with optical remote sensing imagery (e.g., Sentinel-2, 3) or altimetry
  • Good programming skills in handling data (preferably Python)
  • The ability to participate in multi-week field campaigns in the Arctic under harsh environmental conditions
  • Motivation and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • Good communication skills in English, both oral and written 

Further Information
Please contact Dr. Bennet Juhls (+49(331)58174-5443; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for further information.

This position is limited to 3 years. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes, TVöD Bund), up to salary level 13 (66%). The place of employment will be Potsdam.

All doctoral candidates will be members of AWI's postgraduate program POLMAR or another graduate school and thus benefit from a comprehensive training program and extensive support measures. 
The AWI is characterised by
  • our scientific success - excellent research
  • collaboration and cooperation - intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary
  • opportunities to develop – on the job and towards other positions
  • an international environment – everyday contacts with people from all over the world
  • flexible working hours and the possibility of mobile working up to 50% of regular working hours
  • support services and a culture of reconciling work and family
  • Occupational pension provision (VBL)

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of employees who are women, and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply.
Applicants with disabilities will be given preference when equal qualifications are present. 

The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family in various ways and has received a number of awards as a result of this engagement.
We look forward to your application!
Please submit your application, including (1) a letter of motivation, (2) a CV and copies of relevant certificates (master’s degree; training), (3) two letters of recommendation or the contact information of two references, by August 14th, 2023. Electronic applications only.
Interviews will take place between 04th and 08th of September 2023.

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