Data Science Applications for Analyzing Mangrove Response to Climate Change


Application deadline in 9 days: Tuesday 25 Jun 2024 at 00:00 UTC

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Morobe Development Foundation Inc. is a not-for-profit organization based in Papua New Guinea and was established to promote sustainable community development initiatives and thereby address several exigent issues – ranging from environmental conservation to women's rights – that are hindering the progress of the region.

Mangrove forests play a crucial role globally, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people living along coastlines while contributing significantly to economies worldwide through ecosystem services valued between billions of dollars annually. These services include shoreline stabilization, providing habitats for diverse benthic macrofauna, and supplying food, honey, and timber.

Beyond their economic and social benefits, mangrove forests offer scalable and cost-effective natural climate solutions by sequestering carbon in biomass and soil/sediment. Globally, the potential of mangrove forests to mitigate climate change is significant, with the capacity to offset a substantial percentage of annual fossil fuel emissions through carbon sequestration.

A few of our ongoing projects focus on applications of various remote sensing technologies for monitoring forest biomass, tracking land use land change patterns, evaluating climate change impacts, and conserving sea turtle habitats.

To that end, we are currently looking for online volunteers who are passionate about data science and mangroves/sustainability-related topics and are enthusiastic about enhancing their research writing skills (approximately 20 hours per week for 12 weeks) to support us in this research collaboration. The objective of this research is to understand how mangroves will respond to climate change scenarios in the next century, through climate projection techniques and establish the carbon sequestration potential of carbon by carbon emission modeling.

The selected online volunteers with a background in data science will collaborate in the climate projections of mangrove response in the next century, for this, R programming skills are needed, additionally contributing to the development of carbon emission models to estimate the amount of carbon sequestered by this ecosystem.

Morobe Development Foundation (MDF) Inc. is looking for 6 (six) Online Volunteers who have expertise in data analysis, R programming knowledge, climate projection and carbon emission modeling, and a background in the field of data science, preferably also in forestry, mangroves, sustainability, remote sensing, or related areas.

Selected online volunteers would be expected to assist the MDF team with:

  1. Data analysis-related and programming tasks for the establishment and analysis of climate change projection under different scenarios in the next century and carbon emissions modeling.
  2. Tools development that allows simulating the response of mangroves under climate different climate change scenarios (e.g. sea level rise) .
  3. Journal article writing (drafting preparation and literature review).
  4. Grant proposal support (drafting and literature review).

The topic of the current research is: "Understanding how mangroves will respond to climate change in the next century and how much carbon emissions they are sequestering”.

The results of this project will be included in a peer-reviewed journal article, and based on the level of contributions, the online volunteers will be acknowledged (with a certificate) and/or invited to be co-authors. Students looking into applying for PhD programs are highly encouraged to apply.

The ideal candidates should have demonstrated writing experience and have a master’s degree or equivalent (e.g., bachelor’s degree with 3+ years) in an area related to data science, R programming, data analysis, climate projection, carbon emissions modeling, forestry, mangroves, sustainability, remote sensing, or related fields.

Must have good communication and be very attentive, responsive, and proactive, as our projects are very fast-paced.

If you would like to be considered, please apply and provide a statement of purpose (~ 200-300 words) highlighting your experience with data analysis, R programming, data science, and writing scientific articles/reports on the aforementioned topics and why you would be the best candidate for this role.

You can find some of our recent publications here:

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