The USGS Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (https://www1.usgs.gov/coopunits/unit/Alabama), in collaboration with the Geospatial Analytics Lab (https://geospatial.auburn.edu/) has an opening for a fully funded MS graduate research assistantship in the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment at Auburn University. This position will be co-supervised by Dr. Jonathon Valente (https://www.jonathonvalente.com/) and Dr. Lana Narine. Using remote sensing and in-situ vegetation surveys, the graduate assistant will examine how vegetation and landcover has changed on and around state-owned Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) across Alabama as a function of historical management. This project will entail the integration of ground-based measurements with data derived from multiple remote sensing platforms using statistical and machine learning techniques for spatially explicit characterizations of vegetation attributes. This research is being conducted as part of a larger effort to understand the impacts of historical management activities on biodiversity of local wildlife and to inform future approaches to habitat management on state lands. As part of this interdisciplinary collaboration, the student will be mentored in remote sensing, field-based vegetation survey techniques, and wildlife habitat management and the student will have the opportunity to collaborate with a large team comprised of AU faculty and graduate students, and biologists from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. In addition, this project will involve field-based sampling in 6 ecoregions (Interior Low Plateau, Southwestern Appalachians, Ridge and Valey, Piedmont, Southeastern Plains, and Southern Coastal Plain) throughout Alabama, the most biodiverse U.S. state east of the Mississippi River.
The position begins fall semester of 2023 (August 16th). Prospective candidates should be highly motivated, interested in developing field- and computer-based skills, and have a strong background in one or more of the following areas: GIS, remote sensing, forestry, ecology, botany, or habitat management.
• Bachelor’s degree in Forestry, Ecology, or closely related field
• Strong communication skills in oral and written English and ability to work independently and as part of an interdisciplinary team.
• Strong background in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and/or experience with remote sensing
• Self-motivation, a positive attitude, and strong interpersonal skills
• Demonstrated history of presenting and publishing peer-reviewed research
• Experience working with government agencies
• Experience with vegetation sampling, scientific writing, and data analysis
Salary: $24,000 per year, plus tuition remission and benefits
How to Apply:
Interested individuals should contact Dr. Jonathon Valente ([email protected]) and Dr. Lana Narine at [email protected] with any questions. To apply, please state “MS Assistantship Position” in the email subject line and include a single PDF document with the following: (i) CV, (ii) statement of interest/personal statement, (iii) GRE and/or TOFEL scores (if available), (iv) unofficial transcripts and (v) names and emails of three references. Applications are due by April 16th, but we encourage you to apply as soon as possible because applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis. More information about our graduate program can be found here: https://cfwe.auburn.edu/graduate-study/graduate-degrees/