Position Announcements

Remote Sensing Project Scientist

This is a four-year project position for a scientist to fully develop a remote sensing program to measure lake water quality, in-lake vegetation, and riparian development.


Environmental monitoring is important for the protection of the state’s resources. The Department is continually searching for more effective and efficient methods to conduct monitoring of the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Remote sensing is a powerful environmental monitoring tool that uses satellite data to provide information on natural resources in a rapid and cost effective manner. The outcome of this effort will provide a technologically sophisticated, long-term, cost effective method to collect water quality data and other lake specific information needed for lake management activities including: meeting EPA reporting requirements, implementation of the Clean Water Act, track changes in the “health” of Wisconsin lakes over time and relate changes to a suite of potential perturbations including changes in land use and introductions of aquatic invasive species, information for the interested individual lakeshore property owner; Department nutrient standard development; “state of the lakes” reporting; and assisting in many other of Water Division goals and objectives.


Development of a remote sensing program will result in snapshot measures in hundreds of lakes at a time. With 15,000 lakes in the state, field sampling of even a small fraction of these lakes can be extremely costly and time consuming. Whereas current lake monitoring efforts are limited to a small percentage of the total number of Wisconsin lakes, remote sensing tools provides the agency information on over 8,000 lakes annually.


Job Duties:   This position provides scientific leadership for incorporating remote sensing techniques to better understand Wisconsin’s aquatic resources. Job duties include participation in field measurements of inherent and apparent optical properties, water quality parameters, collection of samples for laboratory analyses, development and application of remote sensing empirical and semi-analytical algorithms relating inland water optical properties and related water quality parameters such as chlorophyll, total suspended solids, CDOM and harmful algal blooms to satellite imagery. Multispectral satellites to be considered include the Landsat, MODIS, MERIS, VIIRS and possibly Sentinel 2 and 3. Develop remote sensing protocols and applications to quantify in-lake vegetation type and extent and; riparian and watershed development. Develop in-house semi-operational water quality information system by increased automated image processing capabilities and web-based interactive tools for public and department use. Generate scientific publications in peer-reviewed national and international journals, as well as effectively communication via both formal and informal presentations to partners and the public.


Special Notes:   A valid driver’s license that meets DNR Risk Management standards is required.

** This is not a permanent position. ** This position is a project appointment and as such does not provide for the attainment of permanent status per s.ER-MRS 1.02 (25), Wis. Admin. Code. Pursuant to Wis. State. Chapter 230.27(1m)(a), persons appointed to a project position within the State Classified Service must be residents of the State of Wisconsin. The duration of this appointment is expected to be, and cannot exceed, four(4) years. Applicants must be legally entitled to work in the United States (i.e., a citizen or national of the U.S., a lawful permanent resident, an alien authorized to work in the U.S. without DNR sponsorship) at the time of application.


Job Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:   Expertise in remote sensing science, proficient in remote sensing software and programming languages, e.g. ENVI, IMAGINE, IDL and MATLAB. Experience with bio-optically based radiative transfer algorithm development. Advanced statistical expertise. Principals of limnology, hydrology, landscape, ecology. Demonstrated ability to work on collaborative research teams. Writing skills including an ability to produce research project reports and publications.

How To Apply:   Interested and qualified applicants should submit a resume and cover letter via email to Steve Greb, steven.greb@wisconsin.gov; please type 'Remote Sensing Scientist position' on the subject line. 

The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. October 18, 2013.  If you have any questions about the application process, or would like a copy of the position description, please contact Jim Feldhausen at 608-267-7557 or james.feldhausen@wisconsin.gov.