We are currently seeking applicants for a M.S. assistantship (3 years, fully funded) available in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia to study black vulture (Coragyps atratus) spatial ecology. Students from under-represented groups in wildlife fields are strongly encouraged to apply!
Black vultures are one of two species of New World vultures found in the eastern United States. While previously endemic to the southeastern US, black vulture populations have expanded their range over the last several decades. As populations have increased in population size and distribution, there has been a concomitant increase in reports of property damage and livestock depredations. To help identify potential vulture-livestock conflict areas across the southeastern United States, we are recruiting a M.S. student with a strong interest in applied spatial ecology and GPS data analysis. The selected student will work with agency and university partners to: 1) quantify spatial and temporal changes in resource selection of vultures using GPS data collected from multiple study areas, and 2) evaluate the spatial and temporal effects of USDA Wildlife Services mitigation actions on vulture-livestock depredations.
AS CURRENTLY DESIGNED, THIS PROJECT DOES NOT HAVE DEDICATED FIELD WORK. We will attempt to provide opportunities for the student to participate in vulture handling with collaborators if opportunities arise. Additional field work responsibilities may develop if funding acquisition is successful.
The successful applicant will receive a $21,800 per year stipend (12-month) and tuition waiver for up to 3 years. In addition, the student will receive either direct bill payments or a stipend supplement to cover at least 75% of the student portion of university fees and health insurance. The student will be required to serve as a T.A. for one semester during both years 1 and 2. The student will be co-advised by Drs. Michel Kohl and Clark Rushing at the University of Georgia, while working closely with other collaborators at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center and at the Savannah River Site.
• B.S. degree in wildlife biology, management, ecology, applied statistics, mathematics or related disciplines and an undergraduate GPA >3.0. GRE scores are not required for Fall 2021 admission but may be provided if available.
• A strong interest and experience in quantitative techniques and spatial ecology is highly desirable.
• Demonstrated experience working with large datasets, including GPS, is preferred.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
• Experience in R, GIS, and Microsoft Access is strongly recommended.
Interested applicants should submit the following documents as a single PDF to Dr. Michel Kohl (firstname.lastname@example.org ) by the May 10th deadline. INCLUDE: “VULTURE MS POSITION” in email subject line.
• 1.5-page maximum cover letter summarizing your interest in the position, qualifications, and experience, as well as research and career aspirations.
• Curriculum Vitae
• An applicant-led writing sample (e.g., senior thesis, class project, publication)
• Unofficial academic transcripts
• Names and contact information for three professional references.
Final candidates will be contacted for interviews in mid-May with candidate selection occurring by end of May.