A graduate research assistantship (PhD) investigating the relationships between plant community diversity, exotic species, prescribed fire and livestock grazing in northern grasslands is available in the School of Natural Resource Sciences at North Dakota State University. The student will have the flexibility to develop a research study specific to the students expertise and interest, but centered on understanding of native plant community dynamics in working grassland landscapes. The student will join an inter-disciplinary team of researchers working on landscape-level treatments with four different grazing practices that vary in the spatial and temporal use of prescribed fire and grazing in intact native mixed-grass prairie. The study locations represents one of the most unique grassland complexes in North America and hosts an extremely diverse vegetation, pollinator and grassland bird community. Despite fire being an integral disturbance in grassland ecosystems, this region has undergone fire suppression for decades, creating a unique opportunity to assess the response of grassland organisms to restored disturbance regimes. Several graduate students will be working simultaneously and opportunities to collaborate are encouraged. Funding is provided through a grant from the USDA-NIFA Agricultural and Food Research Initiative. Summer housing is provided at the university field station and annual stipend is $24,000 (3% cost of living increases annually) plus a full tuition-waiver.
Candidates must have a Master of Science degree from an accredited university and a valid driver’s license. The most competitive applicants will have multiple years of field experience including previous work with grassland plant species identification, prescribed fire and land management practices. Students will be expected to work well independently and with a team.
Submit 1 document (.pdf) that includes a 1) cover letter discussing your qualifications, ambitions, and future aspirations, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) transcripts (unofficial), and 4) three professional references to email@example.com. Applications that do not provide all required information will not be considered.
The position will be open until filled. The latest preferred start date is May 1 but all dates are negotiable including a Fall 2021 start date. I encourage all interested candidates to apply as soon as possible because candidates will be evaluated as soon as applications are received.