MS Assistantship: Poplar in the Southeast for Integrated Ecosystem Services (PoSIES)

Mississippi State University
Starkville, Mississippi
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
$16,000 stipend and tuition waiver
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The Department of Forestry in the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University is seeking applicants for a funded MS research assistantship. The successful candidate will be advised by Dr. Austin Himes in the Department of Forestry and conduct research on biomass production of mixed and mono-clonal plantings of Populus spp. plantations. The student will participate in a DOE funded project aimed at maximizing ecosystem services and productivity of Populus spp. and their hybrids in a biomass for bioenergy plantation system. The student’s focus within the larger project will be quantifying above and below ground biomass production using a combination of destructive sampling and conventional measures (e.g. Height and Diameter). With support from their committee and project PIs, the student will develop allometric equations to estimate total and component biomass from the diameter and height of trees. There may also be opportunities for the student to leverage point cloud data from terrestrial and airborne LiDAR to estimate above ground biomass. The biomass estimates will be used to make comparisons of productivity between monoclonal and mixed-variety plantings. The successful candidate will be expected to work independently and as part of a team in the field, to collect data and samples, process samples in the laboratory as needed, analyze data and communicate results by writing one or more manuscripts suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. The student will also have opportunities to present their research at scientific conferences and in reports to project partners. The position starts Fall semester, 2022. This is a 2-year position that includes an annual stipend of $16,000, tuition waiver and insurance. MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population. In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Mississippi State University, please contact the Department of Human Resources Management at telephone: (662) 325-3713 or If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact the Department of Human Resources Management at (662) 325-3713 or Upon request, sections of this job listing are available in large print, and readers are available to assist the visually impaired Contact Information: Austin Himes, Ph.D. Department of Forestry Mississippi State University Box 9681 Mississippi State, MS 39762 Office: 353 Thompson Hall E-mail: Phone: (662) 325-4249
Required qualifications: • Ability to meet all admission requirements of the Department of Forestry Graduate Program • Valid driver’s license or ability to get one • BS in Forestry, Natural Resources or closely related field. • Demonstrated excellence in English (written and oral) communication • Willingness to drive long distances for field work with multiple consecutive overnight stays • Ability to walk long distances encumbered with 30+ pounds of gear and conduct field research in challenging conditions Interested candidates should email Dr. Austin Himes ( a cover letter explaining your interest and qualifications for the position, a resume/CV, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for 3 references. If you have taken the GRE general test, please provide your unofficial results with your resume/CV. Preferred qualifications: • Experience or willingness to learn R-statistical software • Experience writing peer-reviewed journal publications • Experience with experimental design and quantitative analysis • Experience with Populus spp. or other biomass plantations
Contact Person
Austin Himes
Contact Phone
Contact eMail
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