Deriving accurate sea-ice (and snow) thickness near-real time estimates for the East Antarctic region

Degree type


Closing date

18 July 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

The seasonal evolution of the ocean-atmosphere exchange at the surface of the Southern Ocean gives rise to the formation, advection, deformation and melt of Antarctic sea ice. While  observations are scarce, the existing measurements revealed substantial spatio-temporal variability in ice concentration and also ice thickness. Much of our information is based on passive-microwave derived two-dimensional measurements of the ice cover. More recently laser and radar altimetry have been supported on polar-orbiting satellites, opening possibilities to translate those into sea-ice freeboard and finally ice thickness.

This project will use remote sensing data from NASA’s ICESat-2 laser and ESA’s CryoSat-2 radar altimeter, and assess these together with in situ observations to derive the East Antarctic sea-ice thickness distribution. To do so, information on snow depth over the sea ice will also be quantified.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Stuart Corney


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,854 per annum (2022 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

If successful, applicants will also receive a top-up scholarship of $6,000 per annum for 3.5 years. This scholarship is funded from the Australian Government as part of the Antarctic Science Collaboration Initiative program through the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership (AAPP).

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Applicants will be assessed and ranked according to the quality of their basis for entry research degree and institution, prior peer reviewed publications, academic awards, project-specific skills, training or relevant industry experience, referee’s reports and supervisory support.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Strong quantitative skills
  • Experience with handling large geophysical datasets
  • Experience with programming languages, analysis and display software such as python, C++, Fortran, IDL, and Matlab

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience with remote sensing data
  • Understanding of Southern Ocean physical processes and meteorology, particularly with respect to sea ice
  • Background in fluid dynamics

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Stuart Corney to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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