M.S. Position – Bird, Bat, and Arthropod Diversity Responses to Urban Greening: Kentucky

Murray State University
Murray, KY
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
$5,000/semester for 2 years, summer pay is likely, potential teaching assistantship (competitive), and option for free housing
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
A M.S. assistantship is available beginning June 1st, 2020 through the Department of Biology at Murray State University. The student will work on a project studying how urban greening influences multiple taxonomic groups (birds, bats, and Arthropods) and potential effects of biodiversity changes on human health. Though data will be collected on multiple taxonomic groups, preference for this position will be given to applicants that are skilled in the visual and auditory identification of Kentucky birds. The study is associated with a larger project called the Green Heart Project (https://greenheartlouisville.com/), which is a joint study being conducted by The Nature Conservancy and researchers at the University of Louisville. The successful student would stay in Louisville, KY in provided housing for approximately 10 weeks in the summers of 2021 and 2022. Our biodiversity component of the study has been occurring for two years and the successful applicant will continue this monitoring effort. The successful applicant will receive a $5,000-dollar scholarship per semester (for 2 years beginning fall 2021) to cover tuition and other living expenses, which includes opportunities for undergraduate mentoring, access to a professional development seminar series, travel support to scientific conferences, financial support for research projects, faculty and life coach mentorship, peer mentoring, support to participate in 4-day summer institute, and cohort curriculum on natural history collections and developing biodiversity research. The successful applicant will need to meet certain federal aid needs to receive this funding. Summer pay is pending funding, but likely (~$5,000 per summer) and would be beyond the scholarship described above. Additionally, with a competitive GPA and GRE scores, the student may qualify for a paid 2-year teaching assistantship. Free housing approximately 25 minutes from MSU is optional, pending availability.
Bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, management, ecology, or a related discipline. Potential candidates should have the ability to identify Kentucky birds aurally and visually, excellent written and oral communication skills, be self-motivated, work well independently and with a team, the ability to work long hours under challenging conditions, and interest in learning how to work with biodiversity data using programs such R. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Murray State University requirements for admission to the graduate program are GRE scores in the 50th percentile for the verbal and quantitative portions and a GPA of 3.0 of greater. To be competitive for a teaching assistantship, the student should exceed these expectations. Previous experience with wildlife-related field work is highly desired. The students will be co-advised by Dr. Andrea Darracq (https://adarracq8.wixsite.com/mysite) and Dr. Howard Whiteman (https://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/hwhiteman/index.shtml). Send cover letter, CV, GRE scores, and unofficial transcripts to Dr. Andrea Darracq (adarracq@murraystate.edu) by Feb. 19th, 2020. Please send a list of at least 3 references to contact as well.
Contact Person
Dr. Andrea Darracq
Contact eMail
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