Ph.D. in Remote Sensing of Vegetation at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ph.D. in Remote Sensing of Vegetation at University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of WisconsinThe University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the major research universities in the United States. It ranks 2nd in research expenditures among all U.S. universities and first among public universities. Total student enrollment is 41,500, out of which 8,800 are graduate students.  Employees include 2,000 faculty. UW-Madison has a long history of excellence in ecology, conservation biology, and wildlife biology. The Townsend Lab maintains state-of-the-art facilities for remote sensing research, including computation power, as well as a broad range of field spectrometers, calibration equipment, and ecosystem measurement instrumentation.

The Townsend Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is seeking a Ph.D. (or exceptional Master’s) student interested in using remote sensing to understand the biology of ecosystems, which could include natural and/or managed systems in the Upper Midwest, USA.

Our work involves studies at a range of scales, from the leaf to the stand or field to the landscape using spectral measurements and remote sensing imagery from handheld spectrometers, UAVs, airplanes and satellites.

The primary focus of the prospective student will be the applications of hyperspectral imagery for mapping a range of properties, including plant growth, physiology, and vegetation responses to environmental drivers, pathogens and pests. Prospective students interested in using remote sensing for phenotyping and understanding genetics by environment (GxE) interactions are also encouraged to apply, as are students interested in using UAVs for remote sensing.


Funding for a 12-month research assistantship and tuition remission is available for a minimum of three years, pending satisfactory progress. The research is supported by grant funds from NASA, NSF and USDA.


The position is advertised for Ph.D. student, but exceptional Master’s candidates will also be considered. Prospective students should have:

  • a degree in geography, environmental science, ecology, biology, agronomy or related discipline (Master’s preferred for Ph.D. students, but Bachelor’s considered with  equivalent demonstrated experience/expertise or strong academic record), and
  • experience in remote sensing and/or GIS, either through courses or work.

Please note that we will consider applicants with a range of experiences or expertise.  Therefore, students with backgrounds in optics or engineering, computer science or modeling and an interest in biological applications are also encouraged to apply.

Applicants must have excellent English writing and verbal communication skills, as well as the ability to work with and lead a research team, are essential.


  • Current annual stipend levels are $21,224 per year before taxes, plus tuition remission and health care benefits.
  • A start date of September 1, 2015 is envisioned, but students interested in starting in with the summer, 2015 field season (June 1) or earlier are also strongly encouraged to apply.

Deadline: April 10, 2015

How to Apply

Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and review will continue until a suitable candidate is chosen. Applications received before April 10, 2015 will be given full consideration.  The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

The position is open to both US citizen and international candidates.

Interested applicants are asked to e-mail the documents listed below to our Student Services Coordinator Sara Rodock ( (in ONE PDF file please).

  • Our departmental graduate application cover sheet (
  • Letter outlining research interests, academic and professional backgrounds
  • Resume or CV
  • Copies of transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable at this point)
  • GRE scores
  •  Names and contact addresses of three references

Contact Information: Questions (but not your application) should be directed to Dr. Townsend (

Download Official Notice


You may be interested in

University of Wisconsin is Seeking Candidate for Post-Doc in Remote Sensing / Data Analysis

Categories: Courses

About Author

GIS Resources

GIS Resources is an initiative of Spatial Media and Services Enterprises with the purpose that everyone can enrich their knowledge and develop competitiveness. GIS Resources is a global platform, for latest and high-quality information source for the geospatial industry, brings you the latest insights into the developments in geospatial science and technology.

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.