The School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) at the University of Michigan is seeking applications from qualified, motivated, prospective PhD students to work on dissertation research related to the SLUCE II project (Spatial Land Use Change and Ecological Effects.) This is a collaborative, interdisciplinary research project involving six faculty members in the area of coupled human-natural systems. The project links agent-based modeling of human behaviors driving land use / land cover change (LULCC), preferences for vegetation cover and vegetation management, land market modeling, field work, remote sensing, and ecosystem modeling of landscape carbon balance in low-density human-dominated landscapes (suburban and exurban residential landscapes). The project uses 13 townships in southeastern Michigan as a model system and seeks to explore thresholds in land use / land cover change and landscape carbon balance that could potentially be altered with policy levers. Two new PhD student positions are available, one working with Prof. Dan Brown and the other with Assoc. Prof. Bill Currie. Both students will work in the broad areas of geographic information science, land use / land cover change, coupled human-natural systems, modeling, and landscape carbon balance. The student working closely with Dr. Brown will focus more directly on understanding and modeling patterns and drivers of LULCC, especially with agent-based modeling, while the student working closely with Dr. Currie will focus more directly on measuring and modeling vegetation management and landscape carbon balance.
For more information about this research see http://www.cscs.umich.edu/research/projects/sluce/, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~danbrown/, and http://www-personal.umich.edu/~wcurrie/. If you are interested, contact Dr. Brown or Dr. Currie via email with a letter of interest, describing your research interests and how they fit with our overall scholarly themes.
SNRE has a fully funded PhD program, so the School can guarantee a mixture of financial support through research assistantships, fellowships, and teaching assistantships. This is a highly competitive program, accepting about 6 to 8 new PhD students per year across the entire School. Normally, students do not enter this program without having first completed a Masters degree, although there are exceptions. Students must apply by January 5 to be considered for admission in fall 2009; see for more information http://www.snre.umich.edu/prospective_students/apply_now.