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  • M.S. position at Oregon State University: Black-backed Woodpecker vital rates in fire-prone landscapes

    • Employer: Oregon State University
      Location: Corvallis, Oregon
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/31/2020
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Position Summary

    The Forest Animal Ecology Laboratory (http://people.forestry.oregonstate.edu/jim-rivers/) in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University is currently soliciting applications for a M.S. student to start in fall 2020. The student will be advised by Dr. Jim Rivers in the Department of Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management and will help to lead an ongoing project whose goal is to enhance understanding of Black-backed Woodpecker habitat use in green (i.e., unburned) and burned forests of southern Oregon. In particular, this project is focused on quantifying nest and post-fledgling survival, assessing juvenile movements and space use, and evaluating factors that influence woodpecker nest-site selection. The successful candidate will start field work in late April 2020 and will supervise a small field crew in the collection of empirical data during May-September 2020, with matriculation in fall 2020.

    The successful applicant will be intellectually curious, hard working, and motivated to develop good quantitative and communication skills; they will also have a solid background in ornithological field techniques that are critical to the success of the project (e.g., nest-searching, chick handling, VHF tag attachment). This position provides an excellent opportunity for a student interested in avian ecology, behavioral ecology, and forest management to work on applied research in a dynamic field setting. Oregon State University is among the top U.S. universities for scientific productivity in environmental sciences and conservation biology, and the College of Forestry is currently ranked second in forestry programs globally.

    This position provides a 12-month stipend (minimum of $1975/month), tuition and health insurance. This is a two-year position, subject to a satisfactory performance review after 12 months.


    Preferred qualifications

    -        A B.S. degree in wildlife ecology or a closely related field

    -        GPA ≥ 3.5

    -        Prior experience with GIS/QGIS

    -        Demonstrated experience in ornithological field research, including safe handling, banding, and radio-tagging 

    -        Excellent physical condition for working in adverse conditions and traversing rugged mountainous terrain

    -        Prior experience effectively leading research teams under challenging field conditions

    -        Exceptional organizational skills, particularly as it relates to data collection and management

    -        Applicants with existing funding (e.g., NSF, NSERC, Fulbright, graduate assistantships) will be given high priority


    Application Instructions

    Applicants should create a single PDF file that contains:

    (1) a cover letter addressing qualifications as they relate to the position requirements,

    (2) a full-length curriculum vitae or résumé,

    (3) GRE scores,

    (4) academic transcripts (unofficial transcripts are sufficient), and

    (5) the names and contact information (email, telephone, and mail) of three individuals who may be contacted as professional references.

    This document should be emailed to Dr. Jim Rivers (jim.rivers@oregonstate.edu) with “Woodpecker M.S. Position” in the subject line. Review of applications will begin as they are received, and this position will remain open until a suitable candidate has been selected.   


    Oregon State University commits to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

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