Motivated and hardworking Ph.D. student needed to study the human dimensions of wildlife recreation and conservation. The Ph.D. student will conduct focus groups and survey research to better understand thoughts and behaviors of wildlife viewers in Virginia and how they compare to hunters and anglers. Then, the student will help develop a Wildlife Recreation Plan focused on the broad spectrum of wildlife viewers (casual wildlife viewers, backyard feeder-watchers, avid birdwatchers, citizen scientists, wildlife photographers, butterfly and herp enthusiasts, and those who participate in both wildlife viewing and consumptive wildlife recreation). The Plan will be developed by engaging a Stakeholder Advisory Committee of representatives from stakeholder groups that represent this spectrum and those who work with them (e.g., bird feeding industry, wildlife tourism industry) and a Technical Advisory Committee of Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries personnel and other technical experts.
Student will receive her/his PhD in Fish and Wildlife Conservation and be part of the Dayer Human Dimensions Lab (http://www.fishwild.vt.edu/faculty/dayer/index.htm). Student will also be encouraged to apply to the interdisciplinary graduate education program Interfaces of Global Change (http://www.globalchange.vt.edu/igc/) which offers unique intellectual focus and training in the realm of global change and the science-policy interface.
MS degree in human dimensions, fisheries, wildlife, natural resources, or related discipline with coursework in social sciences
GPA of 3.5 or higher (over the last 60 credit hours)
GRE scores at or above 160 in verbal and quantitative areas
Demonstrated research experience (data collection, analysis, and writing)
Background in policy, management, or conservation
Demonstrated experience working directly with stakeholders, public interest groups, etc.
Interest in social science research
Commitment to working at the science-policy interface
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Experience developing survey research instruments and facilitating meetings and/or focus groups
Knowledge of wildlife viewers and/or wildlife recreationists
Experience applying social science theory to conservation research questions
Experience publishing scientific research
Advanced quantitative skills including analysis in SPSS or R
Submit a single pdf including:
1) cover letter summarizing interest in the position, qualifications, and experience, as well as research and career goals
2) Curriculum Vitae
3) academic transcripts (can be unofficial)
4) GRE scores (can be unofficial)
5) Names, contact information, and short description of relationship for three professional references
Submit via email to Dr. Dayer. Please put “Wildlife recreation HD application” in the email subject line. Selected applicant will also need to apply to the Virginia Tech Graduate School before acceptance.