MS assistantship on Red-cockaded Woodpecker conservation, University of Alabama

Little known fact–hardly anyone has heard of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, but it receives more Federal conservation dollars than any other bird!

MS opportunity in Alabama.

FW by Andy Wilson


Dr. Paige Ferguson, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alabama, is seeking a MS student to evaluate management of longleaf pine in the Oakmulgee District of the Talladega National Forest for Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) conservation. The student would use models combining ecological knowledge and statistical methods and stakeholder input to evaluate different longleaf pine management options for their expected ability to meet RCW conservation goals. Addressing this research question would also involve research into RCW population dynamics and/or habitat.

Applicants should have a background in some or many of the following: ecology, environmental science, GIS, ecological modeling, statistics, computer programming, or stakeholder outreach. Experience in field settings is desired.

To apply, please email Dr. Ferguson (pfferguson) the following:

1. cover letter describing your career goals and prior experiences that have prepared you for a MS in Dr. Ferguson’s lab,

2. undergraduate transcript (an unofficial copy is fine),

3. GRE scores,

4. sample of your scientific writing (for example a lab report), and

5. contact information for 3 references.

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until positions are filled.

Available positions come with a full tuition waiver, a good stipend, and health insurance. Funding during the academic year is available as a Graduate Teaching Assistant through the Department of Biological Sciences. A summer stipend and funding for summer field work expenses are available, and additional funds, as needed, will be acquired through internal and external funding sources in close collaboration with Dr. Ferguson. For example, funding for conference presentations is available competitively through the University of Alabama. Fellowships are available for exceptional applicants through the University of Alabama Graduate School.

Additional information is available from the following links:

Dr. Ferguson’s Research:

Department of Biological Sciences:

Graduate School:

University of Alabama:




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