I am recruiting a highly motivated Master’s student to investigate the role of climate and disturbance by black-tailed prairie dogs on wildlife communities and rangeland quality. Black-tailed prairie dogs are a native of the Great Plains, but the ecosystem engineering that makes them so important for associated wildlife often brings them into conflict with livestock. Primary field work will include collection of data on prairie dogs, vegetation, and associated wildlife in Oklahoma and potentially other locations within the Great Plains. This position will begin in the Fall of 2021, with preference for individuals who can participate in some field work as a technician for a portion of summer 2021.
This position will be based in Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Oklahoma State University. Oklahoma State University is located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on the ancestral lands of the Kickapoo, Osage, Kiowa, and Quapaw peoples. The student will work on projects at the interface between wildlife and rangeland ecology, with a focus on the role of prairie dogs in shaping wildlife communities and rangeland qualities across the Great Plains.
The Rangeland Biodiversity lab is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. I encourage all who are interested to apply – by some estimates 50% of the world’s terrestrial environments are rangelands, which are occupied and managed by individuals with tremendously diverse backgrounds. My lab is committed to training students to tackle the management issues that arise in rangelands worldwide, and those solutions require people with different backgrounds, interests, and insights.
To apply, please contact Dr. Courtney Duchardt via email (Courtney.firstname.lastname@example.org), including a one-page cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references. Please use the subject line "Range wildlife MS". Please also indicate in your cover letter whether you would have interest/availability to participate in some field work summer 2021 prior to starting at OK State in the Fall.
Review of applications will begin in late March, with interviews beginning in mid-April.
Applicants should have a B.S. in biology, wildlife ecology or conservation, rangeland science, natural resource management, or a related field. Applicants should have a GPA of 3.0 or greater and have taken the GRE, as required by the Department and the Graduate College. Preferred applicants will have experience conducting field research and be comfortable working in remote locations in challenging (but fun!) field conditions, and have a passion for finding solutions to real-world natural resource management problems. Oklahoma State University requires background checks for all newly hired graduate assistants, and they will be conducted prior to employment (i.e., post-offer and pre-employment).