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  • MSc studentship: Evaluating Western Arctic snow goose impacts on local habitat quality and Arctic wildlife

    Guest Mitch Weegman
    • Employer: University of Saskatchewan
      Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
      Country: Canada
      Last Date to Apply: 04/14/2023
      Open Until Filled: No

    Description: An MSc studentship is available with Dr. Mitch Weegman in the Department of Biology at the University of Saskatchewan (https://www.ducks.ca/our-work/science/saskatchewan-endowed-chair/). This two-year project will assess the impact of overabundant snow geese using GPS-acceleration data from birds summering at Banks Island, Northwest Territories. The objective of this project is to determine the extent to which the Banks Island snow goose colony is impacting local habitat, by linking fine-scale location data to decadal satellite imagery and vegetation monitoring. The student will also identify staging areas/areas of high use during snow goose migration, for additional perspective about the relative importance of Banks Island habitat and other habitats (temperate and subarctic) throughout the annual cycle. Indigenous communities have expressed concern that these birds are competing with Peary caribou and muskox for forage, so there is potential for the student to assess habitat use overlap among these species.


    This project is a partnership between Environment and Climate Change Canada and the University of Saskatchewan. We anticipate the student will use ~100 tracking devices recently deployed on snow geese. The student will have opportunities to join field work on Banks Island, and engage in novel ecological modelling and collaboration among other projects using GPS-acceleration tracking devices to study the full annual cycle in migratory birds.


    Prerequisites: Ideal candidates will have an undergraduate degree in ecology, statistics 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), knowledge of migratory bird ecology and management, and field skills (e.g., capturing and handling birds). 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: $35,000 Canadian per year plus compensation for tuition and fees.


    Start date: 1 Sept 2023


    Last date to apply: 14 Apr 2023 or until a suitable candidate is selected


    To be considered for this position, please send the following (preferably as a single PDF) to Dr. Mitch Weegman (mitch.weegman@usask.ca):

    (1) Letter of interest summarizing your experience, (2) Curriculum vitae or resume, (3) University transcripts (unofficial are OK), (4) Contact information for three references.

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