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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA's Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment


Large-scale Caribou Movement Ecology across the Arctic-Boreal region

PhD Assistantship in Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana
I have an opening for Fall 2016 for at least 1 PhD project focused on large-scale movement, habitat selection and spatial ecology, with a focus on boreal and barrenground caribou. This project is part of a highly collaborative team, and the successful PhD student will work within an interdisciplinary research group to learn cutting-edge remote sensing tools and approaches in ecological remote sensing (including LiDAR and spectral image analysis), and study tree physiology and forest/tundra ecology.  The PhD student will also work directly with agency collaborators across > 12 different state and provincial agencies.  The PhD student will focus on understanding the drivers of caribou movements and habitat selection across the entire Arctic Boreal region in western North America across Alaska, the Yukon, and portions of Northwest Territories, Alberta and British Columbia.  The PhD student will also work with postdoctoral researchers doing similar methods on other animals including moose, grizzly bears, wolves, raptors, and songbirds. Complementary fieldwork to support the research could be developed by the PhD student and collaborating agencies. Funding is provided from our newly funded NASA Terrestrial Ecology project as part of the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) field campaign. For more information about the project see the project description. There is also the potential that applicants for this position will be considered for 1 or 2 related caribou and elk projects starting in Fall 2016, dependent on funding availability. See here for more information about ongoing projects in my lab.

Qualifications: M.Sc./M.A. in wildlife biology, ecology, conservation biology, or related field; outstanding work ethic; exceptional quantitative skills and motivation; field experience in ungulate or predator ecology preferred; experience with analyses of GPS movement data from animals; demonstrated excellence in oral and written communication and interpersonal skills; demonstrated experience working with wildlife management agencies. Experience with statistical modeling, programming, R, GIS analyses, remote sensing, scientific writing, and spatial modeling an asset. 

How to apply: Send cover letter summarizing interest and relevant experience, resume/CV, unofficial transcripts, GRE scores, and contact information (including phone and email - letters not required at initial screening stage) for 3 references to Dr. Mark Hebblewhite, Wildlife Biology Program, College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA, 59812.  Position will start Fall 2016. University of Montana Wildlife Biology Program application deadline is Jan 15, 2016. Top candidates will be contacted by Dec 31st, 2015, and directed to apply for admission to the UM graduate school.