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Interdisciplinary (Physical Scientist, Geophysicist, Cartographer, Geodesist or Mathematician) Position

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Interdisciplinary (Physical Scientist, Geophysicist, Cartographer, Geodesist or Mathematician) Position, U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center, Flagstaff, AZ

The USGS Astrogeology Science Center has immediate openings for one or more full-time permanent interdisciplinary positions that may be filled as a Physical Scientist, Geophysicist, Cartographer, Geodesist or Mathematician. This is a high-profile, high-impact opportunity to support NASA planetary missions and science studies by developing new planetary topographic mapping techniques and supporting planetary cartographic projects.

The following positions are now open and have a Closing Date of 6/4/2010. Applicants eligible under merit promotion procedures (those with permanent federal status, veterans, etc.) should also apply under the merit promotion announcement as listed:

Title: Interdisciplinary (Physical Scientist, Geophysicist, Cartographer, Geodesist or Mathematician)
Announcement: WR-2010-0248
Merit Promotion Announcement: WR-2010-0342
Job Series and Grade: GS-1301, 1313, 1370, 1372 or 1520, grade 9/11/12
Salary: GS-9: $47,448 - $61,678; GS-11 $57,408-$74,628; GS-12 $68,809-$89,450

Title: Interdisciplinary (Physical Scientist, Geophysicist, Cartographer, Geodesist or Mathematician)
Announcement: WR-2010-0303
Merit Promotion Announcement: WR-2010-0344
Job Series and Grade: GS-1301, 1313, 1370, 1372 or 1520, grade 13
Salary: $81,823- $106,369

Qualifications for a given job series and grade level are based on education and experience (see advertisement on USAJOBS for details). Successful applicants will have professional to advanced knowledge in one or more of photogrammetry, geodesy, cartography, remote sensing, mathematics, image processing, and computer vision (camera models, feature-based image matching, stereo vision, object tracking). Greatly preferred is experience establishing regional- to global-scale control networks or reference frames; using or developing components of digital photogrammetric workstations and digital cartographic software packages, with one or more computer programming or scripting languages (preferably C, C++, Python or Perl); and with project management.

For position details and to apply online, visit USAJOBS at

  • In the ‘What: (keywords)’ box, enter 1372
  • In the ‘Where: (city, state or zip code)’ box, enter Flagstaff
  • Click on Search Jobs
  • To locate merit promotion advertisements, click on “All jobs, public and status” under Current Search to see all four advertisements.
  • View advertisement
  • Follow instructions under “How to apply”

For questions, call 916-278-9399, or email To learn more about Astrogeology, visit To learn more about Flagstaff, visit The USGS is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

New Mercury Mosaic Available

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This mosaic represents the best geodetic map of Mercury's surface to date. In combining MDIS (Mercury Dual Imaging System) images collected from three MESSENGER flyby's with those from Mariner 10 data from the 1970s, we now have a global mosaic of Mercury covering ~97.72% of the planet's surface.

More information with full resolution images.

Spirit Photographs Her Underbelly, SOL 1925

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


This panorama of images from the Spirit rover, taken on Sol 1925 (June 2, 2009), is helping engineers assess the rover's current state and plan her extraction from the soft soil in the region now called "Troy." The images were taken by Spirit's Microscopic Imager (MI) instrument, mounted on the end of her robotic arm. The MI science investigation is led by Ken Herkenhoff of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff.

This is the first time the MI has been used to assist in planning a rover's escape from an embedding event. The MI isn't intended to take these types of images--it is designed to focus on targets only 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) in front of its optics. As a result, the images in this mosaic are well out of focus. Yet despite the focus and the backlighting of the scene, Joel Hagen (Modesto Jr. College) and colleagues at NASA's Ames Research Center in California were able process the images to bring out the details shown here. The mosaic shows the underside of the rover, the depth to which the wheels are embedded and the terrain itself in sufficient detail to assess the rover's state.


More information on the rovers | Official Press Release

Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Candidate Landing Sites Released

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The USGS and Arizona State University have released THEMIS-derived daytime infrared (IR), nighttime IR, visible, and thermal inertia mosaics of the MSL candidate landing sites, and all mosaics are available for download in ISIS, PNG, and Geo-TIFF formats. The objective of this work is to improve our understanding of the physical characteristics of the surface at the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) candidate landing sites and to aid in the selection of a final landing location. This objective is addressed by using these mosaics to interpret the surface characteristics of these sites and identify potential hazards for lander safety and trafficability. These mosaics are generated in collaboration with Arizona State University (Philip R. Christensen), and their development is funded by the Critical Data Products program through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Where Did Water Flow on Mars?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Modeling Mars' surface in search of ancient rivers and oceans

Was there ever life on Mars? Many would like to believe that we used to have relatives who lived nearby. The likelihood that life existed on Mars is higher than for any other planet in the solar system. Because all known forms of life require water, the evidence that water once flowed on Mars is essential to prove that life existed there. Conversely, the possibility of life cannot definitely be rejected unless it is conclusively demonstrated that there was never water in a liquid form on Mars.


New Lunar Orbiter Mosaic

Friday, April 11, 2008

A digital cartographic Lunar Orbiter global mosaic A digital cartographic Lunar Orbiter global mosaic is now available on Map a Planet. This mosaic was constructed using lunar data acquired by Lunar Orbiters III, IV, and V.

Update: Mars Rovers Braving Severe Dust Storms

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Artist's Concept of Rover on Mars
Artist's Concept of Rover on Mars (credit: Maas Digital LLC)

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity sent signals Monday morning, July 23, indicating its power situation improved slightly during the days when it obeyed commands to refrain from communicating with Earth in order to conserve power.

Dust storms on Mars in recent weeks have darkened skies over both Opportunity and its twin, Spirit. Last week Opportunity was commanded to go into a very low-power state and to communicate only once every three days. Next scheduled transmission will be Thursday, July 26, though controllers may command Opportunity to send information on Tuesday, July 24. "The outlook for both Opportunity and Spirit depends on the weather, which makes it unpredictable, " said JPL's John Callas, project manager for both rovers. "If the weather holds where it is now or gets better, the rovers will be OK. If it gets worse, the situation becomes more complex ".

Read the Full Story from NASA.

HiRISE images produced by Cartrite using Isis

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Check out Cartrite's HiRISE Mosaic Images he produced using the Isis3 software package.

Izabel Fire

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

izabel fire
Photo by Dave Anning

A five-acre wildfire on the east-facing slope of McMillian Mesa Friday afternoon appears to have been caused by youngsters playing with fireworks. The first of the fire's two alarms was called in at 2:14 pm, and by 3:45 p.m., firefighters had established a perimeter around the fire with the help of four slurry drops, holding the blaze to about five acres, said Jim Wheeler, assistant fire chief for the Flagstaff Fire Department. Luckily no structures were damaged.

Dave Anning captured some of the action from the USGS campus in this photo gallery.

More: The Arizona Daily Sun.

Global Warming on Mars

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Presented by: Paul Geissler, Research Geologist, USGS-Astrogeology Team

Date: June 15th, 2007
Time: 12:00 PM
Building: #3 (Powell)
Room: 367
Location: Flagstaff Science Center, 2255 N. Gemini Dr. (Adjacent to Buffalo Park)



HiRISE Releases public PDS data on new Web Site

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

HiRISE Website
New HiRISE Website

HiRISE has just released hundreds of reprocessed images to the Planetary Data System. These are images that have been previously unreleased through their Web site, and are now part of the HiRISE PDS catalog.

The HiRISE Website features a drastic redesign, with some new features to really enhance your browsing experience.