MS Graduate Student – South Dakota

South Dakota State University
Rapid City, SD
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
A graduate research assistantship at the MS level is available in Dr. Rachel Short’s lab group in the Department of Natural Resource Management ( at South Dakota State University. The Short Lab focuses on responses of mammal communities to habitat disruption across geographic space since the Pleistocene. We apply quantitative methods to trait data collected from modern and fossil museum specimens to investigate how mammals might respond to future habitat changes. The student will work with Dr. Short to develop a project of mutual interest. Potential topics include, but are not limited to: developing or expanding trait-based approaches, examining patterns and processes driving changes in the past, and generating models of future mammal community composition. It is likely that any project will integrate biological and geospatial approaches. The student will be expected to attend and present at relevant conferences and publish their findings in peer-reviewed literature. The student will be supported on a research assistantship for 2 years beginning August 22, 2023. This position will receive a $21,000 stipend plus tuition waiver each year. There is the possibility of extending funding if the project timeline requires it. This position will be housed in Rapid City, SD, at the West River Research and Extension Center. The student will be expected to take online courses and maintain a virtual presence with the main campus in Brookings, SD. The student will be part of an interdisciplinary team at WRRE ( and will have opportunities for professional development and collaboration with other graduate students and faculty. Interested candidates: For more information, please contact Dr. Rachel Short ( or visit Candidates interested in applying for this position should email Dr. Short by April 20, 2023 for full consideration. Please submit: a 1-page cover letter describing your background, qualifications, career goals, and interest in this position; a resume/CV; unofficial transcripts; and contact information for 3 professional references. Please combine into a single PDF document and email to The email subject line should read “MS position – Short Lab.” BIPOC, LGBTQ+, women, and other groups underrepresented in STEM are encouraged to apply.
Qualifications: Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, zoology, or a closely related field from an accredited university and a valid U.S. driver’s license. Students with experience in paleobiology or community ecology are encouraged to apply. Candidates should have a strong academic background with skills in scientific writing and communication. Preferred qualifications are research experience, skills in quantitative analyses, and experience using GIS and R programs.
Contact Person
Rachel Short
Contact eMail
Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.