Surface processes on Europa and icy worlds

Job Details

Job ID: 11575

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Responsibilities

The postdoctoral research associate will work with Dr. Cynthia Phillips and the Europa Lander mission concept team to study the interaction of both exogenic and endogenic processes at the surface of Europa. These processes include impact gardening, sputtering, sintering, thermal processing, and other physical and chemical processing of the surface. The candidate will use a variety of techniques to address one or more of these processes in depth, and will also work on a synthesis of how these processes work together. The candidate will use available Europa images and analog datasets from other icy ocean worlds and analog sites, as well as theoretical modeling of candidate processes. One goal of this work is to create an integrated picture of the structure and processing length scales, both horizontal and vertical, in the top meter of Europa’s surface, as well as the time scales on which these processes are active and interact. Another goal will be to help constrain surface properties important to a landed mission to Europa’s surface, including strength, porosity, grain size, composition, and others, and how those properties vary horizontally and vertically. The selected candidate will also work with the Europa Lander mission concept team on such tasks as are needed.  The selected candidate will be expected to present their research at scientific conferences, and publish in peer-reviewed journals.

Qualifications

Candidates should have a recent PhD in planetary science, geology, physics, or related discipline. A background in modeling or in image processing techniques will be helpful, and experience with surface processes on airless bodies (rocky or icy) is expected.  Experience with other remote sensing techniques such as radar or photometry would also be relevant. Research will be conducted on computers at JPL, no laboratory work is expected as part of the main tasks (though such collaborations may be possible, based on the selected candidate’s background and experience). Candidates who have received their PhD within the past five years since the date of their application are eligible. Postdoctoral Scholar positions are awarded for a minimum of one-year period and may be renewed up to a maximum duration of three years. Candidates should submit the following to this site: CV, representative publications, contact information for three references, and a cover letter stating their research accomplishments and interests.

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