PhD and MS Level Graduate Research Assistantships in Agroecology

Moscow, Idaho
Students receive tuition support and an annual stipend
Oct 11, 2017
Nov 10, 2017
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

Research Assistantships (PhD, MS) in the Agroecology of Dryland Cropping Systems

We are seeking highly motivated and qualified students to explore the ability of current, incremental, and transformational wheat-based cropping systems to capture and utilize available water and soil nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) within complex landscapes and over a wide climatic gradient. Research will involve extensive field experimentation, remote sensing, and hydrologic crop modeling.

A PhD student will (1) investigate opportunities to better utilize remote sensing to capture and manage point and field scale hydrologic fluxes and crop nitrogen uptake (2) assess the ability of cropping models to simulate water and nitrogen pools and fluxes (3) quantify the long-term agronomic and environmental impacts of alternative cropping systems in the region. Please contact Erin Brooks ( for questions about this position.

Two MS students will focus on site hydrological impacts on soil nutrient status and plant productivity at different spatial scales. The overarching objective (1) is to quantify nitrogen mineralization spatial variability, while simultaneously characterizing (2) phosphorus speciation in water and soil and related plant productivity. For this project, both field and laboratory studies are envisioned. Please contact Zachary Kayler ( and Dan Strawn ( for questions about this position.

The positions will be within a larger collaborative project involving climate, soil scientists, entomologists, plant pathologists, agronomists, and economists and three universities with strong ties to the Cook Agronomy Farm Long Term Agro-ecosytem Research (LTAR) site managed by the USDA-ARS. The University of Idaho is located in Moscow, a small college town with a thriving arts scene and abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Qualifications: Applicants for the positions will have an undergraduate (MS) or graduate degree (PhD) in hydrology, water resources, soils, agronomy, environmental chemistry, agricultural engineering, environmental engineering, or a related field. The successful candidates will be familiar with water and nutrient cycling in soils (including stable isotope techniques), an understanding of crop systems, GIS/remote sensing, Python/R programming, and basic spatial modeling and statistics. The students are expected to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and to participate in field data collection. We highly encourage motivated students eager to gain a deeper understanding of the sustainable dryland cropping systems and are willing to work interactively in team research to apply for these assistantships.