University of Wisconsin–Madison
Spatial Analysis For Conservation and Sustainability

Wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and satellite remote sensing: 1 Postdoc and 1 PhD position, UW-Madison, SILVIS Lab

Overview:  We are offering one postdoc position and one PhD position focused on remote sensing of wildlife habitat as part of two newly funded NASA projects.

In the first project we will conduct a multi-scale analysis of the Dynamic Habitat Indices, i.e., measures of vegetation productivity, derived from high-, medium, and coarse-resolution satellite data as predictors of bird occurrences, abundances, and communities in the US.  In the second project, we will develop remote sensing algorithms to identify habitat loss of tigers, lions, jaguars, and American bison in near-real time.

The decision about which project the postdoc will be hired for and which the PhD student will be hired for, is somewhat flexible and will be based on the applicant pool.  Applicants are encouraged indicate if they have a preferences for either project.

Positions: We are offering the postdoctoral position for two years.  The appointment will be as a research associate.  Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and health benefits are included.  The position is available immediately, and we seek to fill it by June 1st 2021, but a later start date is negotiable.

We are offering the PhD graduate assistantship for three years.  The student will be appointed as a research assistant with a standard stipend plus health benefits and tuition remission.  We expect the PhD student to start September 1st 2021 at the latest, and an earlier start date is negotiable.

Both positions will be based in the SILVIS lab (, and supervised by V. Radeloff and A. Pidgeon.  The SILVIS lab is part of the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The university has a long history of excellence in ecology, conservation biology, remote sensing and geography.

UW-Madison is a major research university in the United States ranking consistently among the top-five university in research expenditures among all U.S. universities.  Total student enrollment is 43,000 of which more than 12,000 are graduate and professional students, and there are over 2000 faculty.  It is an exciting place to learn and conduct research.

The city of Madison ranks as one of the top places in the U.S. to live and work.  For information about campus and city, please see

Qualifications:  We seek candidates who work well in a collaborative setting and have excellent communication skills in English.

We welcome applications from candidates with a background in ecology, environmental science, forestry, geography, or other related disciplines.  Demonstrated skills in the processing and handling of satellite imagery, large datasets, statistical modeling, and GIS are expected, and experience analyzing wildlife or other biodiversity data with species distribution models is desirable.

Applicants for the post-doc position must have completed their Ph.D. at the time of appointment and have published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  Applicants for the PhD student position must have a completed a BS.  A MS by the time of appointment is desirable, but candidates with substantial alternative research experience will be considered.

To apply:  Please submit your application here:

Please note that submitting an application includes filling out a small survey, and takes approximately 15 minutes.  It also requires contact information for three references, and to upload (in PDF format):

– a 2-page cover letter summarizing research interests and experiences

– a Curriculum Vitae

– unofficial transcripts (both undergraduate and graduate, compiled into one file)

After reviewing all applications, we will request reference letters and official transcripts for shortlisted candidates.

The position is open to both U.S. citizens, and international candidates.  UW-Madison will assist with visa applications as necessary once offers are made.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

Review of applicants will begin immediately, but the positions will remain open until suitable candidates are found.  Applications received by March 31st 2021 are guaranteed consideration.