Ecological interactions between Pacific herring and Pacific salmon in Prince William Sound, Alaska

We are recruiting a MS graduate student to join a new project focused on ecological interactions between Pacific herring and pink salmon that may have consequences for recruitment of both populations in Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska. The student will join the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS, Marine Biology program) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF, Dr. Kristen Gorman) and work closely with project investigators at Prince William Sound Science Center (Dr. Pete Rand, and Sitka Sound Science Center (Dr. Ron Heintz,

Project research and graduate student support is funded by an active award from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council to the PIs and includes full tuition/fees, stipend (~$24/hour), and health care support for 2 years. Student funding beyond 2 years will rely on the student to obtain additional support through Teaching Assistantships or Fellowships.

The student project will combine retrospective analysis of historical data, new field and lab data, and modeling to assess the spatial and temporal co-occurrence of both species in PWS – both historically and more recently. We are especially interested in working with a student who has strong quantitative skills including experience working in the R language environment and familiarity with spatio-temporal modeling, i.e., Vector Autoregressive Spatio-Temporal (VAST) package. The student will assist with the field campaign working off research vessels in PWS, Alaska. There may be opportunity to also work with other types of data such as diet analysis – DNA barcoding, bulk and compound-specific stable isotopes.

We anticipate hiring the successful candidate by early spring semester 2023 to join the project as a research assistant and then transition to a graduate student position by summer 2023. This will allow the assistant/student to participate in our initial field campaign taking place during spring/summer 2023. This project will afford the student excellent opportunities to engage with the fisheries and marine science community in Alaska including faculty and students within UAF-CFOS, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, NOAA, USGS, and many other non-government science groups.

Qualifications: BA/BS degree in fisheries and aquatic science, biology and ecology, or environmental studies with some formal coursework in statistics. Experience working in the R language is preferred. Individuals with experience conducting fieldwork off research vessels would be highly competitive.

How to apply:

Interested individuals should submit a 1-2 page letter of interest in the project detailing your past academic and research training and how you are uniquely qualified to contribute to the project goals. Please also submit a CV, unofficial transcripts, and names and contact information for 3 professional references. These materials can be emailed to Dr. Kristen Gorman (

Please use EVOS Graduate Student Application in the subject line of your email. We will review applications over the next two months (through December 2022), the position will be open until filled. The University of Alaska is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: Please feel free to contact any of the project PIs for further information.

Contact Person Dr. Kristen Gorman Contact eMail

Salary Full tuition/fees, stipend (~$24/hour), and health care support for 2 years

Start Date 03/01/2023

Last Date to Apply 12/31/2022

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