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Position Detail

Applications are invited for a full-time postdoctoral researcher position at Vanderbilt University supervised by Dr. Kristen Fauria (VU), Dr. Ralf Bennartz (VU), and Dr. Tushar Mittal (Penn State). We seek candidates with atmospheric satellite remote sensing experience and who are excited to apply satellite remote sensing techniques to submarine volcanic eruptions. Previous experience with volcanic events is welcome but not necessary. Possible areas of study include: the impacts of volcanic ash on chlorophyll blooms in the ocean, the effects of submarine eruptions on atmospheric properties, or the development of methods to identify and catalog submarine eruptions using satellite remote sensing. We also welcome candidate ideas and plans that are consistent with the goal to better understand volcanism and its impacts using atmospheric satellite remote sensing. This position is primarily supported by a NASA grant to study the atmospheric and surface expressions of submarine volcanic eruptions. The PIs are a collegial and interdisciplinary group of volcanologists and atmospheric scientists. To date, we have leveraged our multidisciplinary expertise to respond to recent submarine volcanic events.

Earth & Environmental Sciences

Position Overview
Position Title: Postdoctoral Researcher
Anticipated Start: After January 1, 2023, and before Dec 1, 2023 (Negotiable)
Application Window: Application review will begin Dec. 5 and will continue until filled. Please continue to submit applications if the position is posted. 

Position Description

Applications are invited for a full-time postdoctoral researcher position at Vanderbilt University supervised by Dr. Kristen Fauria (VU), Dr. Ralf Bennartz (VU), and Dr. Tushar Mittal (Penn State). We seek candidates with atmospheric satellite remote sensing experience and who are excited to apply satellite remote sensing techniques to submarine volcanic eruptions. Previous experience with volcanic events is welcome but not necessary. Possible areas of study include: the impacts of volcanic ash on chlorophyll blooms in the ocean, the effects of submarine eruptions on atmospheric properties, or the development of methods to identify and catalog submarine eruptions using satellite remote sensing. We also welcome candidate ideas and plans that are consistent with the goal to better understand volcanism and its impacts using atmospheric satellite remote sensing. 

This position is primarily supported by a NASA grant to study the atmospheric and surface expressions of submarine volcanic eruptions. The PIs are a collegial and interdisciplinary group of volcanologists and atmospheric scientists. To date, we have leveraged our multidisciplinary expertise to respond to recent submarine volcanic events. To get a sense of the type of work that has been supported by this project so far, please see references below. The abstract of the funded project is at the bottom of this advertisement and more information is available upon request. 

Gupta, A. K., Bennartz, R., Fauria, K. E., & Mittal, T. (2022). Timelines of plume characteristics of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption sequence from 19 December 2021 to 16 January 2022: Himawari-8 observations.
Fauria, K., Jutzeler, M., Mittal, T., Gupta, A., Kelly, L., Rausch, J., ... & Retailleau, L. (2022). Simultaneous creation of a large vapor plume and pumice raft by a shallow submarine eruption.
Zheng, M., Mittal, T., Fauria, K. E., Subramaniam, A., & Jutzeler, M. (2022). Pumice Raft Detection Using Machine-Learning on Multispectral Satellite Imagery.

Values

The PIs are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion and seek to provide a supportive and collegial research environment. We also value the integration of work, family, and other work-life considerations. We welcome candidates with non-traditional career paths and who are interested in careers both inside and outside academia. 

Compensation and Benefits

We offer 2 years of postdoctoral support (pending a successful evaluation in year 1) with an annual salary of $60,000 and benefits. In addition, we plan to provide conference travel support (minimum one conference/year) and access to computing resources. 

Qualifications and Expectations

Candidates should possess a Ph.D. in Earth/Planetary Science, Physics, Atmospheric Science, Engineering, or a related field by the time of appointment. We expect appointees to conduct research with the option to write proposals and mentor graduate students.

Application Requirements

Applications can be submitted online [here – link to be inserted].
Applications should include:
1. A dissertation abstract (~1 page) that describes Ph.D. research objectives and main findings.
2. A curriculum vita, including any personal information and a list of publications.
3. A list of 2-3 professional references. 
4. (Optional, 1-2 pages) A statement of research interests related to this postdoctoral appointment; and/or a brief description of past challenges/roadblocks to conducting/publishing research.
Please send questions to Kristen Fauria: Kristen.fauria@vanderbilt.edu

Project Abstract (note that project specifics can deviate from that listed below)
The goals of this project are to develop an inventory of submarine shallow volcanic eruptions and identify the ash and SO2 emissions from submarine eruptions via their direct and indirect atmospheric signatures using remote sensing observations. Submarine volcanoes make up most of Earth’s annual volcanic output, yet submarine eruptions are rarely identified and studied. The NASA-sponsored National Academy of Sciences (2017) ERUPT report identifies, “overcome[ing] our biased understanding of the spectrum of volcanic eruptions by expanding the study of submarine volcanism” as a key research priority.
There are currently 46 submarine volcanoes with vent depths less than 1500 m below sea level and that have had an observed eruption (GVP, 2013). To date we know of no systematic efforts to use satellite data to detect eruptions and characterize their fluxes. In preparation for this proposal we have identified a number of recent submarine eruptions that have not been previously reported. 
We propose to use the entire MODIS and VIIRS data record to assess all currently known shallow submarine volcanic sites with the following detailed objectives: between the year 2000 and now. 

● Cataloging and characterization of previously unidentified eruptions at shallow submarine volcanoes leveraging the nearly 20 year MODIS and VIIRS record. We will use three different and complementary identification techniques to identify any ocean surface or atmospheric signals associated with eruptions.
● Assessments of atmospheric SO2 and ash injections associated with submarine eruptions. SO2, including SO2 from volcanoes, has strong effects on climate and atmospheric forcing. We will explore the pathways through which submarine volcanoes affect cloud microphysics and, via indirect aerosol effects, cloud radiative effects. 
● Assessment of frequency and style of submarine eruption. The data set generated from this work, which we expect to include previously unidentified eruptions, will allow us to reassess the frequency of and products from small to large submarine eruptions.

Our proposal addresses the Volcanoes in the Earth System theme and we will use MODIS and VIIRS observations to examine the recent eruptive history at known submarine volcanoes. The proposed work represents a collaboration between a volcano scientist (Kristen Fauria) and an atmospheric scientist (Ralf Bennartz). The PI and Co-I have extensive experience with all scientific and technical aspects of the proposed work. The proposal is thus directly responsive to ‘Subelement 1: Volcanoes in the Earth System’ of the call for proposal.

Interested candidates should assemble and application in a single PDF file consisting of the a i) cover letter, ii) curriculum vitae (including a complete list of publications), iii) a dissertation abstract (~1 page) that describes Ph.D. research objectives and main findings; iv) contact information for 2-3 references. The cover letter should include a description of the candidate's relevant research experience, research interests, and preferred start date. The application should be e-mailed to Prof. Kristen Fauria at kristen.fauria@vanderbilt.edu with the subject line "Postdoctoral position application."

 
Please send questions to Kristen Fauria: Kristen.fauria@vanderbilt.edu 
Kristen Fauria
: kristen.fauria@vanderbilt.edu
: (541) 285-5987
2022-11-03 15:51:40

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