PhD or MS Research Assistantship on Grand Canyon

posted Feb 15, 2014, 9:31 AM by Joe Wheaton   [ updated May 16, 2014, 12:53 AM ]
NOTE: We are no longer accepting applicants.This is a notice of potential student research opportunities that could begin in fall 2014, winter 2015, or fall 2015, depending upon the applicant and funding details.

PhD or MS Research Assistantship in “Shedding new light on sandbar dynamics in Grand Canyon using emerging SFM photogrammetry techniques"

Funding is available at either the MS or PhD level for a student to explore the application of 'structure from motion' techniques to studying alluvial sandbars. The research objective is to better understand the highly localized nature of sandbar responses to hydrologic regime. This requires a rapid technique for accurately surveying subaerial sandbars to complement long-term data sets. This would allow GCMRC to extend their annual monitoring of sandbars, which extends back to the early 1990s, from 40-50 sites per year to 100's of sites. The student would be based at Utah State University in the Department of Watershed Sciences in the Ecogeomorphology and Topographic Analysis Lab ( Dr. Joe Wheaton would act as the primary supervisor, but the student would work closely with USGS Grand Canyon Monitoring Research Center staff – specifically Dr. Paul Grams and Dr. Daniel Buscombe ( -- and a large group of academic and government researchers working in Grand Canyon and throughout the Colorado River Basin.

The ideal candidate should have, or is keen to develop, skills in GIS and/or a high-level programming language such as Matlab/Python/IDL; an interest in image processing/photogrammetry; a background in geomorphology/geology/geography/engineering or related discipline. Strong writing and communication skills are essential. The project will involve extended field work in the Grand Canyon, so field experience is a must. Interested prospective students should send an email of interest, with CV, cover letter, example of writing, a cartographic example (i.e. figures or maps), and any questions to,, and