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Positions Available

PhD Assistantship – Population dynamics of spruce grouse in managed forest landscapes

Location – University of Maine (Orono, ME) and Northern Maine Field Sites

Stipend: $19,123 per year plus tuition and ½ Health Insurance Premium

Description – We are seeking applicants for a PhD position that focuses on evaluating the demographics of spruce grouse under varying silvicultural practices in the commercially managed forests of Northern Maine.  This study will follow an initial three-years of ongoing work in this system, which was targeted at understanding spruce-grouse occupancy of managed forest stands, as well as home range and habitat associations of spruce grouse during the breeding season.  The student will expand on this ongoing work and develop a dissertation that evaluates the effects of habitat composition and forest management on spruce grouse demographic rates (e.g. adult survival, nest success, survival of young) and population performance, as well as other questions of interest to the student.  We expect the successful candidate to assist the current graduate student with data collection during the 2014 spring/summer field season, and then to manage field operations during subsequent years of the student’s PhD program, which will begin officially in September 2014.  Data from the first three years of study will be available to the student for use in developing their dissertation.  The student will be a member of the Department of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Maine, and will be co-advised by Dr. Erik Blomberg and Dr. Daniel Harrison.

Qualifications –  Required Qualifications: Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from a Wildlife Ecology, Biology, Natural Resource, or related program. A positive attitude and the ability to supervise a field crew in a remote setting with limited communication is a must.  The ability to tolerate less-than-pleasant field conditions, which include muggy buggy summers and cold snowy winters, is also mandatory.  Must be physically fit and capable of hiking long distances in dense eastern forest habitat.  Strong oral and written communication skills and evidence of progress in publishing work form the M.S. degree is highly desirable.  Experience with field work and quantitative analyses, as well as strong recommendations are required. Must possess a valid driver’s license.

Desired qualifications: Preference will be given to applicants with experience working in in forest communities and with knowledge of forest ecology.  Prior experience with the following field skills: radio telemetry, avian capture and handling, vegetation sampling and identification of eastern forest plants, use of 4×4 vehicles, snowmobile operation.  Prior experience or exposure in coursework with the following quantitative skills: capture-mark-recapture analysis, regression-based modelling, information-theoretic hypothesis testing. Strong academic record including undergraduate and graduate GPA, GRE scores, presentation at professional conferences, and one or more peer-reviewed publication or evidence of publishing experience (i.e. publications currently in review).

To apply – Please submit the following by email to Dr. Erik Blomberg ( Cover letter describing your qualifications for the position, CV/Resume including GRE scores, contact information for at least three professional references, and a writing sample (master’s thesis or published manuscript).  A single merged document is preferred, writing sample may be submitted separately.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and should be submitted by 1 February for full consideration.  Start date no later than 1 May 2014.

Contact: Dr. Erik J. Blomberg (


MS Graduate Assistantship in Fisheries Ecology

Responsibilities:  As part of the Penobscot River Restoration Project, the student will quantify changes in the structure and function of resident and diadromous fish communities in the Penobscot River after dam removal.  Field responsibilities include boat electrofishing, beach seining, trapnetting, and supervision of undergraduate technicians.  Lab techniques include retrospective age-and-growth analysis, size-spectral analysis, and community ordination.  Teaching opportunities may arise.

Qualifications:  The ideal candidate will be motivated and hard-working, with excellent field and quantitative skills.  GPA > 3.4 and combined GRE > 1200.  Experience with boat operation, boat electrofishing, and GIS desirable.

Salary:  Stipend ~ $18,000 per year; tuition waiver; health insurance

Closing date:  February 28, 2014;  Start date:  May 1, 2014.

Contact:  Send email of interest, CV / resume, and unofficial GPA / GRE summaries to Dr. Steve Coghlan (  No phone inquiries.

Last updated: 2/3/2014