PostDoc Researcher: DPAA and the University of Delaware

The University of Delaware (UD) School of Marine Science and Policy invites applications specializing in remotely sensed underwater spatial data analysis for a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) Research Partner Fellowship. The Fellow will conduct research projects that assist the DPAA mission to provide the fullest possible accounting for the nation’s missing personnel from past conflicts.

The DPAA will provide project oversight, policies, procedures, and templates for all research projects. The priorities of these projects will be determined by the DPAA. Regular updates will be provided back to the DPAA, with occasional updates to other relevant parties.

The Fellow’s projects will include, but not be limited to, post-mission data processing and large-scale GIS projects. This will involve analyzing archival and previously collected field data (side scan sonar, multibeam, camera, magnetometer, and other sources) from Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs), as well as towed and vessel-mounted instruments, using processing software and other GIS applications to identify possible MIA-associated aircraft wreckage and other targets.

Major Responsibilities:

The Fellow will identify, analyze and process information on MIA-associated sites via multiple sources (examples follow).
• Leads and data sources identified by DPAA and assigned to the Postdoc for further development.
• Leads and data sources cultivated by the Fellow through personal, professional, and institutional networks of historians, curators, genealogists, veterans organizations, and surviving family members. These efforts will be facilitated by other researchers at UD and partner organizations.
• Leads and data sources identified by other researchers contributing to the larger project.
• Internal data sources previously collected by UD.

The Fellow will catalog and store all data and other material collected, or produced, by the partnership on an institution-owed computer, backed up with a secure cloud-based account, or hard drive. The Fellow will follow DPAA guidance on naming conventions, database fields, and best practices in order to ensure that research procedures and protocols conform to those used by the DPAA, and the Department of Defense (DOD) generally.

The Fellow will report directly to the DPAA under the supervision of Dr. Mark Moline, who will serve as the project liaison to both the University and DPAA. The Fellow will not have any mandatory teaching or grading responsibilities but will be encouraged to teach one course per year related to job responsibilities. The Fellow will engage with external entities and outreach activities as approved by the DPAA.


Candidates must have a Ph.D. in underwater archelogy, geography, history, oceanography, or a closely related field, with demonstrated strengths in analysis of sonar data, geographic information systems, and/or database management.

Experience with ArcGIS required. Experience with Sonarwiz, Hypack, and ArcGIS Python scripting preferred.

Additional Information:
The position will be located at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus of the University of Delaware in Lewes, Delaware. The initial appointment will be for one year, with continuation pending performance and funding for up to a total of four years. Please contact Dr. Mark Moline ( for additional information.

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