2 MS Assistantships in Stream Ecology- South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University, Department of Natural Resource Management
Brookings, SD
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
$20,000 per year plus tuition waiver
Last Date to Apply
South Dakota State University’s Stream Ecology Lab is seeking candidates for two M.S.-level graduate positions to conduct research focused on developing and evaluating management strategies that restore and conserve function of riparian and stream ecosystems in the northern Great Plains. Effects of Riparian Invasion on Stream Food Webs: Student will conduct research on the impact of invasive riparian trees, Russian olive, on aquatic food webs of grassland streams. Russian olive has invaded riparian habitats in the western US leading to the replacement of native cottonwood and willow some river systems. Recalcitrant litter from Russian olive exhibits slow rates of decomposition compared to native vegetation and riparian invasion is likely to alter nutrient cycling and energy pathways in streams with invaded riparian zones. The student will conduct experiments in artificial stream mesocosms and field observations to evaluate the effects of recalcitrant litter from Russian olive on stream productivity and aquatic food webs. Start date for this project will be January or May 2023. Evaluating Beaver Dam Analogs for Grassland Stream Restoration: Student will assess low-cost, low-tech techniques for restoring degraded streams in grasslands of western South Dakota. Beaver Dam Analogs mimic natural impoundments created by beavers and are commonly used to address stream channel incision and erosion. These structures are constructed using natural materials with the goal of decreasing water velocity, widening stream channels, increasing floodplain connectivity, and restoring channel complexity. This student will assess the impact of Beaver Dam Analogs on stream geomorphology, water quality and aquatic organisms (fish and macroinvertebrates). The student will work on a collaborative team with The Nature Conservancy, US Bureau of Land Management, and South Dakota State University. Research will be primarily field-based experiments conducted in remote areas of western South Dakota. Start Date for this project will be August or January of 2023.
Required: Minimum GPA of 3.0, B.S. in Environmental Science, Fisheries, Wildlife, Ecology, or related field (Completed by start date), valid driver’s license. Preferred but not required: Research experience (from job, internship, or undergraduate research) including any of the following - writing, experimental design, data analysis, conference presentations. Energetic, optimistic students that work will with people and independent under challenging conditions are encouraged to apply. BIPOC, LGBTQ+, women, and other underrepresented groups in STEM are encouraged to apply. GRE not required. To Apply: If interested in one or all positions, please submit 1) unofficial transcripts, 2) resume or CV, 3) a cover letter detailing your interest in the position, and 4) a list of three references and their contact information. Please specify in your cover letter if you wish to be considered for one or more positions. Application materials should be combined into a single pdf and submitted to Dr. Cheek (Christopher.Cheek@sdstate.edu). For full consideration, apply by 11/25/2022.
Contact Person
Dr. Christopher Cheek, Assistant Professor
Contact eMail
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