MS Graduate Research Assistant – Delaware

Delaware State University
Dover, Delaware
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
$20,000/yr, + tuition waiver (out-of-state tuition available the first year after which student must qualify for in-state tuition)
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Self-motivated graduate research assistant needed immediately to conduct a study focusing on the distribution and abundance of seabirds during winter (Nov – March) in the Delaware Bay and adjacent nearshore ocean waters. The focal species may vary but likely will focus on Red-throated Loons. The incumbent will be expected to assist in the study design and implementation of the project and will be required to work independently. Focus on bycatch issues and/or the possible effect of a proposed nearshore wind turbine field may be a major focus of the research. The student must be able to start Spring Semester 2018 in Dover, Delaware. The student will also be required to assist in a study of songbird breeding behavior at a long-term study site in Delaware (May through July). At some point, the student will be required to undertake a 3 month internship at a NOAA research lab, possibly during the summer months. Ability to work independently is essential which may include working alongside fishery crews perhaps, at times, in unsettled ocean/bay waters. Therefore the ability to conduct research on small boats in choppy water for long periods of time without becoming seasick is essential. Although a university vehicle is available, the student’s personal vehicle may be needed at times to commute daily to the Newark, Delaware, field site from Dover in May, June, and July, and to southern Delaware for seabird research in winter months.
(1) B.S. degree in wildlife ecology, ornithology, marine science, or a related field with excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ability to communicate in Spanish is not required but is a plus and should be addressed in the cover letter. (2) Applicant must have extensive field research experience and must be willing to work in a variety of adverse conditions including heat, humidity, thorny vegetation, ticks, wind, rain, cold winter weather and possible rough seas. (3) The applicant’s field experience should include extensive bird identification skills preferably including seabird identification from a distance. Successful songbird nest searching, mist-netting, and banding experience is not required but is also desirable. (4) Applicant must have the ability to work well both as a team member and independently and should be in good physical condition with the ability to discern passerine color leg bands in poor environmental conditions. (5) Experience with GPS units, geographic information systems and remote sensing software are highly desirable and skill level in this area should be specifically mentioned in the cover letter. (6) Former field study design experience is also desirable. Experience operating small watercraft may also be beneficial for this project (but not required). Applicants should have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0. THIS POSITION IS ONLY OPEN TO U.S. CITIZENS and candidates from under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. To apply send an e-mail with a single attachment in pdf format to the e-mail address below as soon as possible (one file with all documents) but not later than 31 October. Include a cover letter, CV, undergraduate transcript (un-official copy okay), and a two-page statement expressing your (1) primary interests in avian ecology/management/conservation, and (2) your professional experience in relation to the specific tasks mentioned under Qualifications. An official Delaware State University application will be required at a later date.
Contact Person
Christopher M Heckscher
Contact eMail
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