PhD Graduate Assistantship

Las Cruces, New Mexico
Wage/Salary: $23,286-$24,363 annually
Jan 16, 2019
Feb 15, 2019
New Mexico State University WSM Program
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

Job Title: Graduate Assistant

No of Openings: 2

Days/hours & duration of job: 20 hours/week

Wage/Salary: $23,286-$24,363 annually

Employment Start Date: Fall 2019

Job Description: 

The New Mexico State University (NMSU) is seeking a scholars to pursue PhD degrees in the Water Science and Management (WSM) graduate degree program. Two opportunities are available.

1. PhD Assistantship

We seek a student to work on border water issues and alternative water supplies including desalination. The project is funded by a grant from the Bureau of Reclamation and the Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (TAAP) project.

The successful student will have a suite of applicable skills or interests. Foremost will be a background in hydrology, water budgets, hydrologic modeling, system dynamics modeling, and US/Mexico border water issues. Ability speak Spanish is a plus.

2. PhD Assistantship in integrated agricultural water solutions

New Mexico faces complex water issues representative of many of the critical water issues around the world. In northern New Mexico, traditional irrigation-centered communities that rely on age old customs for water sharing are seeing their water management systems strained to the breaking point by land use change and water scarcity during drought. Along the Rio Grande in central New Mexico, agriculture versus urban water use issues confront Albuquerque and the surrounding landscape, forcing difficult choices in future water planning. In southern New Mexico, reliance on groundwater to maintain water uses during 15 years of below average surface water have caused regional planning conundrums to provide enough water for agriculture and other users while meeting interstate compact requirements. In southeast New Mexico without surface water, Ogallala aquifer fossil water is being exhausted and the region must make important tradeoffs between energy, agriculture, and water use. A common thread laced through all of these issues is the importance of agriculture as the major water user and the need to craft integrated solutions to solve complex water issues.

The New Mexico State University (NMSU) College of Agriculture Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) is seeking a scholar to address integrated agricultural water solutions through pursuit of a PhD in the Water Science and Management (WSM) graduate degree program. The science objective is to provide cutting edge integrative analysis and solutions to water issues that have so far been impervious to solutions through traditional approaches. To accomplish this, the operational objectives of the position are to: a) describe the main water issues facing different parts of NM through literature, experts, and stakeholder interaction; b) select one or more of the water issues for in depth analysis; c) characterize the key drivers using an integrative approach such as systems science; and d) identify specific approaches that could be pursued by ACES to make meaningful progress in solving the selected water issues. It is anticipated that the ACES contribution will include a team of researchers from various disciplines (hydrology, agriculture, economics, data science, systems science, etc.) that will also form the foundation of new integrative water-agriculture efforts in ACES.

The successful student will have a suite of applicable skills or interests. Foremost will be integrative skills such as system dynamics that will enable analysis of multiple disciplines. Technical proficiency will be a plus, such as econometrics, hydrologic modeling or another field that facilitates technical analysis. Ability to listen to various viewpoints and distill key information will be important. There will be flexibility within the project to build on the interests and aspirations of the PhD candidate while crafting a cutting-edge study and drafting innovative approaches to solving agricultural water issues.

Application Instructions

A. All prospective students must fill out an application for admission to the NMSU Graduate School ( and pay a $40 nonrefundable application fee ($50 International students). While completing the application packet there is a section that asks "How do you plan on funding your graduate studies?". In this section please list the specific PhD assistantship that you are applying for. 

B. Prospective students applying to the Water Science and Management Program must be accepted by the Water Science and Management Program and must be fully admitted to the Graduate School.

Admission Requirements for Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

A. Possession of a Master's Degree - from an accredited university with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. However, students with grade point averages between 3.0 and 3.5 will be given consideration.

B. Three Letters of Recommendation - submitted directly from persons who know the applicant professionally, including a recommendation from the candidate's current employer/sponsor or master’s thesis advisor. These letters should provide evidence of professional ability, research experience, and the potential for professional development. In addition, applicants to the

PhD program should provide evidence of research experience. This could include a master's thesis, a professional paper, peer reviewed manuscripts, consulting reports, or other evidence of experience conducting research.

C. Letter of Intent or Statement of Purpose - that addresses individual professional and personal goals related to water science and management and discusses how these goals fit within the WSM program at NMSU. It is expected that the candidate will have made contact with prospective advisor(s) at NMSU and speak to how he or she would work with said advisor(s) to advance their research and study. Please include a brief statement on your research interests as it pertains to water or water issues and how these interests fit with the WSM program at NMSU.

D. Brief Resume or Curriculum Vitae - not to exceed five pages that summarizes the candidate's background and qualifications.