MS Research Assistantship Thornforest Restoration – South Texas

Agency
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Location
Brownsville, Texas
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
Salary
$16,500/year plus tuition
Start Date
01/11/2021
Last Date to Apply
11/10/2020
Description
We are inviting applications for a graduate position (MS) to participate in a seedling conditioning study aimed at enhancing thornforest seedling field performance and restoration success. The study is funded by The Nature Conservancy. The appointment is to begin January 2021 if possible (preferred), and no later than the summer 2021. Critical factors limiting the effective restoration of thornforest in South Texas include the harsh environmental conditions often encountered by transplanted seedlings. These commonly result in water loss by transpiration that is not replaced in the short term leading to severe hydric stress and damage. Also, initial root growth (after planting) is sustained by the reserves seedlings accumulated during their growth at the nursery, and are thus critical for survival and establishment. The research component of this position is aimed at evaluating conditioning pretreatments to minimize the transplant shock and improve initial field performance of thornforest seedlings. Opportunities exist for complementary research activities in other on-going thornforest and estuarine restoration studies. The position has a tuition scholarship in addition to a stipend of $16,500 per year. This grant support is currently available for one year with the possibility of a second year. If grant funding were not available for the second year, various UTRGV assistantships (graduate student assistantships or teaching assistantships) may be available (about $5,000 per semester). Interested applicants should send to Dr. Alejandro Fierro (alejandro.fierrocabo@utrgv.edu) a copy of their CV or resume, GPA (minimum 3.0) and GRE scores (not required for admission but send them if available), transcripts, a written statement of graduate research interests, and contact information for two references. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.
Qualifications
Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree in biology, ecology, agronomy or a related field. Successful candidates must demonstrate an aptitude for research and ability to work independently. Prior experience in native plant communities and/or plant biology is preferred, as is the ability to conduct fieldwork occasionally under hot weather conditions. A current, valid U.S. driver's license and good driving record is also preferred. The successful applicant will be expected to enroll full time in the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Biology MS program or in the Agricultural, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences MS program pursuing the thesis option.
Contact Person
Alejandro Fierro
Contact eMail
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