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Postdoctoral Positions in Planetary Science (Mars-2020, Hyperspectral Imaging)

Postdoctoral Positions in Planetary Science (Mars-2020, Hyperspectral Imaging)

The Ehlmann Lab at Caltech is seeking to hire 1-2 postdoctoral scholars in specific fields related to the lab's near-term future work and long-term research interests. Please submit by 11 December 2023 a cover letter (≤2.5 pages; details on content below), a curriculum vitae, and (optional) 2 letters of recommendation.

We are seeking candidates with demonstrated interest in one or more of the specific research topics below, a strong publication record, skills in complementary areas that extend the lab's expertise, and who will both benefit from and add to the community at Caltech and the mission teams with which the lab works. The postdoctoral scholar is expected to spend ~75-80% of their time on one or more of the topics below with the remainder on other topics of interest, as agreed upon with Prof. Ehlmann.

More information about the group and research interests can be found at https://ehlmann.caltech.edu


1) Imaging Spectroscopy/Hyperspectral Remote Sensing: We are part of multiple mission teams that utilize spaceborne/airborne imaging visible/shortwave-infrared spectroscopy, and the Ehlmann lab also hosts instruments with unique capabilities for microimaging spectroscopy in lab settings and field-based mesoscale analysis of outcrops and landscapes. Specific topics of interest include

1A. EMIT mission data analyses for Earth surface observation of mineralogy and earth system science. Interest in global arid lands as well as California ecosystems is a plus.

1B. Development of software tools, specifically our Python-based package WISER, to enable greater community use of hyperspectral imagery and to speed innovation in algorithmic approaches

1C. Development of advanced algorithms and signal processing approaches for semi-supervised analysis of hyperspectral datasets from Earth (EMIT + Ehlmann lab datasets), Mars (CRISM), the Moon (Lunar Trailblazer), and icy worlds. This could include neural networks, AI, and machine learning.

2) Mars-2020 Mission Science and Operations: We are part of the team exploring Jezero Crater and the surrounding Noachian highlands. Our group is focused on the interpreting the geologic history of the region, understanding evidence of habitability and climate recorded in the mineralogy and chemistry of the rock record, and selection of samples for return to Earth. The Ehlmann lab is associated with the Mastcam-Z and SHERLOC instruments. Specific topics of interest include

2A. Geology of the landing site region with implications for Martian processes

2B. Approaches for linking orbital and ground-based observations to assist path planning and interpretation of the geologic record

2C. Development of software tools for 3-dimensional analysis of structure, orientation, and bedding from rover imagery and multispectral analysis

2D. Interpretation of environmental histories from minerals and organics utilizing infrared and Raman spectroscopy plus imaging at multiple scales

To apply to this position, please email the following materials with the file naming conventions below to [email protected]. (Please note, when uploading files to this email, text in the body of the email will not be captured, only the files).

  • A cover letter (≤2.5 pages). The cover letter should describe research interests and reasons for applying for the position, including identification of one or more of the specific topical areas below, how they relate to the candidate's past and future research ambitions, and why the candidate thinks the Ehlmann Lab at Caltech is a good step in their career path. The cover letter should also list contact information for 2 references. [required filename format: LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_coverletter]
  • A curriculum vitae of significant activities that includes a publication list [required filename format: LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_cv]
  • (optional) 2 letters of recommendation. Please ask your recommenders to upload to the same site as the other materials [required filename format: CANDIDATELASTNAME_CANDIDATEFIRSTNAME_letter_recommenderlastname]

Review of applications will begin on December 11, 2023. Notifications are anticipated January 5, 2024.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is committed to working with and providing access and reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical or mental disabilities. To request disability accommodations for any part of the interview or hiring process, please contact 626-395-6111 or [email protected] for assistance.