Graduate Assistantship: Climate Change, Water, and Ecosystem Services at University of Wyoming
Melanie Murphy is recruiting a MS or PhD student to investigate how long-term changes in climate will impact water (distribution, abundance, quality) and ecosystem services (e.g., biodiversity and livestock production) in Wyoming range systems. The effects of climate change are critically important in semi-arid systems where water is the ultimate limiting factor. Water availability is predicted to decrease in Wyoming rangelands regardless of precipitation due to temperature-related increases in vegetative evapotranspiration rates. In addition, annual water supply in high elevation systems is dependent on spring snowmelt from the mountains which may be significantly impacted by shifts in precipitation timing. Water shortage has negative consequences for both biodiversity and human resource use.
Semi-permanent wetlands are indicators of surface water availability. The selected student will use field-based and remotely-sensed data to characterize wetlands and quantify biodiversity. The student will then link these components with human resource use under alternative scenarios of climate change. Student will also have the opportunity to incorporate molecular methods to quantify biodiversity and landscape connectivity (landscape geneticsapproaches).
Prospective students with a background in natural resources, ecology, and/or population genetics are encouraged to apply. Evidence of robust analytical skills, scientific writing, strong work ethic, passion for scientific inquiry, ability to work under harsh field conditions and aptitude for collaborative research are expected.
My spatial ecology and landscape genetics research group is focused on understanding fine-scale distribution and functional connectivity of animal species in ecological systems (https://sites.google.com/site/murphylabuwyo/). University of Wyoming (www.uwyo.edu) is ideally located in Laramie, Wyoming with easy access to varied field sites and outdoor recreation opportunities. In addition, the campus is only 1 hour from Fort Collins and 2 hours from Denver, CO.
Requirements: GRE 1200 (verbal + quantitative, 4 writing), GPA 3.0 (BS)/ 3.3 (MS). Closing date: Dec. 10, 2011 (review will begin immediately). Send materials to Dr. Melanie Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org). Also complete a departmental application (http://www.uwyo.edu/renewable/info.asp?p=22152). PhD students are encouraged to apply to the innovative Program in Ecology (www.uwyo.edu/pie), an integrated, interdepartmental PhD program in ecological science. Position starts August 2012.