Ansøgningsfrist: 07/12/2020

Mapping and predicting human and environmental impacts on cultural heritage in Greenland under current and future climatic conditions

The Postdoc position is offered in connection with the joint Danish National Museum and Greenland National Museum & Archive’s research initiative “Activating Arctic Heritage” (AAH) supported by the Carlsberg Foundation. The position is part of the work package “The loss of cultural heritage” that focuses on understanding, mapping and predicting natural and human induced impacts on archaeological sites within Greenland’s UNESCO properties Kujataa (South Greenland) and Aasivissuit-Nipisat (West Greenland).

Job description

Preservation of archaeological sites and artefacts in Greenland are under pressure from a rapidly shifting climate, which also make them highly vulnerable to further influence from contemporary human activity. Rising air temperatures, permafrost thaw and fluctuations in precipitation are just some of the changes causing physical and chemical damage to archaeological sites and materials. These impacts in combination with increased visitor flows, sheep farming, plowing and drainage from farming activities constitute a great challenge for the long-term preservation of these cultural resources.

In the work package a range of different methods will be applied to elucidate the coupling between climate change, human activity and land use, on the one hand, and site stability and artefact degradation on the other. The work package has a strong focus on site investigations, remote sensing and computer modelling. The overall aim is to provide the fundamental knowledge and methods required to detect, monitor and quantify destructive threats to archaeological sites and artefacts within Greenland’s UNESCO properties.

The Postdoc candidate will be responsible for UAV investigations, remote sensing and the development of suitable methods for identifying threats to archaeological sites (e.g. erosion, soil moisture, visitor foot paths, vegetation change). The candidate is expected to produce GIS based risk assessments for the UNESCO properties under current and future climatic conditions. The Postdoc position includes fieldwork in Greenland, and the candidate must contribute to practical work and logistics involved in this fieldwork.


The candidate should have a background in physical geography, landscape and/or environmental archaeology or similar and must hold a PhD related to these subject areas. The candidate must have significant and documented experience with Remote sensing techniques, GIS modelling and environmental sciences. The candidate should have a structured and analytical working approach and have experience with ArcGIS pro, satellite imagery such as Sentinel-2, MODIS products and climate reanalysis data. Furthermore, experience with UAV investigations and field work is a prerequisite and the candidate is expected to have a track record of working in collaborative projects. The candidate must have good communication skills in English and be willing to share knowledge and expertise with other members of the research group and contribute to the writing of academic papers.

Terms of salary and employment

The working hours are 37 hours a week. Salary, pension, and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and The Academics Central Organization in Denmark and Circular concerning the job structure for academic staff with research responsibilities in archives, libraries, museums etc. under the Danish Ministry of Culture.

The appointment is for 2 years, starting on the 1st March 2021 or shortly thereafter.

The place of work is at the Danish National Museum’s Section for Environmental Archaeology and Materials Science in Brede, Kgs. Lyngby, north of Copenhagen.

The job will involve travel activity (approx. 4-6 weeks each year) in connection with fieldwork in Greenland.

Application procedure

The National Museum is actively working to promote equality among employees and encourages all qualified, regardless of personal background, to apply for the position.

The application is to be submitted in English and must include the following:

  • Letter with motivation for the application (max. one page)
  • Curriculum vitae, incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • List of publications (mark the publications sent in for evaluation)
  • Copies of up to 3 publications to be considered in the assessment. Full copies must be sent by post or uploaded as pdf via the electronic recruitment system. Links to publications are not accepted
  • Copies of university exams, Master of Science and PhD certificates
  • Transcript of university exams into English, if not written in English, Danish, Norwegian or Swedish

If a publication to be considered in the evaluation has more than one author, or is the result of a collective effort, it must be clearly specified which part of the publication the applicant is responsible for. In the absence of a specification, the Assessment Committee will disregard that publication(s).

Applications must be sent via the electronic recruitment system on our website and must be uploaded by 7th December 2020.

Any publications to be included in the assessment must be received by the National Museum on 7th December 2020. Publications can either be uploaded to the recruitment system or sent to Nationalmuseet, Frederiksholms Kanal 12, 1220 København K, Denmark, marking the envelope ‘Personale’. Publications sent to the Museum must be submitted in 3 copies. Only books or similar will be returned.

The National Museum will set up an (internal) expert Assessment Committee to evaluate the applications. Qualified applicants will be invited for interviews in a panel set up by the National Museum.

For further information regarding the position, please contact Senior researcher Jørgen Hollesen phone +45 41206482, or Research Professor Bjarne Grønnow, phone: +45 41206220,


Nationalmuseet er Danmarks kulturhistoriske hovedmuseum og et statsmuseum under Kulturministeriet. Nationalmuseet styrker historiebevidsthed og medborgerskab ved at belyse Danmarks og verdens kulturer og deres indbyrdes afhængighed. Ca. 655 medarbejdere er fordelt på 4 afdelinger: Forskning, Samling og Bevaring, Museer og Slotte, Nationalmuseet København samt Drift og Administration. Se mere om Nationalmuseet på

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