PhD Graduate Assistantship – Modelling Spatially Explicit Avian Mortality Risks and Mitigation Offsets in Relation to Wind Energy Generation

Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon - Field in Wyoming
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
2400 + health insurance + tuition waiver
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Seeking a graduate student to pursue a PhD in Wildlife Sciences at Oregon State University examining the effect of collision reduction technology on avian species near Casper, Wyoming ( This collaborative project is the first in North America to evaluate the effectiveness of painted turbine blades on reducing avian mortality. The study will use a before-after control-impact (BACI) design to assess painting on eagle mortality, and a control-impact (CI) design to examine effects on other birds and bats from ~160 wind turbines. Additionally, the collaborative seeks to leverage this opportunity to develop spatially explicit mitigation framework for the study site by identifying the source populations of mortalities through stable isotope analyses (i.e., derived from tissue samples collected from carcasses). The student is expected to be actively engaged in the broad collaboration that includes US Geological Survey, US Department of Energy, PacificCorp, and Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute. This position includes 4 years of Graduate Research Assistantship funding at approximately $2,400/month plus basic medical coverage while enrolled and a tuition waiver. Although we expect the student to be involved in many aspects of and publications from the study, the student’s portion of the study will focus on two primary objectives: (1) identifying source populations of mortalities and (2) developing demographic models that assess the level of risk associated with losses to wind energy. Within this framework, the student is expected to develop an innovative research project including a written dissertation as partial fulfillment of the requirements of a Ph.D. degree. The larger study will build upon a baseline dataset collected from 2007-2023, and there may be opportunities to use existing data for additional research questions. This will largely be an analytically based project; however, the student will be expected to visit the field periodically to assist with data collection.
Applicants must have a strong background and Batchelor’s degree in wildlife biology, vertebrate ecology, quantitative ecology or closely related field; a demonstrated ability to collect wildlife data in rugged terrain under inclement weather in extremely remote landscapes occasionally carrying < 30lbs. (~70 kg); the ability to interact positively and productively with a diverse set of collaborators; and a strong interest or experience in landscape ecology or spatial ecology. Preference will be given to applicants with a Master’s degree, a strong quantitative background, and experience working with avian species in very remote field locations. The successful applicant will be expected to enroll at Oregon State University fall term 2023. Send cover letter, resume, and copies of academic records as a single pdf file to Dr. Christian Hagen ( applications will be accepted through 15 May 2023 or until a suitable candidate is selected.
Contact Person
christian hagen
Contact eMail
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