MS or PhD Position Available
Carbon Consequences of Precision Grazing Management
South Dakota State University

An MS or PhD student position is available to participate in a USDA-funded effort to evaluate the carbon stock and flux consequences of new precision grazing technologies for rangeland livestock in the Northern Great Plains. The project will compare traditional grazing management with virtual fencing and take a systems approach in examining the complete livestock production process. The student will be responsible for vegetation, soil carbon, and carbon flux measurements in a spatially explicit manner and will contribute to models of carbon exchange impact to the larger project. A PhD student will also develop related projects as additional components of their dissertation. Field work will take place at the Cottonwood Research Station in western South Dakota during the summer, with the expectation that the student will live and work at the station during the field season. The work is a collaboration between faculty in Natural Resource Management and Animal Science departments. The position is available beginning January 2023, although an earlier start would be considered. The successful candidate will receive a tuition waiver, a 12-month stipend, and field housing in the summer.

Required Qualifications: (1) A BS/BA degree in Biology, Ecology, Rangeland Ecology, Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management, or related field by December 2022; (2) strong academic record including undergraduate research experience (for MS candidates) or research leading to publication (for PhD candidates); (3) strong data manipulation, statistical and GIS skills using R and/or Python and ArcMAP; (5) excellent written and oral communication skills.

The Department of Natural Resource Management (Range, Wildlife, Fisheries, and Ecology) and the Department of Animal Science at South Dakota State University are within the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences. The graduate programs strongly emphasize conservation and appropriate use of natural resources, as well as improving livestock production. SDState is the Land Grant University for the state and has approximately 13,000 students. SDState is in Brookings, SD ca. one hour north of Sioux Falls and four hours east of the Twin Cities, and offers a friendly, small, college-town atmosphere.

To apply, send a single PDF with (1) CV; (2) a letter describing how you meet the required qualifications, your research interests, and your career goals; (3) unofficial transcripts; and (4) contact information for three professional references to Josh Leffler ([email protected]). Formal application to the university only needs to be made after selection of the successful candidate. Position is open until filled but please apply by 15 August 2022 for full consideration.

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