Postdoctoral Fellow - Thermal and gas dynamics of wildfires

Project Overview

The project will involve the development of a new thermal infrared imager for deployment on UAVs during wildland fires. The technological advancements in high-resolution multispectral TIR data will advance wildland fire thermodynamic and gas emission analysis, as well as constraining the ecological and societal impacts. A range of satellite, airborne, UAV, and ground based remote sensing data will be used to answer these fundamental questions and the project will involve extensive field work during prescribed burns at the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge.

Postdoctoral Fellow Project Description

We are looking for a highly motivated individual to fill a 1-year postdoctoral fellow position (with the possibility of an extension based upon performance and project needs/funding) to assist with processing and interpretation of multispectral thermal infrared data of prescribed fires as part of a larger project on active fire (hot spot) detection, fire propagation modeling, 3D plume characterization, and assessing environmental impacts of fires. The aim of the project is to quantify the thermal and gas emissions from prescribed fires in 3D in near real-time using thermal infrared spectroscopy. This will help determine relationships between fire intensity and vegetation change, with the goal of predicting the gas emissions from prescribed and wildland fires. The postdoctoral fellow will join a team developing novel thermal infrared imagers for UAV deployment to characterize thermal and gas emission from wildland fires. The individual will be responsible for data collection, gas retrieval algorithm development, and thermodynamic modeling of wildfires, and evaluating vegetation change based on fire severity. The position requires the integration of multiple geophysical datasets and interpretations, and the development of new concepts and methods to automate the processing of field data in near real-time to provide insights to wildland fire commanders regarding thermal and gas dynamics, burn intensity, and rate of spread.

Postdoctoral Fellow Responsibilities

Research and development of thermal infrared retrieval algorithms to characterize thermal and gas emissions from wildland fires in near real-time. Develop thermodynamic models of wildland fire propagation and evaluate the impact of fire severity on vegetation change based on field results which will involve code development/automation, data collection and processing, and analysis and visualization of results. Publish quality research results in peer-reviewed publications.

For more information and to apply, see:, or contact James Thompson at

published: 04 January 2024     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.