Project FA14e: Mapping daily soil water storage across the U.S., 1992-present

Project FA14e:  Mapping daily soil water storage across the U.S., 1992-present
Researcher:  Doug Baldwin
Position type: GIS and Cartography
Application deadline:  Friday, May 23, 2014
Application URL:

Position description
Satellite-based microwave radiometer data can be used to indirectly measure volumetric water content in the first 5 cm of soil.  This data is gridded and available in coarse resolutions (~ 0.5°), which is not very useful for regional drought/flood assessments or predictions. A new hydrologic model is being used with the satellite data to 1) estimate how much water is stored below 5 cm, and 2) downscale the satellite data to about 30 m resolution.  By Fall 2014, a time-series of weekly soil water storage over the United States will be estimated from the satellite soil moisture data record, stretching from 1992-2014.  This time-series will consist of about 1,144 raster layers. Region-wide averages of soil water storage will also be calculated for eco-regions across the U.S. ( An undergraduate with ArcGIS experience is needed to create U.S. soil water storage maps from raster data produced by the hydrologic model and the regional polygon data.  Specific duties include:

  • Create maps with the same color scheme for raster time-series (1144 maps)
  • Create maps with the same color scheme for regional time-series (1144 maps)
  • Make movies of both time-series using Microsoft movie-making software or other software of your preference

Desired Qualifications
Successful candidate must have experience in making maps with ArcMap (GEOG 361 and 363 completed). Candidates must be willing to contribute 40–120 total hours of work toward the project over the summer or fall semester, resulting in 1–3 credit hours applied to the transcript. There is no monetary stipend attached to this assistantship, although the experiences gained in this work will be immediately valuable when applying for graduate school or full-time employment.


To apply

Prospective candidates should submit application to by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 23, 2014.
A complete application must include:
1. All required fields of online form:
2. A one-page cover letter identifying the position for which you're applying and stating your interest in conducting research, your academic preparation, the skills you hope to gain from this experience, and contact information of two references.

  • Upload a PDF document named as follows: FirstinitialLastname_letterMMYY.pdf (e.g. jvender_letter0414.pdf)

3. A resume

  • Upload a PDF document named as follows: FirstinitialLastname_resumeMMYY.pdf (e.g. jvender_resume0414.pdf)