ECOLOG-L Graduate Opportunity in Urban Forest Modeling

Graduate Opportunity in Urban Forest Modeling

Dr. Christina Staudhammer in the Department of Biological Sciences at the
University of Alabama (http://cstaudhammer.people.ua.edu/) is now inviting
applications for a PhD or MS position starting in spring 2019. The student
will work on a project in urban forestry, partially funded by a grant from
NSF-Ecosystems.
The benefits of urban forests to city-dwelling people include recreation,
pollution, mitigation, energy savings, and water purification. However,
fundamental questions still remain about the resistance and resilience of
urban ecosystems to anthropogenic change, especially associated with
projected alterations in global climate. Hurricane Irma, while destructive,
created an opportunity to evaluate the impact of windstorms on urban
forests. Utilizing pre- and post-storm field-measured and remotely sensed
data, a student is sought to model the relationship between tree,
landscape, and socioeconomic characteristics, storm variables, and urban
forest damage. This work will fill gaps in our knowledge about the
ecosystem services provided by urban forests. The overarching goal is to
enhance our scientific understanding of the role of urban forests at local
to regional scales, and how they respond to disturbance.
It is expected that prospective graduate students will develop their own
research plans and goals, and therefore should be self-motivated and
independent. Students should be interested in combining ecology with
statistical modeling. Students should have demonstrated experience in
statistics, as well as a background forest ecology, geography, or
environmental science. A solid working knowledge of SAS and/or R is
required, and those with strong quantitative skills will be given
preference.
This position is primarily a Teaching Assistantship, supplemented by grant
funding. However students are expected to apply for additional funding.
Interested students will earn a graduate degree from the Department of
Biological Sciences. The project will also offer the opportunity to
interact with researchers from the USDA forest service, as well as
researchers from the University of Florida and University of South Florida.
The University of Alabama is located in Tuscaloosa, a college town of
~100,000, surrounded by extensive and varied forests. These forests, and
the greater region, provide a wide range of recreational amenities
including rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking and mountain
biking.
To be eligible, students must meet the graduate admission requirements of
the University of Alabama: an undergraduate GPA > 3.0 overall, 3.0 for the
last 60 semester hours in a degree program or 3.0 for a completed graduate
degree program, and a 300 on the GRE. If interested, email a short summary
of your research interests, an unofficial transcript from undergraduate
(and post-graduate, if applicable) work, as well as a CV to Dr. Christina
Staudhammer (cstaudhammer@ua.edu).