1st year u/g students, 2nd year u/g students, 3rd year u/g students
Student Responsibilty with support from IIP and/or Host Organization
International Internship Program
University of Tasmania
About: The University of Tasmania (UTAS) is a public research university primarily located in Tasmania, Australia. Officially founded in 1890, it was the fourth university to be established in Australia. The university offers various undergraduate and graduate programs in a range of disciplines, and has links with 20 specialist research institutes, cooperative research centers and faculty based research centers; many of which are regarded as nationally and internationally competitive leaders. The university's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies have strongly contributed to the university's excellence in research award that was presented by the Australian Research Council. The University also delivers tertiary education at the Australian Maritime College, the national center for maritime education, training and research. The university is highly regarded for its commitment to excellence in learning and teaching.
Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will contribute to one or more of the following projects:
A global surface velocity field - The explosion of continuous GPS stations across the globe now means that a three-dimensional global surface velocity field is now viable. However, daily coordinate time series are subject to noise, artifacts, offsets and other signals which make a continuous field difficult to obtain. This project will develop and apply novel approaches to automatically analyze thousands of GPS time series and produce a global vertical velocity field to compare to geophysical models. Skills in programming are recommended for this project.
Earthquake-driven deformation in the Antarctic Peninsula- Antarctica's deformation is assumed to be dominated by plate motion and its response to past and present ice loading changes. Antarctica is seismically quiet and hence post-seismic deformation due to viscoelastic deformation of the earth's mantle has been considered to be negligible. However, such deformation has recently been observed for the first time by our team, resulting from a 1998 Magnitude-8 earthquake that occurred hundreds of kilometers north of the Antarctic coastline. Provisional modelling of the earthquake was not able to reproduce the observed deformation pattern and furthermore many other earthquakes have occurred before and since this time and their impact on Antarctica is not known. This project will focus on modelling the deformation of the Antarctic Peninsula region due to recent earthquakes in this region and assess their impact on GPS measurements of surface deformation in this region. Skills in Linux, mathematics/physics/quantitative earth sciences are recommended for this project.
Visualizing real landscapes in an Augmented Reality Sandbox - Augmented Reality Sandboxeshave become an effective teaching, communication and marketing tool across a diverse set of domains. Click here to view a video. This technology, based on an Xbox Kinect, high performance graphics card and a data projector allows measurement and rendering of sand surface elevation models and realistic water flow in near real time. This project seeks to further develop the open source code made available by UC Davis and extend it across a number of domains making it even more useful in teaching and marketing. Ideas include retrieval and overlay of satellite or airborne imagery over the sandbox considering the geometry of the sand, modification of the water flow to consider glacier flow, and consideration of virtual cities and other built infrastructure. Skills in Linux, high levels of c++ or similar programming are recommended for this project.
Robust plate motion estimation from contaminated GPS velocities - This project focuses on obtaining a robust set of plate motion estimates which are only minimally affected by contaminating effects, namely post-seismic deformation and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA; the solid Earth’s response to ice-ocean load changes). The conventional approach has been to assume these effects are negligible. However, we have recently shown that GIA is indeed a likely contaminator in Antarctic Plate rotation estimates. Post-seismic deformation may also be playing a role. Likewise, North American and Eurasian plates may also be affected by these signals in a way that matters to geodetic estimates. This project will work on a robust method for determining plate rotation estimates and derive a new set of estimates for plates globally. Skills in quantitative earth sciences and/or mathematics are recommended for this project.
Investigating uncertainty in seismic tomography using parameter spaces with high-dimensions -The project makes use of the outputs of geophysical inversion, such as Bayesian ‘posterior’ distributions, to investigate contributions to uncertainty in 3D seismic tomography models. As these models are finding increasing use by other areas of Earth Sciences, it is increasingly important to provide a robust appraisal of the differing uncertainties through the model and to be able to communicate this effectively. While the project is centered on mathematical/computational insights, the interplay between model outputs and the tectonic architecture that is being represented is very important. Additionally, the project gives scope for advanced data visualization of high dimensional parameter spaces with the aim of the visualization providing new insights, and not simply representing the final result. Skills in mathematical and computational seismology, and an interest in advanced data visualization are recommended for this project.
The sensitivity of seismic interferometry to time-varying changes in the ice-rock interface - Seismic interferometry is a rapidly advancing area of geophysics and has found recent success in detecting seasonal changes in the seismic wavespeed beneath the ice sheet of Greenland. This project aims to place constraints on the sensitivity of such methods through simulating the effect of time-varying changes to seismic properties in the basal parts of the ice sheet, the sediment the may be present beneath the ice, and the bedrock beneath. While mathematical/computational skills are required, the project requires the design of realistic test scenarios, so some knowledge of, or willingness to learn about, processes that may be occurring at the base of large ice sheets would be advantageous. Skills in mathematical and computational seismology, and an interest in polar regions are recommended for this project.
TerraLuma – unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for environmental and agricultural remote sensing - The TerraLuma research project at the University of Tasmania develops and applies unmanned aircraft systems (UAS also known as UAVs or drones), sensor integration, and image processing techniques for environmental, agricultural, and high-precision aerial mapping applications. Up-to-date and accurate spatial data are of crucial importance for sustainable management of our eco- and agrosystems. UAS offer an exciting and novel opportunity to map and understand the environment in greater detail than ever before. Skills in quantitative earth sciences and/or mathematics are recommended for this project.
Intern Qualifications: IIP candidates with interests in quantitative earth sciences, computer science, mathematics, physics, remote sensing, geodesy and civil engineering are encouraged to apply. Skills in linux, numerical modelling and programming skills would be an asset.