M.S. Assistantship: Multi-species habitat occupancy and winter tick dynamics in Maine

University of Maine
Orono, Maine
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
graduate assistantship & tuition
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
A Masters position is available through the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology (WFCB) at University of Maine in collaboration with the Penobscot Nation Department of Natural Resources (DNR), starting in the Summer of 2023. We seek a motivated and enthusiastic student to examine questions related to multi-species habitat occupancy and winter tick dynamics of Maine moose. The successful applicant will work as part of a collaborative team composed of faculty and graduate students at the University of Maine, and professionals from the Penobscot Nation (DNR). The student would be considering questions of wildlife-habitat relationships with regard to multi-species occupancy and winter tick dynamics on tribal lands in Maine. This project would be a mix of field data collection and habitat modeling. This project would build on previous data collected by Penobscot Nation (DNR) from an ongoing camera-trapping project, and tick abundance data from ground sampling. Results from this study aim to inform management efforts and conservation planning for moose on Tribal lands and throughout Maine and would be relevant to populations throughout the southern extent of their range. The student will be a member of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology at the University of Maine, with options for pursuing a MS in Wildlife Ecology or Ecology and Environmental Sciences, and advised by Sabrina Morano (faculty WFCB) and Ben Simpson (biologist, DNR Penobscot Nation). The student will be hired as a technician for the Penobscot Nation for the summer of 2023, then transition to a graduate position at the start of the Fall semester. Graduate support will come in the form of a combination of both research and teaching assistantships within the wildlife department, which include a monthly salary, and cover tuition and 50% of health insurance.
The successful candidate will have a strong undergraduate academic background in wildlife, ecology, or a related field, and desire to use basic ecological theory to address current conservation challenges for large mammals. Competitive applicants will have skills/interests in processing camera data, GIS, statistical modeling, occupancy analysis, and the use of Program R for data analysis and management. Successful candidates will also have demonstrated leadership and initiative at the undergraduate level, have the capacity to manage multiple competing tasks for their time (e.g., write a proposal, assisting with field work, take graduate level courses), are goal oriented and self-directed with an ability to overcome obstacles to finish tasks, and have an interest in collaborative research. Additional duties and responsibilities will include conducting field work in variable weather conditions, working independently, hiking long distances, navigating off trail to access camera sites, installing and monitoring remote trail cameras, collecting vegetation data and assisting with other fieldwork necessary to aid DNR staff. Applicants also should be able to travel safely by 4-wheel drive vehicles and ATV, and may need to obtain a Maine driver's license. To Apply: Please complete the application at https://tinyurl.com/wuwrbd34 including: (1) a cover letter describing why you are pursuing a graduate degree, how this opportunity aligns with your professional interests, and current qualifications, including relevant research experience and coursework. In addition, please highlight what you feel are your strengths and weaknesses relative to this graduate position; (2) a CV detailing relevant academic qualifications and field experiences; (3) unofficial transcripts, and (GRE scores if available); and (4) contact information for three references. Additional questions can be sent to sabrina.morano@maine.edu or Benjamin.Simpson@penobscotnation.org, with the subject line “Moose MS Position”. For full consideration, apply prior to March 25, 2023. Open until filled.
Contact Person
Sabrina Morano or Ben Simpson
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