3 Three MSc/PhD Graduate Assistantships in Forest/Plant Ecology in The United States [Salary: $25,000/yr + tuition waiver and health benefits]:
1 – Ph.D. Assistantship – Ecology and Management of Early Successional Plant Communities for Wildlife at Auburn UniversitySalary: $25,000/yr + tuition waiver and health benefits Last Date to Apply: 07/28/2023
Description: I am seeking applicants for a fully funded Ph.D. research assistantship available in the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment at Auburn University to study the ecology and management of early successional plant communities for wildlife. Early successional plant communities such as grasslands, savannas, barrens, and shrublands represent a combined 80% of ecosystems that have declined by >98% in eastern North America.
A diversity of taxa, including both game and non-game species, are dependent on these plant communities and have declined alongside them. Although prescribed fire is often the preferred disturbance mechanism for creating and maintaining early successional plant communities, there are several barriers that prevent areas from being burned.
Thus, the overarching goal of this research is to explore alternative means of approximating beneficial fire effects on ecosystems. Specifically, we will use a well-replicated, manipulative experiment to evaluate plant community responses to prescribed fire, soil disturbance, and selective herbicides. This study will be implemented at an operational scale, which should also allow documentation of wildlife use and selection for various treatments.
The results from this study will be highly impactful, and likely implemented by public and private land managers, utility companies, and timber companies to benefit wildlife. Because a diverse array of wildlife use early successional plant communities, there is some flexibility for the successful applicant to tailor the project to their interests. At a minimum, the student will be expected to assist in treatment implementation and data collection to estimate habitat suitability of each treatment for select game (e.g., wild turkey, white-tailed deer, northern bobwhite) and non-game (e.g., Bachman’s sparrow, prairie warbler, pollinators) species.
The successful applicant will also have the opportunity to interact with a variety of private landowners, biologists, and academics, including Dr. Craig Harper (U. of Tennessee), who will participate in finalizing the experimental design and sampling scheme, and serve on the graduate student’s committee. Field work will be limited to the Southeast, and housing will be provided.
Funding is also available to support a team of research technicians and allow for travel to conferences to present research findings. The student’s stipend ($25,000/yr) will be paid via a research assistantship and tuition will be waived. Ideally the student would enroll in August 2023, but a January start date is possible. If the student defers enrollment until January,
I would prefer that they arrive during the fall semester as an hourly employee to begin preparation for field work in summer 2024. Auburn University, located in east-central Alabama, is an R1 university and the state’s land-grant institution. It is home to >30,000 students and 1,330 faculty members. Auburn is centrally located within the Southeastern U.S., and is 4 hours from the Gulf of Mexico, 1.5 hours from Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and 1.5 hours from the southern Appalachian Mountains.
The College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment is home to approximately 50 faculty and 150 graduate students. Our building was constructed in 2005 and features state of the art technologies, classrooms, and graduate student offices. Additional resources include the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center (120 ac) and Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest (400 ac), both within a few miles of campus. The Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center is a 5,300 ac outdoor classroom managed by the College, and is a 2.5 hour drive from campus.
Qualifications: Qualifications – M.S. in wildlife biology, ecology, or related fields – GRE scores are not required but may be provided if available. – Strong interest in plant ecology, plant/animal interactions, and habitat management – Plant identification skills preferred. – Excellent written and verbal communication skills – Ability to develop high quality peer-reviewed publications – Valid U.S. driver’s license, Contact Person: Dr. Will Gulsby, Contact eMail firstname.lastname@example.org
To apply: Interested applicants should submit the following as a single PDF to Dr. Will Gulsby (email@example.com). Applications will be reviewed as received and I will schedule interviews with qualified candidates on an ongoing basis until an applicant is selected. The last date to apply is July 28, 2023, unless an applicant is selected prior to that date. – 1.5-page maximum cover letter summarizing your interest in the position, qualifications, and experience – Curriculum vitae – Unofficial academic transcripts – Names and contact information for three professional references
2 – MS/PhD position in Forest Social Sciences and Landscape Ecology:
Description We seek a sincere, motivated, and creative individual to apply for an exciting interdisciplinary MS/PhD assistantship in forest social sciences and forest landscape ecology at Washington State University. The successful candidate will work with Drs. Michelle Steen-Adams and Arjan Meddens and lab members to examine data characteristics needs by geospatial data end-users (“stakeholders” – here, resource managers).
The candidate will be a part of a NASA Carbon Monitoring Systems (CMS) project group (including Forest Service personnel) that is developing carbon/biomass, vegetation and wildland fuel parameters across the US West. The candidate will use social science tools (interviews, surveys) to generate information about data needs, barriers to adoption of data resources, and uncertainty quantification.
Funding for a two-year Research Assistantship (RA) is available with additional potential research funding during the MS/PhD. The successful candidate will be based either in Pullman, WA or Vancouver, WA in the School of the Environment at Washington State University, which has excellent collaborative faculty with expertise in the biophysical and social sciences.
Start date: either the Fall 2023 semester (approximately Aug. 15, 2023) or Spring semester (approximately Jan 10, 2024). Compensation package is competitive and depends upon experience.
Requirements: A strong academic background appropriate to this interdisciplinary project and its outcome degree in Environmental and Natural Resources Sciences (e.g., courses in forestry, ecology, geography, sociology, policy studies, environmental history, or other social science). Excellent interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and demonstrated ability to successfully complete self-directed project(s) in a team setting. Preferred qualifications/interests: Participatory research methods (interviews and/or surveys, qualitative analysis). Geospatial data collection and data products. Experience working for a public lands management agency. Interest in teaching.
To apply: If you would like to be considered for the position, please send a letter of interest, a CV, information about 3 references, and (unofficial) transcripts: Drs. Michelle Steen-Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Arjan Meddens (email@example.com ) by July 20, 2023 (if you want to be considered for Fall 2023).
3 – MS Assistantship – Oak Woodland Fire Ecology in Wisconsin:
The College of Natural Resources is seeking applicants for a two-year MS assistantship investigating fire behavior, fire effects, and wildlife forage quality in oak woodland ecosystems in Central Wisconsin. The assistantship begins Fall 2023 (September) and will require two summer field seasons (2024-2025).
The successful candidate will work on an ongoing silvicultural and wildlife research project investigating prescribed fire effects on oak regeneration and wildlife habitat and forage quality. Research will include, fuel loading assessments, in-situ fire behavior monitoring, fire effects on woody competition and oak regeneration, and wildlife forage analysis.
There may be different possibilities for additional research in wildland fire applications using remote sensing and drone-based fire monitoring. The student will be employed under a two-year teaching assistantship with additional summer pay. Non-resident students taking at least 4-credits while on a graduate assistantship qualify for an out-of-state tuition waiver and will only pay WI resident tuition, except for MN residents who pay what the WI-MN reciprocity agreement requires.
Students on graduate assistantships may be eligible for some insurance. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is a small college (~8,000) with strong programs in natural resource management that include ecosystem restoration, forestry, wildlife ecology, and fisheries management. Stevens Point is a small town (pop. 25,700) with reasonable living expenses and a wide range of outdoor activities.
Qualifications: • B.S. degree in forestry, rangeland, wildlife, or related natural resource field with a competitive GPA • Excellent written and verbal communication skills • Strong work ethic and interest in fire management and associated field work • GIS, drone, or remote sensing skills is a plus • NWCG FFT2 training and prescribed fire experience is desirable
To apply, please email with the subject line “Oak Fire MS Assistantship” and include the following documents: 1) One-page cover letter describing your background, interest in the position, and career goals 2) Your resume or CV 3) Unofficial transcripts 4) Contact information for three porfessional references Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable applicant is found or until the closing date, Last Date to Apply: 07/26/2023. Preferred start date is September 1, 2023. Contact Person: Mike Tiller, Contact eMail firstname.lastname@example.org