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  • MS Assistantship in Urban Avian Ecology and Community Science

    Jen Smith
    • Employer: University of Texas at San Antonio
      Location: San Antonio, Texas
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 12/31/2020
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Principal Investigators: Drs. Jennifer Smith, Kenny Walker, Annette Portillo, & Amelia King-Kostelac; Start date: August 2021

    Description - We seek a motivated MS student to conduct interdisciplinary research which aims to strengthen the ability of Hispanic Serving Institutes (HSIs) to attract, retain, and prepare underrepresented students for careers in STEM, Education, and the Humanities. The project aims will be met using an integrated model that engages students in nature through urban avian ecology, neighborhood-level community science, and culturally responsive schooling through Indigenous and Mexican American Studies in majority Latinx communities in San Antonio, Texas.

    The successful applicant will be expected to (1) lead efforts to evaluate the effects of backyard bird feeding on the movements of birds in urban areas as part of a community science approach, (2) assist with recruitment of community scientists, especially through local schools, and (3) assist in the development and implementation of research instruments (e.g., surveys) to evaluate the success of the project. The project is funded through the HSI Education Grants Program hosted by the USDA-NIFA (United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture). Two years of funding are available for: travel/research costs, stipend ($1500/month for 9 months per year) and full tuition waiver.

    To Apply - Submit an application packet as a single PDF including: (1) one-page letter of interest, (2) CV or resume, (3) unofficial undergraduate/graduate transcripts, and (4) contact information for three professional references to Dr. Jennifer Smith (jennifer.smith@utsa.edu). The deadline to apply is 31st December 2020. Applicants from underrepresented groups in STEM are particularly encouraged to apply.

    Minimum Qualifications

    • B.A. or B.S. degree in biology, ecology, environmental science, wildlife biology, or related discipline,
    • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in upper-division work
    • Demonstrated involvement in mist-netting and banding birds
    • Excellent communication skills (verbal and oral)
    • Demonstrated research experience (data collection, analysis, writing)

    Preferred Qualifications (but, not required)

    • Proficiency in coordinating community-based teams
    • Experience developing qualitative and/or quantitative research tools used in social sciences
    • Involvement in public engagement efforts
    • Previous experience of fieldwork in urban areas
    • Familiarity with Program R and GIS.
    • Proficiency in Spanish

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