Georg Pointner

Email: pointner(at)

PhD topic: Synthetic Aperture Radar determination of spatial and temporal dependencies of lake properties in permafrost regions

Georg Pointner received his Bachelor’s degree in Geodesy and Geoinformatics in 2014 and his Master’s degree in Geodesy and Geoinformation in 2017, both from Technical University of Vienna. During his Master’s studies, he worked at the Austrian Meteorological Institute (ZAMG) and the Technical University of Vienna as a project assistant.

During his past research, his interests manifested on remote sensing of Northern Permafrost regions with focus on applications of space-borne active microwave sensor observations, such as Scatterometer and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. For his Master thesis, he assessed circum-arctic distributions of the areal extent of ground-fast lake ice (lake ice that is frozen to the lake bottom) based on ASAR Wide Swath data and presented new methods for mapping ground-fast lake ice from Sentinel-1 data. Lakes are ubiquitous features of the Arctic tundra and monitoring them is crucial for the understanding of sub-lake permafrost dynamics or lake greenhouse gas emissions.

Currently, he is employed in the EU Horizon 2020 research project “Nunataryuk”, that aims to assess the impacts of thawing coastal permafrost in the Arctic. He is also a member of the Austrian Polar Research Institute.

Since May 2018, Georg has been an associate student to the DK. For his PhD thesis, he continues his research on Arctic lakes using SAR data, with an emphasis on automatic classification of lake properties and assessing their spatio-temporal dynamics.  Therein, he works on incorporating some of the methods the DK is specialized in, like OBIA and machine learning.