Researcher in Near real-time forest monitoring using Sentinel satellite data and machine learning

Research / Academic


Job description:

The Laboratory for Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing (GRS) at Wageningen University (NL) is offering a two-year research position on near real-time forest monitoring using Sentinel satellite data and machine learning.

Earth observation and data science technologies are rapidly advancing. New satellites now provide spatially detailed information almost daily and cloud computing solution enable large-scale applications. With the European Sentinel-1 and -2 satellites dense and high-resolution radar and optical data are available free-of-charge and globally for the first time. This offers great potential to support services and science better.

We have developed concepts for new approaches to use radar and optical satellite data for near real-time forest change monitoring. Further innovations are now needed to utilize the high spatial and temporal information content of the new satellite missions for improving the detection and characterization of changes, and for scaling the developed approaches.

This project will explore machine learning methods to further advance algorithms and will focus on large-scale and effective implementations in cloud environments. Solutions based on time-dependent deep learning models (e.g. GRU, LSTM) will be explored, with a particular focus on the inclusion of spatial awareness and robustness to missing data.

You will work within the context of a large international project focusing on near real-time forest change monitoring in the tropics, and also be involved in the supervision of PhD students.


We are looking for a motivated researcher with a data science, machine learning and/or geoinformatics degree. While we prefer a candidate with a PhD degree for a Postdoc position, we also consider qualified candidates with a M.Sc. degree for a researcher position. Experience with machine learning methods, handling large satellite time series data (e.g. Google Earth Engine) and programming skills (e.g. R, Python, java script) are required. Knowledge about radar remote sensing and an understanding in tropical forest dynamics is an advantage. Strong English skills are fundamental.

Salary Benefits:

Resources and supervision:
The position is a full-time two-year position and is conducted mainly at the Centre for Geo-Information at Wageningen University (NL) and the related Graduate School ( under the supervision of Dr. Johannes Reiche, and in close collaboration and supervision with Prof. Devis Tuia and Prof. Martin Herold. By continuation of project financing an extension of one or two years is possible.

We offer:
We offer a full time (38 hours/week) temporary position for a period of 2 years. Gross salary per month from € 2640,- to € 4.852,- based on full time employment. Salary depends on relevant experience and knowledge.
Work Hours:

38 hours per week