Positions Available

M.S. Graduate Assistantship: Alewife passage in the St. Croix- anticipated start date of May 15, 2022

Responsibilities:  Incumbent will develop a three-year study on the passage of alewife in the St. Croix River, Maine, as an integral part of ongoing river restoration efforts. The project will use active telemetry (radio or acoustic) to characterize migratory path choice and success for this important native species. This is a quantitatively intense study. While telemetry experience would be desirable, a willingness to learn is a necessity. Good communication skills are essential as this project will be collaborative with State of Maine, NOAA, USFWS, Canadian and Passamaquoddy partners. One to two semesters of TA support are anticipated. Individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Qualifications: B.S. in biology or equivalent, quantitative skills, interest in fisheries science and excellent work ethics. GPA of 3.2+ and GREs >50th percentile desired (if available).

Salary: $23,000 per year, $2,386 health, and $7,033 tuition (estimated). Funding is renewed annually (anticipated 3 years).

Closing date: Review will begin December 31, 2021 and continue until filled; anticipated starting date of May 15, 2022.

Contact: Send cover letter, CV, transcript copies, three references (names only), and GRE scores/percentiles (not required) to Joe Zydlewski (email  josephz@maine.edu) with heading “Alewife-passage”.

Link: https://www1.usgs.gov/coopunits/unit/Maine


M.S. Graduate Assistantship: Atlantic salmon kelt passage – anticipated start date of May 15, 2022

Responsibilities: Incumbent will study migratory behavior and passage success of sea run adult Atlantic salmon in the Penobscot River, Maine. The project will use active telemetry (radio or acoustic) and physiological assessment to characterize migratory, reproductive and survival costs imposed by dams. This is a quantitatively intense study. Experience in field ecology, database management, and telemetry are desirable – but only a willingness to learn is a necessity. Good communication skills are essential as the incumbent will work with many partners (State of Maine, federal, tribal and NGOs). One to two semesters of TA support are anticipated. Individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Qualifications: B.S. in biology or equivalent, quantitative skills, interest in fisheries science and excellent work ethics. GPA of 3.2+ and GREs >50th percentile desired (if available).

Salary: $23,000 per year, $2,386 health, and $7,033 tuition (estimated). Funding is renewed annually (anticipated 3 years).

Closing date: Review will begin December 31, 2021 and continue until filled; anticipated starting date of May 15, 2022.

Contact: Send cover letter, CV, transcript copies, three references (names only) and GRE scores/percentiles to Joe Zydlewski (email josephz@maine.edu) with heading “Kelt passage”.

Link: https://www1.usgs.gov/coopunits/unit/Maine


Ph.D. Graduate Assistantship: Food web impacts of alewife reintroduction – anticipated start date of May 15, 2022

Responsibilities: The incumbent will develop a research project aimed at understanding how the reintroduction of sea-run alewife may influence the food web and sport fisheries of coastal lakes in Maine. The student will use pre- and post- introduction assessments to assess general ecology shifts and growth in target species (e.g., land locked Atlantic salmon). Other complimentary approaches will be collaboratively developed. Experience in field ecology, database management, and modeling are desirable – but only a willingness to learn is a necessity. Good communication skills are essential. The incumbent will work with many partners (State of Maine, federal, tribal and NGOs), and be responsible for frequent reporting. The student will be advised by both Christina Murphy and Joe Zydlewski. One to two semesters of TA support is anticipated. Individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Qualifications: M.S. in biology or equivalent, quantitative skills, interest in fisheries science and excellent work ethics. GPA of 3.2+ is desired.

Salary: $26,000 per year, $2,386 health, and $7,033 tuition (estimated). Funding is renewed annually, 4.5 years is anticipated.

Closing date: Review will begin December 31, 2021 and continue until filled; anticipated starting date of May 15, 2022.

Contact: Send cover letter, CV, transcript copies, three references (names only) and GRE scores/percentiles (optional) to Joe Zydlewski (email josephz@maine.edu) with heading “Alewife-food web”

Link: https://www1.usgs.gov/coopunits/unit/Maine


Graduate Student Research Assistant in Fisheries Ecology / Biophysical Economics (Ph.D. preferred, exceptional student considered for MS) – anticipated start of September 2022

Project background: Human population growth is on a collision course with biophysical limits of Planet Earth and economic limits of modern capitalism, but current systemic structure and ways of thinking are incapable of correctly identifying and responding to these existential crises. This has motivated some people to plan for a future of resource scarcity, climate catastrophe, and economic collapse by investing in back-to-the-land activities (sustenance fishing, hunting, homesteading, etc.) to build resilience and achieve some level of sustainability. But are these intelligent responses to achieve a “prosperous way down”, or just feel-good activities with little chance of success? This research project seeks to find out! Applicants can learn more by watching this presentation

Responsibilities: Graduate student will contribute to an existing research project and also expand its scope according to their skills and interests. The project’s primary focus is to evaluate productive capacity of Maine’s freshwater fisheries, along with harvest capacity of anglers, to meet sustenance needs during times of economic and ecological crises. The student will combine “traditional” fisheries science approaches such as age-and-growth analysis and energy-flow ecosystem modeling with biophysical economic analysis to quantify profitability of sustenance angling and assess its potential for helping meet long-term and large-scale sustainability goals. Secondary focal projects would apply similar approaches towards evaluating other sustenance activities common in rural Maine such as hunting, firewood harvesting, maple syruping, gardening, etc. The student will take advantage of existing data sets (e.g., otoliths from 5,000+ angled fish) but also collect their own data from nearby field sites. This project will require field work, lab work, computer analysis/modeling, grant writing, and serving as Teaching Assistant for undergraduate ecology-based classes.

Qualifications: Applicants should hold M.S. or equivalent degree in an ecology-related discipline (exceptional students possessing B.S. or equivalent will be considered); meet minimum Departmental standards of GPA and GRE; have demonstrated achievement in relevant coursework, skills, or experience in fisheries ecology, ecosystems ecology, and/or biophysical economics; have demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively and think critically.

Compensation: This position is supported by a Graduate Assistantship through the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station (MAFES), which includes an annual stipend of ~ $20,000, tuition waiver, ½ health insurance coverage, and a small operating budget. The student will be expected to help pursue additional funding opportunities by writing grants and seeking collaborators.

Timeline: Review of applications will begin December 2021, competitive candidates will be selected for interviews by around 15 February 2022, final offer will be made by around 1 April 2022, and the position will start around 1 September 2022.

Application: Candidates should email a statement of interest/qualifications, CV, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for 3 references to Steve Coghlan, Associate Professor of Freshwater Fisheries Ecology, at Stephen.coghlan@maine.edu, with the subject header “Graduate Application”


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updated 10/29/2021