Early Career Researcher for the Remote Sensing Working Group

Since 2020, the SIOS Remote Sensing Working Group offers the opportunity for an Early Career Researcher to become an observer for a year. The call opens in early summer and the sucessfull candidate will have following tasks:

  • Actively participate in WG activities for up to two years;
  • Work closely with the SIOS Remote Sensing Officer and the working group chair on routine activities e.g. organising meetings (~1 physical and 5 virtual per year), writing draft meeting minutes, following up WG documents and other administrative tasks;
  • Making working group activities visible to Early Career Researcher networks via email, social media, and other means
  • Assisting the working group in planning online events (conference, webinars)
  • Assisting in organising the annual remote sensing training course in September


Polar Bears Looking at Satellite

Testimonials of previous ECR in the RSWG


I have worked on the SIOS RSWG for 12 months and it’s been a thrill. Firstly, I worked very closely with the SIOS Remote Sensing Officer, Shridhar Jawak, who worked tirelessly during my tenure to ensure I was given as many opportunities to participate in SIOS activities as possible. This unwavering support was assisted by the excellent team of international RSWG members, who were always willing to listen to my views and thoughts on projects the working group were undertaking. Taken together, my integration into the working group created a stimulating environment within which I was able to engage in scientific discussions that have shaped the working group activities over the last 12 months.

My participation in several SIOS activities and events, including the SIOS Online Conference, the SIOS Polar Night Week and the regular RSWG meetings, has enabled me to enhance several transferable skills. At the SIOS Online Conference, I was responsible for chairing a special ECR session as well as provided the creative freedom to organise social events for the participants (which was a lot of fun to organise!). At the Polar Night Week, I similarly helped run workshops and presented findings from a RSWG-led survey, bolstering my ability to present to an international audience. My key role was to participate in RSWG meetings, which were very interesting to engage with as it enabled me to recognise the hard work undertaken by SIOS to create a successful regional observing system.

Through this role I have also gained tangible benefits. The RSWG tasked me to review the availability of satellite data over Svalbard, which will be published in the SIOS special issue in the journal Remote Sensing. There have also been opportunities to contribute to several other publishable projects within the working group. Finally, the opportunity to understand the inner workings of an international consortium of researchers has been eye-opening and an experience I will take forward into my future career. If you are interested in Svalbard science, developing a regional observing system and gaining experience in conducting research at an international level then this is an opportunity not to be missed!

If you would like to know more about my experience then feel free to email me (wdh1@st-andrews.ac.uk).

William Harcourt