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Graduate Position at the University of Montana Wilderness Institute

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The University of Montana Wilderness Institute seeks to fill a MS graduate assistantship to work on a funded project titled, “Ecosystem Response to Fire in the Wilderness. This project will measure vegetation and fuels across sites that burned in the last 40 years to assess the potential for fire-caused changes to vegetation structure and function, including conversions to non-forest and feedbacks of previous fires on subsequent fire effects. Potential study areas include the Bob Marshall Complex, Selway Bitterroot, Frank Church – River of No Return, and Gila-Aldo Leopold wilderness areas. This project is a collaboration with Dr. Sean Parks and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute (ALWRI). The position will be supervised by Dr. Andrew J. Larson.

The MS student will conduct field and remote-sensing based investigations of fire effects in wilderness areas, including publication of results in peer-reviewed journals; work collaboratively with UM faculty, staff, and students, ALWRI researchers, and wilderness managers; and support undergraduate education at UM through occasional service as a guest speaker, field trip leader, or field course teaching assistant. Four semesters of support are available, including salary, tuition, mandatory fees, and health insurance.

Two MS degree programs are available: Forestry or Systems Ecology.

Required qualifications
• All the requirements for admission to the relevant degree program
• Ability to implement applied statistical analyses in R
• Experience with field sampling, including logistics and off-trail navigation
• Experience with GIS and geospatial software, data, and analytical methods
• Ability to work independently and to manage multiple responsibilities and deadlines
• Excellent communication and time management skills

Preferred Qualifications
• Current Wilderness First Responder and CPR certification
• Experience acquiring and managing large datasets, including metadata documentation
• A record of publication in the peer-reviewed literature

Application Procedures
Send a single pdf file containing your cover letter describing qualifications, current CV, unofficial transcripts, and names and contacts of three professional references to Dr. Andrew J. Larson at [email protected]. Submit your materials by January 19, 2022.

About UM and Missoula. The University of Montana is a place where top-tier students, educators, and researchers 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 within minutes of campus. Missoula supports a vibrant arts community and attracts national musical acts. Missoula and the surrounding area host a large and impactful land management, conservation, and research community including major federal research labs and land management agencies, and well as multiple significant conservation and environmental NGOs


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