The Dayer Human Dimensions Lab in the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Techseeks to fill a M.S. position, working in close collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Virginia Working Landscapes Program (http://www.vaworkinglandscapes.org). The project will explore the value of several landowner outreach mechanisms (e.g., interactions with professional scientists, interactions with citizen scientists, and peer-to-peer networking events) in influencing landowner conservation behaviors. The student will have two three-month summer field seasons based in Front Royal, Virginia (housing provided at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute). The successful candidate will gain skills in qualitative and quantitative social science methods, as well as science co-production, working closely with university researchers, Smithsonian researchers and program managers, and a steering committee of citizen scientists and landowners. This approach will ensure that the project has utility for Smithsonian conservation programs and program participants.
The successful candidate will be fully funded (tuition and stipend) on a combination of graduate research assistantships and graduate teaching assistantships for two full years. The candidate will be mentored by Dr. Ashley Dayer (http://www.dayer.fishwild.vt.edu/) and Dr. Amy Johnson (https://nationalzoo.si.edu/conservation/amy-em-johnson).
Applicants should have a strong interest and a prior degree in conservation biology, social sciences (preferably psychology, sociology, or communications), human dimensions, natural resources, or related discipline. Applicants should have past research experience (preferably social science or conservation biology), an outstanding academic record, and evidence of strong writing skills. Applicants must show an aptitude for co-produced science and communication with landowners and citizen scientists. Experience preferred: landowner outreach, other extension, or public education activities and conducting interviews or developing surveys.
Start date for the assistantship is January 2020. Deadline for applications is Wednesday, October 16th. However, applications will be reviewed as they are received.
To apply, please email a single PDF file to Dr. Ashley Dayer (firstname.lastname@example.org) containing (1) a one page cover letter outlining your research interests, career goals, and relevant experience for this position; (2) your CV; (3) undergraduate transcript(s) and GRE scores; and (4) full contact information for at least 3 professional references. The subject line of the email must read: Private Lands Graduate Position.