Human Resources

Research Engineer/Scientist I - Environmental Remote Sensing

Apply now Job No: 24126
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: Engineering

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

Background Check:

Job Description Summary

The Research Scientist I – Remote Sensing position provides support for MTRI programs focused on the development and application of remote sensing and geospatial analysis to solve governmental and societal needs through sponsored research. Knowledge of remote sensing theory and an understanding of remote sensing applications for environmental and/or Earth science research is required. The applicant should be familiar with one or more of the following remote sensing modalities of interest: active and passive systems, microwave (SAR), multi-spectral, hyperspectral, and infrared sensing (IR). The applicant will be expected to help develop proposals for remote sensing research projects that apply their knowledge of sensing and image processing to research questions. The applicant will also be expected to conduct fieldwork in remote environments. Examples of current research areas the Remote Sensing Scientist may support include wildland and prescribed fire mapping and effects assessment, Great Lakes aquatic sensing, invasive species mapping, wetlands assessment, wildland fire danger and emissions mapping, processing, and analysis of remote sensing data through custom coding and analysis, and improved geotemporal visualization of complex data and patterns. This in an in-person position based at MTRI in Ann Arbor, MI (

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

  • Participate in research projects applying remote sensing, geospatial analysis, earth science knowledge, and analysis skills to solve project tasks for ongoing and new MTRI research projects.
  • Participate as an integral team member on multi-disciplinary research relating to applying technological skills to solving governmental and societal needs for a diverse set of current research areas, including improved remote sensing data analysis and visualization of complex data for environmental and interdisciplinary projects.
  • Be able to troubleshoot issues encountered in data processing and analysis to ensure scientifically valid data collection.
  • Evaluate, select, and apply the results of data collected and research projects undertaken. Describe and share any concerns about the results or methodology and recommend or implement countermeasures.
  • Contribute technical expertise in sensing at a primary and co-author level to specific aspects of conference presentations, journal articles, and technical reports, and be able to take the lead on preparing technical reports.
  • Participate in fieldwork in remote environments, including navigation in remote areas and following data collection protocols.
  • Contribute competitive proposals including development of specific tasks that use and exploit remote sensing data and products.
  • 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. Encourage continuous improvement practices among employees.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

  • Master’s degree or higher in remote sensing, geospatial technology, geography, earth science, ecology, or closely related field

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

  • Algorithm development with one or more of the following remote sensing modalities for environmental applications: microwave (SAR), multi-spectral, hyperspectral, or thermal infrared (IR) imagery.
  • Experience with analysis and processing of remote sensing data using desktop software tools (e.g. ERDAS Imagine, ENVI+IDL, OSGeo Opticks) and cloud-based platforms (e.g. Google Earth Engine).
  • Practical, demonstrated knowledge of Python or comparable programming language (ex. R, Matlab, C++, Julia).
  • Coursework in higher-level math, statistics, or remote sensing.
  • Coursework in at least one of the following remote sensing application areas: earth science, ecology, geography, environmental engineering.
  • Demonstrated organizational ability and attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated ability to participate in team projects.
  • Experience in preparing and contributing to competitive research grant proposals.

Desirable Education and/or Experience

  • Experience with statistical analysis software (such as SAS, R, or MATLAB).
  • Experience in a remote sensing and/or geospatial research environment.
  • Background in theory and use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data processing and analysis.
  • Experience with development, management, and documentation of large geospatial and remote sensing datasets.
  • Familiarity with machine learning techniques.
  • Experience working with large datasets using advanced computational systems (e.g., cloud computing, multi-processor supercomputing).
  • Experience with performing fieldwork (e.g. navigating via handheld GPS, following data collection protocols

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.
  • Knowledge of remote sensing theory for science and/or application.
  • Ability to clearly communicate complex ideas through symposia presentations, methods documentation, reports, and publications.
  • Excellent written/oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated organizational ability and attention to detail.
  • Ability to exercise discretion and independent judgment with respect to significant matters related to job duties.
  • Demonstrated ability to participate in team projects.
  • Demonstrated leadership of safety principles and practices.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

  • Experience in processing hyperspectral imagery such as mixture modeling methods and similar advanced spectral analysis methods.
  • Knowledge of geospatial data structures, visualization, and analysis and experience with GIS software (ESRI, QGIS, GDAL).
  • 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. 

Work Environment and/or Physical Demands

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate. Gender neutral bathrooms are available. Employees work in a typical office environment with few physical demands.

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

Salary to be commensurate with education and 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:

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend