PhD Student: Native fish population status and species distribution in the Alvord Basin, Oregon and Nevada

U.S. Geological Survey, Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit & Oregon State University Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences
Corvallis, OR (the traditional homelands of the Mary's River or Ampinefu Band of Kalapuya)
Job Category
Graduate Assistantships
Approximately $2,150 per month plus benefits and tuition
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The Oregon CRU at OSU is looking for a motivated PhD student to start Fall Quarter 2021. The student will be advised by Dr. Melanie Davis and will work closely with state and federal agencies (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) to conduct a population assessment for Alvord chub and other at-risk native species in the Alvord Basin of Oregon and Nevada. Research objectives will include: 1) generating a spatial database of spring-fed and ephemeral systems in the Alvord Basin, including sites that have been previously surveyed and those that have not yet been surveyed, 2) conducting extensive surveys to estimate native and non-native fish abundance using mark-recapture techniques and eDNA, and 3) analyzing current and forecasted Alvord chub abundance and distribution to determine which systems are most at risk of declining populations due to disturbances such as drought and invasive species. The student will lead a field crew of 3-5 people during the fall field season, which will require several weeks of overnight travel in the Alvord Basin (near Fields, Oregon). They are expected to teach one quarter per-year of online or in-person coursework at OSU.
Minimum Requirements: Applicants must meet the OSU Graduate School minimum requirements for admission (found at: Qualified applicants will have a master’s degree in fisheries, wildlife, biology, ecology, or a related field by the expected start date. This position requires strong verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to effectively collaborate with agency stakeholders. Demonstrated commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion is imperative. The Oregon CRU and its partner agencies are dedicated to supporting the diverse needs of its students and employees. Applicants from historically excluded groups (e.g., Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, LGBTQ+, women, first-generation college students, and those from under-served communities) are strongly encouraged to apply. Desired Skills: The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications: the ability to conduct field work and lead a crew of individuals from diverse backgrounds under strenuous conditions (particularly in arid lands ecosystems), experience analyzing data using programs such as R and ArcGIS, and a history of effectively communicating their work in scientific reports and peer-reviewed publications. They should have a demonstrated ability to collaborate with a variety of stakeholders to achieve a common goal. Previous experience working with and handling sensitive fish species will be advantageous. Working knowledge of eDNA sample collection, processing, and analysis is a major plus (but not a requirement). To Apply: Please prepare a copy of your CV, unofficial transcripts, contact information for three references, and a one-page cover letter expressing your interest in the position. Please use the file naming convention: [Last name]_[First initial]_[Document type] for all necessary application materials. Send to Dr. Melanie Davis ( with the subject line “Alvord Basin PhD Student.” We will begin reviewing applications in early April and the selected applicant will be invited to apply to the OSU Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences (deadline June 1, 2021).
Contact Person
Melanie Davis
Contact eMail
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