PhD Assistantships in Ecology and Geomorphology at Jornada Experimental Range
Two (2) NSF-funded PhD assistantships are available at the Jornada Experimental Range, New Mexico State University. The positions provide exciting opportunities to be a part of a multi-disciplinary, international group engaged in an NSF-NERC Collaborative Research project: “Aeolian dust responses to regional ecosystem change.” Under the supervision of the PIs, the students will develop research to quantify the impacts of regional ecosystem changes on North American dust emissions. Areas of focus for the project are:
- Impacts of cheatgrass invasion and changing fire cycle on vegetation communities and dust emissions in the Great Basin. Impacts of oil and gas development on regional dust emissions from the Upper Colorado River Basin. Impacts of grassland-to-shrubland state transitions on aeolian transport and dust emissions across the Chihuahuan Desert.
The research will utilize national ecological monitoring datasets (e.g., LTAR, BLM AIM), sensor networks, remote sensing and numerical modeling to characterize how Great Basin, Upper Colorado River Basin and Chihuahuan Desert ecosystems are changing in response to different disturbance mechanisms, identify structural and functional thresholds associated with vegetation state transitions and aeolian processes, and quantify dust emission responses at the regional scale.
Applicants must have a strong academic record in ecology, geomorphology, geography, environmental science, or a similar natural resource related field, as well as the ability to effectively collaborate and work independently. Preference will be given to applicants who have strong quantitative skills and an enthusiasm for using big data to address multi-disciplinary problems. The students are expected to work in collaboration with PIs at the USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range, New Mexico State University Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Department of Animal and Range Sciences, and Cardiff University, Wales.
Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest stating motivation for applying to the position and your research interests, curriculum vitae, copy of transcript(s), and contact information for 3 references to Dr. Nicholas Webb, firstname.lastname@example.org, by 31st May, 2019. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. The positions have an anticipated start date of Summer or Fall 2019.