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Ph.D. Research Assistantship – Estimating the Abundance of Dusky Grouse: Developing Protocols for Unbiased Population Monitoring

Wildlife Habitat Ecology Lab
Montana State University
Stipend: $25,000 per year
Start: August 2018.
Last date to apply: 04/30/2018


Project description:

The Wildlife Habitat Ecology Lab at Montana State University seeks a highly motivated Ph.D. student to lead a multi-year study to develop and evaluate unbiased survey methods that provide statewide and regional estimates of annual abundance of Dusky Grouse in Montana. Research focus includes, but is not limited to, developing new quantitative tools for estimating the size and dynamics of Dusky Grouse populations, evaluating spatio-temporal relationships among mountain grouse population metrics and habitat management (e.g., timber harvest, livestock grazing), climate, and other multi-scale ecological conditions. Applicants will have strong interests in quantitative ecology and mountain grouse population ecology. The project is in collaboration with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and the successful candidate will coordinate research activities with state and federal field and research staff.


M.S. in wildlife ecology, statistics or related discipline; GPA > 3.5 and competitive GRE scores, English proficiency and valid driver license. This position requires strong quantitative skills and programming experience in R (or strong desire and quick ability to learn these skills); previous experience developing and applying quantitative models to estimate occupancy and abundance, and a working knowledge of GIS-based analyses preferred.  A strong work ethic and field skills, project management experience, excellent verbal and written communication skills, and ability to successfully coordinate field crews is required. Research will occur on public and private lands and good personal skills are necessary.

To apply, send a letter of interest, CV, transcripts, GRE scores, and contact information for 3 references to Dr. Lance McNew at lance.mcnew@montana.edu. Deadline for applications is 04/30/2018 but applications will be reviewed as they are received and the position will remain open until filled.  Information about the WHEL: http://animalrange.montana.edu/faculty/rangescience/mcnwildlifeecol.html