ISPA Account

Assistant Professor in Soil Remote Sensing

About UM6P:
Located at the heart of the future Green City of Benguerir, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), a higher education institution with international standards, is established to contribute to the development of Morocco and the African continent. Its vision is honed around research and innovation at the service of education and development. This unique nascent university, with its state-of-the-art campus and infrastructure, has woven a sound academic and research network, and its recruitment process is seeking high quality academics and professionals in order to boost its quality-oriented research environment in the metropolitan area of Marrakech.
About CRSA:
CRSA is a transversal structure across several UM6P Programs. Research within the center is organized around several major areas that aim to ensure the challenging Food and Water security goal in Africa, with a special focus on developing methods/tools that use multi-source remotely sensed data. The research aims to improve our understanding of the integrated functioning of continental surfaces and their interaction with climate and humans, with emphasis on sustainable management of natural resources (soil, land, water, agriculture) in the context of Climate Change. One of center’s goals is to provide a set of services and operational products to users (local, national and international) that aid in the decision support of water and food systems.
Job description: 
The Center for Remote Sensing Applications (CRSA) within Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) is looking for a remote sensing soil scientist with a large experience in:
  • The use of hyperspectral and spectroscopy for sustainable fertilizer application,
  • The development of interactive online tools related to classification and prediction of soil attributes using spectral data and to remote sensing and digital soil mapping,
  • Geospatial crop/soil modeling,
  • ArtificiaI intelligence,
  • Nutrient and carbon fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.
The CRSA invites applications for this position at the rank of Assistant Professor in any discipline of remote sensing soil science. We seek a candidate with a broad academic background and research experience in hyperspectral remote sensing applied to soil science, land use/land cover change, agriculture, forestry, earth sciences and environmental sciences and whose research advances the frontiers of knowledge in environment, conservation, ecosystem services and evaluation, environmental degradation, or human-environment interactions at diverse scales using theories, methods, and tools of Remote Sensing and GIS.
This position will contribute to research, teaching, service and outreached functions grounded in the CRSA's ongoing broad topical areas of interest such as:
  • Land use/land cover change,
  • Natural resources management,
  • Soil cover assessment/mapping,
  • Arid & semi-arid soils and environments,
  • Soil and environmental health,
  • Carbon management and dynamics,
  • Agricultural management practices,
  • Greenhouse gas and climate change mitigation and adaptation,
  • Water management.
The successful candidate should combine independence, ambition and team work in the front line of research fields with a strong focus on innovation in both academic and applied research, in close collaboration with international academic and institutional partners.
Key duties:
The specific responsibilities and tasks of the successful candidate will include :
  • Scientific outcomes from various research projects,
  • Development of research proposals,
  • Grants and contracts managing with various research entities,
  • Coauthoring manuscripts and scientific reports,
  • Supervising graduate students, and disseminating research outcomes to stakeholders,
More specifically, the successful candidate is expected to have the capacity to:
  • Work on soil agricultural issues associated with Fertilizer Best Management Practices (BMPs) and subsequent impacts on groundwater quality,
  • Conduct scientific research on soil remote sensing and GIS applications to environmental ecosystems,
  • Develop ambitious interdisciplinary research projects multi-sensor remote sensing,
  • Teach undergraduate and graduate students in Remote Sensing, GIS and spatial/data technologies and their application to soil  problems,
  • Contribute to the development of new Remote Sensing and GIS courses/programs,
  • Create a vigorous, externally-funded research program focused on soil applications of Remote Sensing and GIS,
  • Collaborate with other UM6P researchers/groups (e.g. International Water Research Institute, Geology & Sustainable Mining, Soil and Fertilizer Research in Africa) on multidisciplinary research projects with Remote Sensing and GIS components,
  • Present research results at scientific meetings and publishing results in peer-reviewed academic journals,
  • Supervise Master-students, PhD students and work closely with Postdoctoral fellows.
Criteria of the candidate:    
This position is open to individuals with substantial expertise in the target fields. Previous high impact research and teaching expertise will be an asset. Good oral and writing communication skills in English and French represent a significant benefit.
General Criteria:
  • PhD degree from a recognized University in Soil Remote Sensing, Geomatics, Environmental Sciences, or related subjects,
  • Postdoctoral research experience in a field related to the duties of the position. Hyperspectral sensors use for the characterization of soil attribute would be an asset,
  • Experience in leading and conducting scientific research projects in remote sensing applications to multidisciplinary disciplines (e.g. agriculture/forestry soils),
  • Ability to generate new ideas, links, and to build upon existing models to develop novel approaches in natural resources monitoring for soil and vegetation, among others,
  • Experience in collaborative research with university groups, international institutions, government labs and industrial partners,
  • Experience in undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellow supervision.
Specific Criteria:
  • Operational requirements for a successful research project (such as satellite/UAV data acquisitions and processing),
  • Experience in the development of remote sensing-based tools and applications such as forest and agricultural soil carbon stock estimation, deriving soil attributes, crop yield estimation, and fertilizer variable rate applications,
  • Multi-sensors (e.g. multispectral, hyperspectral, and thermal) UAV remote sensing,
  • Publication of peer-reviewed articles in the field of soil remote sensing (at least 10 peer-reviewed papers and first author of a minimum of 7),
  • Contributions and presentations in international conferences (at least 15 participations),
  • Developing or contributing to research funding proposals (at least 5 proposals).
The appointee will be expected to demonstrate competency and relevant skills in the following areas:
Research skills:
  • Multi-source/multi-resolution remote sensing analysis,
  • Manipulation and processing of large multi-temporal and multi-resolution remote sensing datasets to monitor and map soil attributes over time,
  • Relate derived RS datasets from geospatial technologies to forest/agriculture management practices,
  • Accuracy methods of derived-products from remotely sensed data,
  • Field application of sensing technologies for soil cover/attributes estimation,
  • Planning field campaigns using ground and multi-sensor UAV measurements,
  • Conducting UAV flight over agricultural fields for soil/crop cover research projects,
  • Remote Sensing software (e.g. ENVI, eCognition) & GIS software (i.e., ESRI ArcGIS),
  • Drone Software (e.g. Pix4D, Agisoft),
  • Machine learning, and geospatial predictive modeling approaches.
Teaching skills:
  • Evidence of commitment to excellence in teaching,
  • Teaching experience in both traditional and alternative (online) learning environments,
  • Aptitude for teaching at undergraduate and graduate levels both in English & French,
  • Teaching flexibility in a variety of formats (i.e. remote teaching, week-long and semester-long),
  • Training of highly qualified personnel including graduate students.
Applications must contain:
  • A cover letter indicating the position applied for and the main research interests.
  • A detailed CV.
  • A brief research statement.
  • Contact information of 3 references (applicants are assumed to have obtained their references consent to be contacted for this matter).
The shortlisted candidates will be invited to meet the university selection committee.