[CRYOLIST] PhD and field technician vacancies - Alpine glacial sediment export based at the University of Lausanne

NIENOW Peter Peter.Nienow at ed.ac.uk
Tue Oct 29 09:39:39 PDT 2019

Dear Cryolist,

Please see below an opportunity for a PhD candidate and field
technician, associated with a project investigating "Glacier recession,
glacial sediment export and the morphodynamics of proglacial
forefields". The project, led by Prof. Stuart Lane based at the
University of Lausanne, will involve fieldwork at the Glacier d’Otemma
in the Swiss Alps.

Please note that the closing date has been extended but is still
imminent (3rd Nov 2019).

Kind regards

Pete Nienow


Glacier recession, glacial sediment export and the morphodynamics of
proglacial forefields

The Swiss National Science Foundation has funded a new project at the
University of Lausanne that will
address the behaviour of the areas that form in front of glaciers
(proglacial forcefields) as glaciers retreat.
The funding covers two PhD students (4 years each) and a field
technician (2 years) as well as all
equipment, fieldwork and conference attendance costs.

The project aims to quantify:
(1) how and over what timescales marginal zones of glaciers regulate the
export of glacially-eroded
sediment to their forefields, for both bedload and suspended load; and
(2) how proglacial forefields modify this glacier-originating signal to
influence downstream sediment yield.
The results will be used to determine; (a) the timescales over which
glacier sediment export can be used
to infer glacial erosion rates; (b) how proglacial margins filter
glacial sediment export to determine basin
sediment yield, and (c) how proglacial forefield morphodynamics evolve
as glaciers retreat, so impacting
frequencies of forefield disturbance and embryonic ecosystem development.

The project will use both field data collection and computational
modelling. Field data will be collected
for the forefield of a representative temperate Alpine valley glacier,
Glacier d’Otemma, in South-West
Switzerland. Data collection will include testing new ways of tracing
sediment movement through the
margins of valley glaciers using intelligent particles as well as more
standard monitoring of hydrology and
sediment transport using stage recorders, acoustic pipe samplers and
turbidity records. Such data will be
combined with geophysical data from the glacier margin to quantify the
geometry of subglacial channels
and the glacier bed. In the proglacial forefield, UAV systems will be
used to quantify sub-daily stream
morphodynamics and grain size variability. Computational modelling will
seek to develop both a
treatment for subglacial glacier margin sediment transport and to modify
the HSTAR model of Andrew
Nicholas for multiple grain sizes to describe proglacial stream
morphodynamics. The models will be used
to simulate different combinations of glacial hydrology and forefield
geometry and slope to generalize
findings to a larger number of cases.

The project is supported by two PhD students (4 years each) and a field
technician to support data
collection and archiving (two years). One PhD position has been filled
and they will address question 2
above. We are now seeking to appoint a second PhD student (100%
engagement, 4 years) to address the
first question (glacier margin regulation of sediment export) and the
project technician (100%
engagement, 2 years). A suitable candidate for the project technician
position, provided they are eligible
according to University of Lausanne PhD admission rules, may be
considered for cantonal PhD funding
after the end of their two-year engagement on this project.

The PhD appointment will be on the Swiss National Science Foundation
salary scale (CHF 47’040 rising to
CHF 48’540 in the second year and CHF 50’040 in the third and fourth
years). An additional
teaching/research assistantship will be made available (CHF9’000 per year).

The technician will be appointed as a Junior Researcher on the Swiss
National Science Foundation salary
scale (CHF 69’908 Year 1, CHF 71’964 Year 2). Both appointments give
access to tier 1 and tier 2 pension
provision in the Swiss system.

The appointees will join the group AlpWISE (Alpine Water, Sediment Ice
and Ecology
http://wp.unil.ch/alpenv/) in the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics at
the University of Lausanne,
Switzerland (www.unil.ch/idyst). This group currently includes five PhD
students and two post-docs all
working on ice, river hydraulics, sediment transport and ecosystem
related research in Alpine glaciated
catchments. The working language of the research group is English. The
start date for the posts is
negotiable but we would wish to have both positions filled by April 2020
at the very latest.

Person requirements: PhD position
• Masters degree in Environmental Science, Civil Engineering, Physical
Geography or similar.
• Interest in glacial and fluvial processes, notably sediment transport.
• Experience of a suitable programming language (e.g. Matlab, Python).
• Good quantitative data handling and capacity to apply advanced
statistical analyses.
• Fieldwork experience.
• Willingness to work and to camp at altitude (2’400 m plus) for long
periods of the summer months.
• Excellent written and spoken English.
• A valid driving licence.

Person requirements: Technician position
• Masters degree in Environmental Science, Civil Engineering, Physical
Geography or similar;
candidates with experience in applied electrical/electronic engineering
may be considered.
• Experience of environmental instrumentation, preferably applied to
river and/or glacial systems.
• Fieldwork experience.
• Excellent quantitative data handling, quality control and data
archiving skills; experience of
database management would be valuable but not necessary.
• Willingness to work and to camp at altitude (2’400 m plus) for long
periods of the summer months;
the appointee will be expected to be trained to a high level in first aid.
• Excellent organizational skills.
• Good written and spoken English and an ability to communicate in basic
French, or willingness to
be able to do so through intensive language training.
• A valid driving licence.

Applications should be sent in a single pdf file attached to an email to
stuart.lane at unil.ch, or if the file
size is greater than 10Mb, should be sent via a suitable large file send
(e.g. mail big file). Applications for
both posts should include
1. A two page (maximum) cover letter (a) indicating whether you are
applying for the PhD position
or the technician position; (b) explaining your interest in the position
you are applying for; (c)
detailing any relevant experience to the position; and (d) summarizing
your long-term career
2. A full Curriculum Vitae, including all previous employment and
university and other training, and
the dates and title of degrees received and any skills that you have
acquired (e.g. programming).
Your CV should identify at least two people whom we might approach to
secure academic
3. A full transcript of academic results from all degree programmes studied.
4. A pdf of your Masters dissertation (or a hyperlink to where it may be

The initial deadline for applications is the 24th October 2019. If fewer
than one third of applications are
from women, the deadline will be extended until this threshold is
reached. Applicants will be interviewed
via the internet and the shortlisted candidates will then be invited to
visit Lausanne.

Further information
If you require further information regarding these positions, please
contact Stuart Lane
(stuart.lane at unil.ch).

Professor of Glaciology
School of GeoSciences
University of Edinburgh
Drummond St

Tel: +44-(0)131-650-9139
peter.nienow at ed.ac.uk

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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