We seek an M.S. student to join a team of academic and agency cooperators to assess Gulf Sturgeon population status, trends, and critical habitat needs in rivers and adjacent estuarine habitats across the northern Gulf of Mexico. A major purpose of this research is to provide scientific information for Gulf Sturgeon recovery efforts. Working with USFWS, NOAA, and state and academic cooperators, the successful applicant will have the opportunity to address these goals in one or more ways, such as:
• Work as part of a team using capture-recapture, stock assessment, and population dynamics models to evaluate Gulf Sturgeon stock status and predict future population trends
• Develop common metrics for monitoring Gulf Sturgeon populations across multiple river systems throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico
• Assess Gulf Sturgeon home range, habitat utilization, and landscape-level population threats such as changing climate, precipitation patterns, and land use
This project is ideal for students interested in working closely with natural resource agencies to develop approaches to inform management decisions related to species recovery. The successful applicant will be hired to work with cooperators to monitor Gulf Sturgeon populations in Summer 2021, followed by an M.S. program at the University of Florida and Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, starting in Fall 2021.
Project PIs include Andrew Carlson https://www1.usgs.gov/coopunits/staff/2292559 https://andrewcarlson422.wixsite.com/ site and Bill Pine http://www.wec.ufl.edu/faculty/pineb/
Information about recent Gulf Sturgeon research efforts by cooperators is available here: https://tinyurl.com/yccplbuz
To apply: Please assemble a SINGLE PDF that includes: (1) a cover letter describing your fisheries experience and interest in studying Gulf Sturgeon, how your skills and interests can contribute to the project, and how this project will help you achieve career goals, (2) CV, (3) unofficial transcripts, (4) GRE score sheet, if available, (5) names and contact information for three professional references, and (6) any other information to demonstrate skills and interests (e.g., technical reports, published papers, example code). Please email questions and completed applications to Andrew Carlson (firstname.lastname@example.org) with “Sturgeon Graduate Application” as the subject line. Review of applications will begin in April; preference to hire for Summer 2021 field season.
Qualifications: B.S. in fisheries, wildlife ecology, marine biology, geography, biology, ecology, math, statistics, or related science fields. A strong work ethic and academic record, good verbal and written communication skills, ability to work independently and in teams, and ability to work outdoors to collect fisheries data. Experience in sampling fish, operating boats, managing and analyzing fisheries data, and writing reports/publications is desirable. The successful applicant will be expected to work closely with a team of graduate students, fisheries biologists, and other academic and agency collaborators; present results at professional conferences; and work with advisors and collaborators to publish results in peer-reviewed scientific outlets. A competitive graduate stipend, tuition waiver, and benefits will be provided. Depending on student interests and final funding arrangements, degree programs are available in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, and Interdisciplinary Ecology.