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MSc or PhD available –Ecology of wetlands and sub-Arctic carbon cycling

Expiration Date: 

n NSF funded MSc or PhD in the Atwood lab ( at Utah State University is available starting in early 2021. The successful applicant will also work closely with the Beard Lab ( at Utah State University and the Waring Lab ( at Imperial College-London. We seek an enthusiastic and inquisitive person who is interested in understanding the role of herbivory, climate change, and wetland ecology and management in affecting carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide and methane) exchange in wetlands of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska. The project will focus on waterfowl impacts on vegetation and the implications of atmospheric exchange. This study does not focus on waterfowl themselves but instead on the ecosystem services and values of coastal wetlands in Alaska, knowledge of which is fundamental to conserving these and other coastal systems.

The student will undertake a field project that will investigate the effects of grazing on greenhouse gas dynamics, soil microbial communities, or a combination of the two on subarctic wetlands in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska. This project will require extensive time in the field, with 4-5 months living in a remote field camp.

Required Qualifications: Background and interest in ecology, soil microbiology, biological sciences, biogeochemistry, or other closely related fields in environmental science. We also seek individuals that have knowledge and experience working with statistical programs such as R, are self-motivated, work great in team environments, and have field experience in ecology or wetlands. Individuals with experience using LiCORs or other greenhouse gas analyzers are especially encouraged to apply. Because the successful applicant will spend two summers in a remote research camp on coastal western Alaska, we seek applicants that are excited about living in a remote location for up to 5 months of the year and those that have experience, or are willing to learn to drive boats and snowmobiles. Please describe your experience or willingness to gain these experiences in your cover letter.

The appointment can begin as early as Jan 2021. The individual must be able to begin fieldwork in early April.

  1. of applications will begin Nov. 13, 2020.


In your application, please include:

1. A cover letter that explains how your research and experience aligns with the skills and research activities listed above

2. A CV or resume

3. A list of three professional references and their contact information.


For any questions, contact Trisha Atwood: