Master’s Assistantship: Applied Forest Ecology in the Northeastern US: State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science & Forestry (ESF):

A motivated master’s student is needed to conduct applied forest & fire ecology research at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry (SUNY ESF).

BACKGROUND: In the northeast – the most forested, populated, & fastest-warming region of the contiguous United States – threats to forest ecosystem services are numerous & diverse. The Applied Forest & Fire Ecology Lab (AFFEL) at SUNY ESF seeks to address these threats by: 1) understanding how disturbance affects forest structure, composition, distribution, & function, 2) integrating this knowledge into the design of modern forest management strategies, tactics, & tools, & 3) testing efficacy through application.

In general, AFFEL explores the hypothesis that disturbance is the key to forest resilience. Students can pursue any research idea within this broad theme. AFFEL possesses data and/or field-experiment capacity related to mechanical/fire control of American beech, pyric herbivory in White-tailed deer, hardwood survival & dispersal in pine plantations, fertilization effects across site qualities, expanding corridor-cut silviculture, plant-soil(-fire) feedback & forest regeneration, the oak-fire hypothesis, & more. The student(s) will also assist in developing a lab facility dedicated to exploring fire ecology in the Eastern US.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: This position is for a Master’s candidate(s) in the Forest Resources Management program of SUNY ESF. A full tuition waiver & monthly stipend for 2-year teaching assistantship is included. Advising will be provided by Dr. Andrew L. Vander Yacht & other world-renown faculty from SUNY ESF. The work will occur in close association with strategic partners like the United States Forest Service, NY Department of Environmental Conservation, NY Watershed Agricultural Council, or Cornell Cooperative Extension.

SUNY ESF: Located in Syracuse NY, ESF is among the oldest (est. 1911) & most prestigious forestry schools in the US. ESF manages 4 field facilities on >25,000 acres that provide excellent opportunities for research. ESF students enjoy the benefits of a small institution but also access the resources of larger & adjacent Syracuse University. The Sierra Club listed ESF among the nation’s top “Cool Schools” & The Princeton Review ranked ESF as the #2 Green College.

QUALIFICATIONS: Students with related interests, fieldwork/lab/greenhouse experience, data analysis skills, effective communication abilities, & an undergraduate degree in forestry, ecology, or related field are encouraged to apply. Skills in fire management, tree id, silvicultural operations, forest mensuration, geographic information systems, & modeling in R preferred.

TO APPLY: To begin the process, please email a CV, statement of interest, & contact information for 3 references to Dr. Vander Yacht ( Please also consult the Department website ( for application details. The desired start date is May of 2022, but later or earlier dates are possible. Review of applications will begin on January 1, 2023. The position will remain open until filled. Email Dr. Vander Yacht with questions.

Contact Person Dr. Andrew L. Vander Yacht, Contact Phone 315-470-6568 Contact eMail

Salary TBD

Start Date 05/15/2023

Last Date to Apply 01/30/2023

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