Geo-Computational Community Science – Four PhD Positions in the Spatial Lab and the Spatial Decision Support Lab at UW

Geo-Computational Community Science: Four PhD Positions at Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo

We have four PhD positions in environmental citizen science/geomatics/hydrology based in the Geography and Environmental Studies Department at Wilfrid Laurier University and Geography and Environmental Management or School of Planning at the University of Waterloo.  Successful candidates will join our team’s work on a Global Water Futures (GWF) funded project titled ‘Global Water Citizenship – Integrating networked citizens, scientists and local decision makers’.

In sparsely populated, climate-sensitive regions like northern Canada, there is an urgent need for holistic data-centric approaches that couple knowledge produced by scientific modelling, community-based monitoring, and citizen observations. Building the technical and social infrastructure to support new models of information exchange not only fosters involvement of the general public in fundamental scientific research, but also provides a forum for awareness of the threats posed by climate change to northern freshwater ecosystems. The two primary goals of the GWC project are to: 1) improve the adoption of citizen and community inputs into environmental science research, and 2) improve the adoption of environmental science research into decision-making at the local level. Four areas of research which we are currently seeking PhD students for include:

  • Data quality of community-based water quality monitoring
  • Citizen and community observations of snow
  • Spatial decision support under uncertainty
  • Mobile spatial decision-support tools for enhancing local adaptation

Students will be part of a large multi-disciplinary project that includes training in GIScience, spatial analysis, hydrology, and planning.  As well, students will participate in the wider GWF project activities. Applicants should have experience in one or several of: spatial data analysis, GIS/Remote Sensing, geocomputation/computer programming, hydrology, and statistical analysis of environmental data.

The successful candidates receive a minimum of $25,000/year in combined TA/RA support for three years as well as opportunities for travel within Canada.  Students will be enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in the Waterloo-Laurier Graduate Program in Geography and will be members of the Spatial Lab at Laurier ( or the Spatial Decision Support Lab at UW ( To be eligible, the applicant must have successfully defended and submitted their MSc thesis prior to the proposed start date.

Starting date: May 2018

Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply by email; addressed to: Dr. Colin Robertson ( Please attach a single PDF file that contains a letter of research interest, CV, and unofficial transcripts.

Additional faculty that are part of this project include Dr. Rob Feick (UW), Dr. Steve Roberts (Laurier) and Dr. Michael English (Laurier).

Evaluation of the applications will begin January 10th, 2018 until all four positions have been filled.