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  • MS Assistantship – Migratory Shorebird Movement and Habitat Use in a Changing Climate: Oklahoma State University

    Guest Scott Loss
    • Employer: Oklahoma State University
      Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 06/19/2023
      Open Until Filled: No

    Description: A fully funded master's assistantship is available in Oklahoma State University’s Department of Natural Resource Ecology & Management, co-advised by Drs. Craig Davis and Scott Loss. The MS student will lead research that leverages existing datasets on migratory shorebird movements and abundance in the U.S. Great Plains to evaluate habitat use during shorebird migration stopovers in this region. Because the project will expand on ongoing and completed research funded by the South Central-Climate Adaptation Science Center, a major focus will also include evaluation of the effects of climate change (e.g., changes in precipitation timing and variability) on shorebirds and the wetlands they use during migration. A portion of the student’s project will include evaluation of movement data from Western Willets that were previously GPS-tagged and tracked during their migration through the Great Plains. However, the student will have freedom to develop additional lines of research inquiry matching their interests within the broad topics of shorebirds and climate change, and under the guidance of the co-advisors.

    Ideally, the graduate student will begin courses at OSU in August 2023, and full funding will be available for 2.5 years. Funding will be through a research assistantship, but the student will also have an opportunity to TA for one academic semester (course TA assignment to be determined, but the student would likely have an opportunity to TA in either Dr. Loss’s Applied Ecology course or Dr. Davis’s Wetland Ecology and Management course). A stipend of $1,917/month ($23,000/yr) will be provided along with full tuition waiver and health insurance at $20/month.

    Required qualifications: Applicants must possess an undergraduate degree in Natural Resource Management, Wildlife Ecology/Management, Ecology, or a related field; a strong work ethic and sense of self-motivation; an ability to work both independently and collegially with others; strong written and oral communication skills; strong quantitative analysis skills and/or an ability to quickly learn and apply quantitative skills; and an interest in global change ecology, conservation biology, and wetland and wildlife ecology and management.

    Preferred qualifications: Ideal candidates will have one or several of the following skills and experiences: conducting, presenting, and/or publishing mentored research; coordinating and supervising research projects; and independently conducting statistical and/or spatial analyses using programs such as R and ArcGIS.

    To Apply: Please send applications to Craig Davis (craig.a.davis@okstate.edu) AND Scott Loss (scott.loss@okstate.edu) by June 19th, 2023; applications should consist of a single zip file or merged pdf file that includes: (1) a cover letter outlining how you meet required and preferred qualifications, (2) a CV, (3) unofficial academic transcripts, and (4) contact information for three references. We are committed to fostering an environment where diversity of background and thought is accepted and encouraged, and we encourage all interested people to apply despite preconceived notions of their own experience as it relates to this project’s objectives.

    About the Davis and Loss Labs: Our labs lead a wide range of research projects in natural resource ecology and management, with emphases on biodiversity conservation, wetland and wildlife ecology and management (especially conservation/management of birds), and major global change issues like climate change, invasive species, and direct sources of bird mortality. For more information about our labs, see:

    Craig Davis’s Lab: https://experts.okstate.edu/craig.a.davis
    Scott Loss’s Lab: https://scottrloss.wixsite.com/losslab

    About Oklahoma and OSU: Oklahoma is one of the most ecologically diverse states, with ecosystems ranging from forested mountains in the east to mesas and canyons in the west, and including some of the largest remaining tracts of prairies in the world. Recreational opportunities abound, with national forests, grasslands, and wildlife refuges all within 2-3 hours of Stillwater, where OSU is located. In addition, Stillwater is 1 hour from both Oklahoma City and Tulsa, which have additional opportunities for recreation, sporting events, music, the arts, restaurants, etc.

    OSU is a land-grant institution with an enrollment of ~25,000 students, and it is located on the ancestral lands of the Kickapoo, Osage, Kiowa, and Quapaw peoples. Indigenous people from other Native nations also reside here, many of whom were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands. They all contribute to the history and current vitality of our region. The Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management is part of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and conducts interdisciplinary research, instruction, and extension education to address the sustainable management and conservation of the wildlife, forest, rangeland, and fishery resources of Oklahoma and beyond. The Department is a source of cutting-edge research, quality instruction, and effective outreach to students, landowners, managers, and public agencies.

    Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to a criminal background check. Oklahoma State University, as an equal opportunity employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Oklahoma State University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate based on race, religion, age, sex, color, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, or veteran status with regard to employment, educational programs and activities, and/or admissions.

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