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Master’s degree opportunity at the University of Montana – Fire and biodiversity

Positions by 99Science

We are seeking a master’s degree student at the University of Montana W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation (FCFC) to work on a funded project to evaluate the relationship between fire and biodiversity in western US wilderness areas. This project will evaluate fire history data to quantify pyrodiversity (the variation in spatiotemporal fire patterns), and then examine the relationship between biodiversity and pyrodiversity. This project will rely on existing geospatial datasets; field work is unlikely. The position will be supervised by Dr. Solomon Dobrowski in collaboration with Dr. Sean Parks and Dr. Kathy Zeller at the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute (ALWRI) and Dr. Zack Steel at UC Berkeley.

The Master’s student will: conduct remote-sensing and geospatial based investigations of fire history patterns in wilderness areas; model available biodiversity data as a function of pyrodiversity; publish results in peer-reviewed journals; work collaboratively with UM faculty, staff, and students, ALWRI and UC Berkeley researchers, and wilderness managers; and support undergraduate education at UM as a teaching assistant. Four semesters of support are available, with annual renewal based on satisfactory performance. Student will start in Fall 2022, though there may be an opportunity start earlier.

Required qualifications
• All of the requirements for admission to the relevant FCFC Master’s degree program, and
• Demonstrated ability to write clearly and communicate effectively
• Ability to work independently and to effectively manage responsibilities and deadlines
• Excellent communication and time management skills

Preferred qualifications
• Ability to implement modern applied statistical and spatial analyses in R
• Experience acquiring and managing large datasets
• Experience with GIS and geospatial software, data, and analytical methods

To apply, send a single pdf file containing a cover letter, current CV, unofficial transcripts, and names and contacts of three professional references to Dr. Solomon Dobrowski ([email protected]) and Sean Parks ([email protected]). Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning early December 2021.

About UM and Missoula. The University of Montana is a place where top-tier students, educators and researchers from across the country and around the globe come and thrive. UM is located in Missoula, Montana’s second-largest city with a population of 80,000 residents. Missoula offers a high quality of life, with excellent public schools, and multiple rivers, trails, Wilderness areas, and other outdoor recreation amenities.


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