Positions Available

Fisheries Ecology / Biophysical Economics | Golden-winged Warbler | Invasive Species and Atlantic Salmon


Position: Graduate Student Research Assistant in Fisheries Ecology / Biophysical Economics (PhD preferred, exceptional student considered for MS), starting January 2021

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 seem 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 decline. The student will combine “traditional” fisheries science approaches such as age-and-growth analysis and energy-flow ecosystem modelling 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 fieldwork, 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 immediately, competitive candidates will be selected for interviews by around 1 October 2020, final offer will be made by around 15 October 2020, and position will start around 15 January 2021.

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”

MS Assistantship: Golden-winged Warbler survival

Location: University of Maine (Orono, ME) with fieldwork in the Midwest and Appalachians

Stipend: ~$21,096 per year plus tuition (up to 13 credits per academic year) and ½ health insurance premium

Description: Dr. Amber Roth seeks a graduate student to pursue an MS degree over a 3 to 3.5-year period in association with the School of Forest Resources and Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology at the University of Maine. The student will be charged with estimating Golden-winged Warbler annual survival as part of a population viability assessment.  The graduate student will work closely with a post-doctoral student developing range-wide population and habitat models. This position is a combination of a Teaching Assistantship (fall semesters) and Research Assistantship (spring and summer semesters). The student has the option to pursue a degree in Wildlife Ecology, Forest Resources, or Ecology & Environmental Science.  Peer-reviewed publications are expected as a product of this research. My intent is to hire the likely graduate student to begin a program of study beginning in Spring 2021 (potential to begin Fall 2020), with an expected graduation date of December 2023. Funding is still pending (and may be delayed due to COVID-19) so the position will be filled upon confirmation of funding approval.

Qualifications: Qualified applicants will possess a BS/BA degree in biology, ecology, natural resources, environmental science, or other relevant fields, strong interpersonal skills, and a valid driver’s license. Competitive candidates will also have 1) considerable experience capturing and banding songbirds including attachment of telemetry tags (i.e., should be comfortable with training others in banding and tag attachment techniques), 2) ability to work independently in the field, 3) ability to work remotely and coordinate multiple field crews, 4) spatial analysis skills using GIS, and 5) have an interest in undergraduate teaching. Additionally, I’m seeking someone who has a strong work ethic and an outgoing personality. This project will require the physical ability to work in dense, regenerating forests and the mental toughness to implement a relatively
short but intensive field season.

Applications: Email your resume, cover letter summarizing your experience and interests, college transcripts, GRE scores (percentiles), and contact info for three references to Dr. Amber Roth via amber.roth AT maine.edu.

Deadline for applications: July 10, 2020 or until filled.

The University of Maine is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Ph.D. Graduate Assistantship: University of Maine, Orono

Responsibilities:  The incumbent will develop a research project aimed at understanding how predation/competition with invasive species (e.g., smallmouth bass) may influence the freshwater stages (and restoration) of Atlantic salmon in Maine.  The student will use historic electrofishing distribution data in conjunction with habitat information (i.e., temperature, substrate, slope) to construct a spatially explicit population model. Other complementary 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 partners (State of Maine, NOAA, Penobscot Nation, USFWS) and be responsible for frequent reporting.  One to two semesters of TA support is anticipated.

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

Salary: $26,000 per year (4.5 –year), $2,732 health, and tuition. Funding is renewed annually.

Closing date: July 31, 2020; anticipated starting date of January 1, 2021

Contact: Send CV, transcripts copies, 3 refs (names only) and GRE scores/percentiles to Joe Zydlewski (email josephz@maine.edu)

Link: https://www1.usgs.gov/coopunits/staff/480833


updated 8/6/2020