MS Graduate Assistant

University of Central Ar, Conway (~30 miles NW of Little Rock, AR)
Tuition Waiver, ~ $12,000 Graduate Stipend, and Funding for Conference and Field Expenses
Dec 07, 2018
Jan 06, 2019
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

TWO Fish Ecology M.S. Assistantships Available

Fish Ecology and Geomorphology of Ozark Mountain Streams. Drs. Ginny Adams, Reid Adams, and Matthew Connolly Departments of Biology and Geography, University of Central Arkansas

Description: We are seeking interested and qualified applicants for Graduate Assistantships to study the long-term stability and persistence of fish assemblages in Ozark streams of Arkansas in relation to land use and stream geomorphology. Arkansas ranks fifth in the nation in fish biodiversity, yet the current status of many Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) is often unknown or incomplete. This project will examine fish assemblages, concentrating on SGCN species, in the Spring, Eleven Point, and Current rivers. Historical fish surveys conducted by Arkansas State University 35-45 years ago will be repeated, using similar techniques, revitalizing these data sets and unlocking the information they hold about potential change and status of Arkansas stream fish assemblages. In addition to the collection of basic in-stream habitat data, land use will be quantified with GIS tools and intensive geomorphic stream surveys will be conducted. This project will provide critical data that will be used to determine the status and long-term abundance trends of SGCN species and help prioritize watersheds or stream reaches for conservation and restoration. This project is a great opportunity for students to get cross disciplinary training in ecology and geography and in the implementation of modern GIS tools and techniques.


Status of the Colorless Shiner in the Ouachita River basin in Arkansas. Drs. Ginny Adams and Reid Adams Department of Biology University of Central Arkansas

Description: Arkansas ranks fifth in the nation in fish biodiversity, yet the status of many Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) is often unknown or incomplete. One such species, the Colorless Shiner, is found in southern Arkansas in the Ouachita River drainage and is currently under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for listing. The last survey for the Colorless Shiner was completed in 1999-2001 by Robison (2006) and he reported a significant decline in the species distribution and abundance. More recent work from our lab that examined changes in community structure in the Ouachita River drainage also noted a decline in both the range and abundance of the Colorless Shiner, but these samples were not meant to target all historical locations of the species. Incorporation of targeted surveys at sites would allow for an estimate of how much effort would be required at a site to detect the species if it is in fact present. The objective of this proposed research is to determine the current status and distribution of the Colorless Shiner by targeted sampling of historical records while also providing an understanding of the effort needed to detect the species in future monitoring. This project will require a strong field component and allow collection of critical data on a multitude of cyprinid species in the Ouachitas.

Graduate Assistantship Positions – MS Biology: We are seeking graduate student applicants at the M.S. level to start in May or August 2019. Students will have funding from both teaching (fall and spring terms) and research assistantships (summer and some partial during the semester) throughout their thesis. Students are expected to conduct their thesis research project and complete required course work. Students will receive a stipend (~ $12,000/year), in-state and out-of-state tuition waivers, as well as funding for travel to conferences and field expenses. UCA has a strong M.S. graduate program in Biology (~ 30 students), and there are opportunities for competitive funding through the university. Additionally, students will benefit from participating in this cross-discipline collaboration between faculty in the Biology Department and in the Geography Department and will join an existing team of students. For more information see the Adams Lab website (

Qualifications: B.S. in Biology, Fisheries Science, Environmental Science, or related fields. Minimum GPA of 3.0 and a combined quantitative/verbal GRE score of 300. The applicant must have the ability to work independently, enjoy long hours in beautiful Ozark and Ouachita streams, and work with a team. Strongest applicants will have prior research experience and fish identification skills. Experience with GIS analyses preferred but not required.

To Apply: Send a resume, statement of interest, transcripts, GRE scores, and contact information for three references to Dr. Ginny Adams ( with the subject line GA Position (last name). Please indicate if one (or both) positions interest you. Applications will be considered through January 7, 2019 or until positions are filled.