Signup date: 10 May 2006 at 2:16pm
Last login: 12 Mar 2010 at 5:13pm
Post count: 2932
I didn't have much experience of these techniques before my PhD (I was a biologist) but my thesis, which is just about done, is based on them. It was tough, my first year was a steep learning curve, and it depends on your prospective institution (there weren't many people I could go to in my department, but I had some outside contacts and help). So I had to pretty much teach myself, and am now a point of contact myself for a lot of other people in the department!
My only advice is don't be too ambituous - I had to drop the numerical modelling element of my project because learning both was just too much. By all means put it in the proposal, but you will have to prioritise. The terrestrial laser scanner stuff I think is something especially good to focus on, and pretty underused in Academia so far.
Most importantly, remember that a PhD is as much about learning research skills for future jobs, not make life-defining discoveries.
Drop me a PM if I can be of any more help.
Oh, and google 'Erdas tutorials' and the same for ArcView etc.
On a purely job basis, then the prospects for archaeology aren't great, though dependent on area to a certain extent. On the PhD front, a masters will be good because it should have a dissertation element, which since you missed on your undergrad degree will give you an idea of whats its like to do a PhD. Newcastle has a great tropical coastal unit, though it might be more ecology based, rather than geomorphology. I think most of the coastal stuff at Newcastle is geared towards engineering, but I might be wrong.
Hydrology has traditionally been pretty maths-led, and I suppose you need a grounding in that for the management side. Get a copy of Ward and Robinson - principles of hydrology. They explain the technical stuff pretty well.
I'm starting a post-doc in a few weeks that is looking at a completely different coastal ecosystem. However, they (I think!) were most interested in the techniques and skills I'd picked up during my PhD. And with the good research grounding you now have, it'll be easy to get up to speed (I hope!). Go for it!
What ever time scale you decide, add 3 months. I'm in year 3.5 and wrote up as I went a long (in the sciences). You'll need this time for the revisions your supervisor asks you to do, then the changes to the revisions they asked you to do, apart from the fact that when we write something it is the only thing on our mind, but when a supervisor reads it there's a time lag, because we are just one of 100 things on their mind.
My advice is to keep trying - I'd sent absolutely loads of applications out for months, and then had three interviews in one week. Also, don't be too over-ambituous - I have loads of undergrad and postgrad teaching experience, and was applying for lectureship positions that said they would accept applications from those nearing completion of a PhD, which gave me some hope, but they would still prefer someone with further post-doc and teaching experience. Good luck though - these things have a way of working themselvs out!
I think my point was to focus on the supervisor and the project, and not be swayed by prejudices (which exist on both sides), which normally turn out to be wrong anyway. There are plenty of idiots in non-prestigious places as there are in prestigious places, and plenty of nice people in prestigious places as there are in non-prestigious places. And vice versa.
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