The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is a member of the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and funded by federal and state government. AWI focuses on polar and marine research in a variety of disciplines such as biology, oceanography, geology, geochemistry and geophysics, thus allowing multidisciplinary approaches to scientific goals.
PhD position “Quantifying the light-absorbing impurities and their seasonal variability in snow in the Arctic and their impact on accelerated melting” (m/f/d)
Background and Tasks
Light-absorbing impurities (LAI), such as black carbon (BC), can cause a drastic albedo decrease if embedded in snow. During the MOSAIC campaign (2019-2020) and former expeditions (PASCAL, PAMRCMiP), unique sets of snow samples over sea-ice and inland ice (Greenland) were collected throughout a full year (MOSAiC) and during Arctic spring. You have to analyse the snow sample in the chemical laboratory. The first step will be developing an artefact-free method for the BC concentration measurement with the Single Particle Soot Photometer in high salinity snow samples. Fieldwork in the Arctic (Villum Research Station, Greenland) is planned to analyse the physical properties of snow (and ice) and to quantify the Black Carbon (BC) impurity content. The analysis and interpretation of these samples would serve as a base to answer the following scientific objectives:
characterisation of the BC concentration’s seasonal variability embedded in snow over the sea-ice and Greenland inland ice
comparison of the LAI properties in snow samples collected during the MOSAIC campaign (over sea-ice) and collected in Greenland (over land)
evaluation the impact of BC snow darkening and atmospheric feedbacks on the melting rate of snow on sea ice
investigation of the BC deposition rate, in order to better understand the relationship between the atmospheric and snow sample BC concentration.
The PhD theme will be realised in tight collaboration with Aarhus University Roskilde (Prof. Henrik Skov).
The PhD theme is approached through a combination of analysis in the lab and of field measurements and interpretation of the analysed data. The aim is to quantify seasonal variability BC concentration embedded in snow and their impact on snow albedo.
a Diploma/Master or equivalent degree preferably in Chemistry, Physics, Meteorology, Geophysics, or a related field
experience in scientific programming is beneficial
enjoy working in a team
good English communication skills.
For further information, please contact Dr. Andreas Herber (Andreas.Herber@awi.de;
+49(471)4831-1489) or Zsofia Juranyi (Zsofia.Juranyi@awi.de; +49(471)4831-2116).
This position limited to 3 years. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes, TVöD Bund), up to salary level 13 (66%). The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.
All doctoral candidates will be members of AWI's postgraduate program POLMAR or another graduate school and thus benefit from a comprehensive training program and extensive support measures.
The AWI is characterised by
our scientific success - excellent research
collaboration and cooperation - intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary
opportunities to develop – on the job, aiming at other positions and beyond AWI
a culture of reconciling work and family – an audited and well-supported aspect of our operation
our outstanding research infrastructure – ships, stations, aircraft, laboratories and more
an international environment – everyday contacts with people from all over the world
having an influence – fundamental research with social and political relevance
flat hierarchies – facilitating freedom and responsibility
exciting science topics, with opportunities also in technology, administration and infrastructure
Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of female employees and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply.
Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present.
The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family in various ways and has received a number of awards as a result of this engagement.
We look forward to your application!
Please forward your application by June 15th 2021 exclusively online.
Reference number 21/90/G/Kli-b.