M.S. Graduate Research Assistantship –Stand Development in Riparian Restoration Projects
This project is part of a long-term, cooperative, study with the Coos Watershed Association to evaluate the success of riparian restoration projects. This project is a unique opportunity to investigate middle-aged riparian stands. Most riparian restoration monitoring extends only through the free-to-grow stage, yet most benefits from the plantings occur much later. Little is known about how planting density and species arrangement affect survival and growth; data from 2016 and 2017 indicates that stem exclusion occurs for some species depending upon their location in the stand and adjacent intra- and inter-species competition. The thesis research project will involve:
(1) Re-measuring permanent plots in about 10 riparian restoration projects of varying age (6 years – 16 years);
(2) Cleaning up past monitoring data that resides in MS-Access and Excel files.
(3) Developing survival and growth equations for riparian species of 0 to 15 years of age to use to determine shade in stream temperature models;
(4) Investigating the effects of disturbances (floods; herbicide drift), damage (browse, beavers, insects, pathogens, etc.), and competition (grasses and adjacent plantings) on survival and growth; and
(5) Developing models that describe ecological and silvicultural processes in these middle-aged stands.
Field Work Conditions: Work will occur in riparian areas surrounding Coos Bay on the south central Oregon coast. Projects are predominantly on privately-owned agricultural lands. Access to sample plots will require walking and carrying equipment. The sample plots themselves will be brushy, frequently with Himalaya blackberry. The student may visit the plots independently to clear trails, re-tag trees, etc. The work will be moderately physically-demanding, requiring climbing over/through barbed wire fences and brush, and traversing steep streambanks. Weather will not be too extreme in most sites, and shade will be readily available. A canoe or rowboat may be used to access some sites.
Applicants should have a strong interest in riparian ecology and watershed restoration. Work experience in the field of riparian restoration is desirable. Applicants with past research experience, outstanding academic record and GRE scores, and evidence of strong writing and relevant methodological skills are preferred.
How to apply: please email a single PDF file to Dr. Jon A. Souder containing (1) a one page cover letter outlining your research interests, relevant experience; (2) your CV; (3) undergraduate/graduate transcripts and GRE scores; and (4) full contact information for 3 professional references. The subject line of the email should read: Riparian Restoration Graduate Assistantship.
Graduate school admitance procedures and requirements may be found at: