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A graduate research assistantship (M.S.) is available within the South Dakota State University Department of Natural Resource Management evaluating the impact of using low-cost, low-tech tools such as beaver dam analogs (BDAs) to help restore critical prairie streams and improve livestock forage production at landscape scales. The overall goal of this project is to improve understanding, awareness, and interest in BDAs that can benefit watershed health at the landscape scale in grassland ecosystems. The primary objective of this study is to 1) Research BDAs impact on forage production, plant community composition, and soil moisture; 2) Implement BDAs on cooperating ranches and at a research field station; and 3) Teach technical experts and producers about BDAs through trainings and workshops. This project will provide critical information to livestock producers on the importance of riparian health and methods to help restore riparian functionality. The student will be part of an inter-disciplinary team and will have opportunities for both collaboration with other graduate students and faculty and professional development.

Candidates interested in this position should email Dr. Krista Ehlert (krista.ehlert@sdstate.edu) and Dr. Jameson Brennan (Jameson.brennan@sdstate.edu) with the following:

1) A cover letter describing your background, qualifications, and career goals
2) A resume
3) Unofficial transcripts
4) Contact information for 3 professional references

South Dakota State University    Krista (“A-lert”) Ehlert, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Extension Range Specialist
Department of Natural Resource Management
West River Research & Extension
711 N Creek Dr
Rapid City, SD 57703
P: (605) 394-2236
www.sdstate.edu

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