MS Graduate Assistantship: Spotted Skunks: Stillwater, OK

OK State University
Stillwater, OK
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
See job description for details
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
In collaboration with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC), we are recruiting a MS student to evaluate the detection and ecology of plains spotted skunks in eastern Oklahoma to enhance conservation efforts this species. The selected candidate will help establish this new project and accomplish the objectives. Project objectives are to (1) characterize camera-based plains spotted skunk detection and identify optimal sampling intensities, (2) estimate plains spotted skunk occupancy, and (3) identify environmental factors associated with plains spotted skunk space use. The selected candidate will be expected to spend substantial time in the field in eastern Oklahoma, during which time they must be able (and willing) to hike long distances (up to 10 km per day), over difficult terrain, in potentially extreme conditions (e.g., both cold winter conditions and high summer temperatures and humidity). While in the field, the selected candidate should anticipate, and be comfortable with, having limited connectivity (i.e., internet or cellular service) and shared (potentially co-ed) living conditions in a small travel trailer (or similar accommodations). The selected candidate will be expected to work closely with biologists/managers from ODWC and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and to communicate regularly with private landowners. The selected candidate should be comfortable approaching and communicating with private landowners before accessing private lands. The selected candidate will initially be employed as a Wildlife Technician at $11-13/hour (40 hours/wk) from January – June 2023, during which time they will be in the field conducting sampling that will serve as pilot data for the MS research. The selected candidate would then be employed as a MS-level Graduate Research Assistant from July 2023 – December 2025, while working towards a MS degree in Natural Resource Ecology and Management (emphasis: Wildlife Ecology) at Oklahoma State University (OSU). The MS position includes a graduate stipend of $19,000 annually, resident and non-resident tuition waiver, and health insurance at $20 per month (for student only; family coverage is available for an additional fee). Students are responsible for student fees. The Lonsinger Wildlife Ecology and Management Lab is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are committed to fostering an environment where diversity of background and thought is accepted and encouraged. We encourage all interested people to apply despite preconceived notions of their own experience as it relates to this project’s objectives. For more information about the Lonsinger Lab see To Apply: Please combine the following into a single PDF file: (1) a single-page cover letter that details why you are interested in this position, your most relevant experiences, and your professional goals/aspirations; (2) a Curriculum Vitae; (3) contact information (i.e., name, affiliation, email, and phone number) for 3 references; (4) unofficial GRE scores (if available); and (5) unofficial undergraduate transcripts. Send the PDF file as an attachment to no later than 15 August 2022 with the subject titled “Skunk MS Position”. Please note that applications will be reviewed as they are received and a candidate may be selected before the closing date of 15 August 2022. Electronic (email) submission of applications is encouraged but mail is also fine; mailed applications should be postmarked by 31 August 2022 and sent to Robert Lonsinger, 007 Agriculture Hall, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078. Oklahoma State University (OSU) is located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, which is within an hour of both Tulsa and Oklahoma City. OSU is a land-grant institution with an enrollment of ~25,000 students, and it is located on the ancestral lands of the Kickapoo, Osage, Kiowa, and Quapaw peoples. Indigenous people from other Native nations also reside here, many of whom were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands. They all contribute to the history and current vitality of our region. The Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management is part of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and conducts interdisciplinary research, instruction, and extension education to address the sustainable management and conservation of the wildlife, forest, rangeland, and fishery resources of Oklahoma and beyond. The Department is a source of cutting-edge research, quality instruction, and effective outreach to students, landowners, managers, and public agencies. Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to a criminal background check. Oklahoma State University, as an equal opportunity employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Oklahoma State University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate based on race, religion, age, sex, color, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, or veteran status with regard to employment, educational programs and activities, and/or admissions.
Minimum Qualifications: • B.S. in wildlife management, natural resources, or a closely related discipline • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or greater (as required by the Department and Graduate College) • At least 6 months of field experience conducting wildlife surveys, demonstrating an ability to work in a remote setting and hike over difficult terrain • Highly motivated with a strong work ethic • A valid US driver’s license (without restrictions) Desired Qualifications: • Demonstrated experience using camera traps to monitor wildlife as part of an ecological study • Working knowledge GIS and experience or interest in quantitative approaches and computer programming (e.g., R programming language) • Demonstrated experience leading and conducting independent research or planning/coordinating daily field surveys/activities • Demonstrated experience interacting with private landowners for the purpose of conducting research on their lands • Excellent oral communication and technical writing skills
Contact Person
Robert Lonsinger
Contact eMail
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