Human Resources

Assistant Research Scientist - Geospatial Scientist

Apply now Job No: 24098
Department: Michigan Tech Rsrch Institute(MTRI)
Work Type: Staff - Full Time
Location: Michigan Tech Research Institute (Ann Arbor, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Sciences, Research

Department: Michigan Technological Research Institute (MTRI)

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

The Assistant Research Scientist position provides support for MTRI programs focused on the application of geospatial analysis and image processing to solve governmental and societal needs through sponsored research. The ability to improve the processing, analysis, and visualization of remote sensing data will be important. Examples of current research areas include invasive species mapping in the Great Lakes region, transportation infrastructure assessment, unstable slope assessment, wetlands mapping, emission impacts from wildfires, improved geotemporal visualization of complex data and patterns, and extending UAV-enabling sensing. Designing, developing, and delivering quality educational research opportunities for high school and undergraduate students. The position is based at MTRI in Ann Arbor, MI (

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

  • Participate as an important team member in research projects applying geospatial analysis, image processing, data curation, geology, and environmental knowledge to solve project tasks for ongoing and new MTRI research projects, with the expectation of supporting research and development tasks under the supervision of a principal investigator.
  • Design and coordinate educational opportunities within the institute to promote science and research awareness and abilities for high school and undergraduate students.
  • Participate as a team member on multidisciplinary research relating to applying technological skills to solving governmental and societal needs for a diverse set of current research areas, including geotemporal analysis and visualization of complex data for ecological, transportation, and signal processing projects.
  • Under direction, apply geospatial image processing capabilities to research tasks, and be able to deal with issues encountered in data processing and analysis to ensure scientifically-valid data collection.
  • Interpret the results of multispectral, hyperspectral, thermal, satellite, and other data collected and/or downloaded for research projects. Describe and share any concerns about the results or methodology, and recommend or implement countermeasures.
  • Participate in occasionally intensive field deployments, including the potential for boat-based water quality sampling, UAV data collections, and backcountry data collections.
  • Contribute to specific aspects of conference presentations, journal articles, and technical reports. Help represent MTRI in public and professional outreach opportunities. The employee will be expected to apply judgment to technical and safety aspects of assignments.
  • Contribute to competitive proposals.
  • Assess effectiveness of safety measures and training and implement necessary changes. Anticipate and recognize problems and potential problems at the individual and system levels. Recognize and respond appropriately to potential and actual unsafe situations.
  • Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work.
  • Commit to learning about continuous improvement strategies and applying them to everyday work. Actively engage in University continuous improvement initiatives.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

  • Master of Science: Geography - Environmental Studies and GIS Certification: Geospatial Analysis and Mapping

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

  • Experience with processing, registration, and analysis of remote sensing data using software tools such as eCognition and ArcGIS Pro.
  • Experience with Great Lakes satellite imagery analysis.
  • Experience using Python and ArcPy.
  • Knowledge of integrating high-resolution data from Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) into analysis workflows.
  • Demonstrated experience in integrating field work into project workflows to produce remote sensing results.
  • Experience with field work and data collection safety protocols.

Desirable Education and/or Experience

  • Internship experience in a geospatial research environment.
  • Experience with Great Lakes ecosystems.
  • Leading students and interns in educational research opportunities.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

  • Ability to obtain a U.S. Department of Defense security clearance, which requires United States citizenship. Obtaining a national security clearance while holding a dual citizenship will not be possible when the foreign country poses a risk to the national security of the United States.
  • Excellent written/oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated organizational ability and attention to detail.
  • Ability to exercise discretion and independent judgment with respect to technical and safety aspects of job duties.
  • Demonstrated ability to participate in team projects.
  • Demonstrated commitment to contribute to a safe work environment.
  • Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

  • Demonstrated GIS and remote sensing analysis skills and understanding of spatial concepts and theory.
  • Ability to clearly communicate complex ideas through symposia, methods documentation, reports, and publications.
  • Demonstrated success in, or potential future contributions to, working with persons from diverse backgrounds, creating a sense of belonging, and fostering a fair, objective, welcoming place to work for persons with a wide variety of personal characteristics and viewpoints.

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 4 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

  • Annual Title IX Training

Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Other Conditions of Employment:

Please note that successful applicants are responsible for ensuring their eligibility to work in the United States (i.e. a citizen or national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, a foreign national authorized to work in the United States without the need of an employer sponsorship) on or before the effective date of your appointment, and maintain eligibility without sponsorship throughout your appointment.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Pay Rate/Salary

Negotiable Based on Experience

Title of Position Supervisor

Research Engineer/Scientist I

Posting Type

Internal & External

Dependent on Funding


Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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