Description: The Wetland Landscape Ecology lab in the UT Austin Department of Marine Science seeks a PhD student to start August 2022, with likely early start as a research technician during late Spring or Early Summer 2022. Research in the lab centers around remote sensing of landscape-scale wetland dynamics in both interior and coastal systems to identify processes related to ecosystem resiliency and long-term landscape change. This successful applicant will work on a USDA funded project centered on remote sensing of surface water flooding and other wetland carbon-related characteristics in interior depressional CRP wetlands, with a special focus on the playa lakes in the US semi-arid High Plains. The project will involve field work, coordination with collaborators and stakeholders, and development of data science and open-source geospatial informatics skills. Students will be supported with a competitive stipend, tuition, and health insurance.
Required qualifications: Candidates must be able to conduct independent research and to work as part of a scientific team. Experience in data analysis, strong quantitative skills, and the ability to work outdoors in hot, physically demanding environments are also required. A minimum 3.0 GPA in upper division course work is required for admission to the UT Austin graduate school.
Desired additional qualifications: Experience in wetlands research, remote sensing analyses, programming in the R statistical language, and working with Google Earth Engine, data science and reproducible workflows. A strong background in either ecology or remote sensing and a track record of successful publication are also desired. A master’s degree or relevant experience is also preferred.
Location: Students will join the O’Connell Wetland Landscape Ecology lab. The lab is located at the UT Austin Marine Science Institute (www.utmsi.utexas.edu), in Port Aransas, TX. This is on Mustang Island, with close proximity to sandy beaches, estuarine habitats of the Gulf of Mexico, and the city of Corpus Christi, TX. Graduate students in the Marine Science Department spend most of their time in residence at Port Aransas, but will typically spend a semester or more at the main UT Austin campus to complete course work and gain valuable teaching experience. Students will also have the opportunity to network with a broad set of potential collaborators as part of this USDA funded project.
To apply: please contact Dr. Jessica O’Connell directly. Send a cover letter outlining your research interests and career goals (no more than 2 pages), a curriculum vitae, and contact information for three professional references, including their name, email, phone, and address. These materials should be emailed as a single pdf to Jessica O’Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org), Assistant Professor in the Department of Marine Science at the University of Texas. For more information, see the lab web page: www.landscapemodeling.net. Applicant review will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled.
The University of Texas at Austin is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified candidates, including underrepresented groups, are strongly encouraged to apply.