Description: A Master of Science graduate research assistantship is available with Dr. Mitch Weegman in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri (www.snr.missouri.edu). This project comprises establishment of a color banding program on an Arctic-nesting migrant bird, the Atlantic brant. Our objectives are to (1) deploy color band combinations on individual Atlantic brant on breeding (i.e., Baffin and Southampton Islands) and wintering (i.e., New Jersey and New York) areas for each of the next three years, (2) resight marked individuals in coastal marsh and grassland habitats during winter, (3) compare breeding propensity estimates from geolocators with recruitment estimates from color-banded birds associating with young to develop a more complete measure of annual productivity, and (4) synthesize mark and resighting efforts and simulate similar effort across additional years to conduct initial survival and reproductive success analyses to determine the feasibility of a longer-term mark-resight program on these birds. This work is a collaboration between researchers at the Canadian Wildlife Service, New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and University of Missouri. We anticipate the graduate student will inherit >2000 marked individuals to build the resighting data set.
Prerequisites: Ideal candidates will have an undergraduate degree in statistics, wildlife ecology or a closely related field, and interpersonal skills to lead discussions among collaborators. Preference will be given to those with a strong quantitative background (e.g., experience with Program R, Bayesian methods), knowledge of migratory bird ecology and management, and field experience (e.g., handling birds). Competitive applicants will have an undergraduate GPA > 3.4, quantitative GRE scores that average in the 70th percentile or higher, and a GRE analytical writing score > 4.0. Students must have a valid driver’s license. The successful applicant will be expected to publish manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and present papers at scientific meetings.
Salary and benefits: Approximately $22,000 per year, with an expected annual increase, health insurance and course waiver (i.e., the student will not pay tuition).
Start date: August 12, 2019
To be considered for this position, please send the following (preferably as a single PDF) to Dr. Mitch Weegman (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Letter of interest summarizing your experience
Curriculum vitae or resume
College transcripts (unofficial are fine)
GRE scores (unofficial are fine)
Contact information for three references