FW by Andy Wilson
National Wetlands Condition Assessment Research Assistantships
Two 4-year PhD and one 2-year MS graduate student assistantships are available as part of an EPA-funded project to asses the status of wetlands across the United States. Beginning in 2016, the H.T. Odum Center for Wetlands at the University of Florida will be implementing Florida’s participation in the National Wetlands Condition Assessment (NWCA), a collaborative survey of our nation’s wetlands. The NWCA examines the chemical, physical and biological integrity of wetlands through a set of commonly used and widely accepted indicators.
Graduate assistants hired through this program will participate in intensive field monitoring to assess the ecological integrity of 63 wetlands across the state of Florida. Students will receive training in field data collection and analysis techniques from the EPA and from UF faculty and project staff. Fieldwork will begin in May 2016 will include multi-day travel, long field days, and challenging conditions (heat, insects, strenuous physical conditions). Applicants must be available for the full first field season beginning May 1, 2016, and attendance at EPA-led training on March 29-April 1, 2016 is strongly encouraged.
Ideal applicants will have a strong background in wetland ecology, hydrology, soil science, and/or biology (bachelor’s or master’s degree), excellent written and oral communication skills, and a demonstrated potential to conduct intensive, field-based research both independently and as part of an interdisciplinary team. Experience in science communication is a plus.
Students will be encouraged to use the field data collected, as well as a large database of previously collected NWCA data, to motivate their own research, but will also have the flexibility to pursue relevant and complementary topics with guidance from their major advisor.
Assistantships include stipend, tuition, and benefits. Interested applicants should email one of the three PIs listed below with a copy of their CV and a brief statement (<500 words) outlining their interests, suitability, and availability for the assistantship.
David Kaplan (Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences; H.T. Odum Center for Wetlands/Watershed Ecology Lab); firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.watershedecology.org
Matthew Cohen (School of Forest Resources and Conservation); email@example.com; http://sfrc.ifas.ufl.edu/ecohydrology/index.html
Todd Osborne (Soil and Water Sciences Department, Whitney Lab for Marine Bioscience); firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.whitney.ufl.edu/research/faculty/todd-osborne/