MS Position: Fire, Larch, and Carbon Cycling in Siberia, University of Texas at Brownsville

Heather Alexander (University of Texas, Brownsville) is seeking an MS-level graduate student to conduct research on fire, larch forests, and carbon dynamics in far northeastern Siberia. The student will join a collaborative team of researchers, including scientists from the University of Texas, Brownsville, Woods Hole Research Center, Colgate University, Northern Arizona University, and Russian Academy of Sciences.

The student will spend 4-5 weeks during summers 2015 and 2016 conducting field-based research out of the Northeast Science Station in Cherskii, Russia.  Research may include measurements of larch succession within experimental burn plots and across natural burn gradients, quantification of changes in permafrost characteristics following fire, and estimation of carbon pools and fluxes in stands with varying fire histories.

The student will be employed as a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas-Brownsville. The successful applicant will be expected to enroll full time in the UTB Biology Master’s program pursuing the thesis option. This is a unique opportunity to join a young and expanding department located in one of the fastest growing, culturally diverse regions in the nation situated minutes from Padre Island, Laguna Madre, and the Gulf of Mexico. The Department of Biological Sciences offers degrees at the B.S. and M.S. level and is expanding its graduate programs. By fall 2015, UTB will be fully merged with UT Pan Am (UTPA) in Edinburg as UT Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), with a combined undergraduate enrollment of over 30,000.

Requirements: Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, or a related field. Successful candidates must demonstrate an aptitude for research and ability to work independently. Prior experience in fieldwork related to plant and ecosystem ecology is preferred, as are data analysis and scientific writing experience. The applicant must be able and willing to travel internationally and be field capable. A current, valid U.S. driver’s license and good driving record is also required.

The GRA will be expected to work 19 hours/week in the laboratory of his/her faculty advisor and participate in outreach events associated with grant-related and departmental activities. The position will begin in spring
2015 and end in fall 2016. The available GRA has $1250 per month stipend ($15,000 annually) and is benefits eligible. The GRA also includes a tuition scholarship of $2,450 per semester for spring and fall 2015 and spring and fall 2016. This should covers tuition and fees for 9 credit hr per semester and includes an out-of-state tuition waiver. All travel to Siberia is covered by the research grant.

To Apply: Interested applicants should send to Dr. Heather Alexander ( a copy of their CV or resume, unofficial transcripts and GRE scores, a written statement of graduate research interests, and letters of recommendations from two referees.Applications not containing all of these elements will not be considered.

Deadline: Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

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