Description: The primary focus of the MS thesis work will be to understand relationships between plant and insect communities on grasslands enrolled in federal conservation programs and adjacent non-enrolled lands in central Nebraska. A small greenhouse experiment to examine some aspects of conservation seed mix design will also contribute to the thesis project. The selected candidate will be expected to lead field sampling and related sample processing efforts, as well as final harvesting and sample processing of the greenhouse experiment.

Completion of the project will serve as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Science (MS) degree in Biology at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The MS degree is a two-year degree which encompasses both coursework and research. Other requirements include satisfactory completion of coursework and successful defense of the thesis. Publications of thesis chapters in peer-reviewed scientific papers and presentations of ongoing research at conferences strongly encouraged and supported.

The selected candidate will be hired as a research technician for summer 2023 ($3000/month) with a 9-month Graduate Teaching Assistantship for two academic years (August 1 – May 1). The Graduate Teaching Assistantship provides a stipend ($10,980/academic year) plus a tuition waiver (student fees not included). Students have the option to enroll in health insurance provided by the university.

UNK is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion across campus and to training diverse science and wildlife professionals. Students from traditionally underrepresented groups such as women, minorities, Indigenous peoples, people identifying as LGBTQ+I, veterans, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. If we can make this easier through accommodation in the recruitment process, please contact me.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is responsive to University issues which support a diverse work and academic environment. The University of Nebraska at Kearney does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital stats, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment. This policy is applicable to all University administered programs including educational programs, financial aid, admission policies and employment policies.

UNK is an Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity employer. Veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The University affirms a policy of equal educational and employment opportunities, affirmative action in employment and nondiscrimination in providing services to the public. University employees, students and others associated with the University who have not received the benefits of these policies, are encouraged to contact the Chief Compliance Officer/ADA Coordinator.

Required qualifications:
• BS in biology, ecology, environmental science, rangeland science, natural resources, or related field.
• A valid US driver’s license or the ability to obtain one.
• Highly motivated with a strong work ethic
• Ability and willingness to work long hours (within boundaries)
• Ability and willingness to work independently outdoors in all weather conditions
• Ability and willingness to develop positive working relationships with undergraduate researchers, faculty, and project collaborators.
• Desire to teach undergraduate laboratory courses in biology and work with undergraduate students.

Preferred qualifications:
• Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or greater
• Demonstrated technical communication skills (oral and written).
• Experience with ecological field sampling (plants or insects) and/or experience working in a greenhouse.
• Strong analytical skills.

To apply: Please combine the following into a single PDF file: (1) a no more than 2-page cover letter that describes why you are interested in the position, your relevant experience and qualifications, and your professional goals; (2) a Curriculum Vitae that does not include any personally identifying information (e.g., name, home address, etc.); (3) contact information (i.e., name, affiliation, email, and phone number) of three professional references who can evaluate your academic and/or research qualifications and potential; and (4) undergraduate transcripts (unofficial is okay). Send the PDF file as an attachment to Dr. Jayne Jonas,, by 15 March 2023.

Contact Person Dr. Jayne Jonas Contact eMail

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