Assistantships Available


PhD Graduate Assistantship – Human Dimensions of Wildlife Recreation and Conservation

Salary: The student will be supported with a research or teaching assistantship (~$25,000 stipend per year), a full tuition waiver, and student health benefits.

Start date: August 2017 preferred; applications considered as received

Description:
Motivated and hardworking Ph.D. student needed to study the human dimensions of wildlife recreation and conservation. The Ph.D. student will conduct focus groups and survey research to better understand thoughts and behaviors of wildlife viewers in Virginia and how they compare to hunters and anglers. Then, the student will help develop a Wildlife Recreation Plan focused on the broad spectrum of wildlife viewers (casual wildlife viewers, backyard feeder-watchers, avid birdwatchers, citizen scientists, wildlife photographers, butterfly and herp enthusiasts, and those who participate in both wildlife viewing and consumptive wildlife recreation).  The Plan will be developed by engaging a Stakeholder Advisory Committee of representatives from stakeholder groups that represent this spectrum and those who work with them (e.g., bird feeding industry, wildlife tourism industry) and a Technical Advisory Committee of Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries personnel and other technical experts.

Student will receive her/his PhD in Fish and Wildlife Conservation and be part of the Dayer Human Dimensions Lab .  Student will also be encouraged to apply to the interdisciplinary graduate education program Interfaces of Global Change which offers unique intellectual focus and training in the realm of global change and the science-policy interface.

Minimum qualifications:

  • MS degree in human dimensions, fisheries, wildlife, natural resources, or related discipline with coursework in social sciences
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher (over the last 60 credit hours)
  • GRE scores at or above 160 in verbal and quantitative areas
  • Demonstrated research experience (data collection, analysis, and writing)
  • Background in policy, management, or conservation
  • Demonstrated experience working directly with stakeholders, public interest groups, etc.
  • Interest in social science research
  • Commitment to working at the science-policy interface
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience developing survey research instruments and facilitating meetings and/or focus groups
  • Knowledge of wildlife viewers and/or wildlife recreationists
  • Experience applying social science theory to conservation research questions
  • Experience publishing scientific research
  • Advanced quantitative skills including analysis in SPSS or R

To apply:
Submit a single pdf including:

  1. cover letter summarizing interest in the position, qualifications, and experience, as well as research and career goals
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. academic transcripts (can be unofficial)
  4. GRE scores (can be unofficial)
  5. Names, contact information, and short description of relationship for three professional references

Submit via email to Dr. Dayer. Please put “Wildlife recreation HD application” in the email subject line. Selected applicant will also need to apply to the Virginia Tech Graduate School before acceptance.

Contact Person: Dr. Ashley Dayer
Contact email: dayer@vt.edu

 


MS or PhD Graduate Assistantship – Human Dimensions of Shorebird Disturbance and Social Conflict

Salary: The student will be supported with a research or teaching assistantship (~$22-25,000 stipend per year), a full tuition waiver, and student health benefits.

Start date: November 27, 2017 preferred; applications considered as received

Description:
Motivated and hardworking M.S. or Ph.D. student needed to study the human dimensions of wildlife, particularly human disturbance of shorebirds and associated social conflict over management. The student will conduct land manager surveys and beach recreationist focus groups, onsite surveys, and observations to better understand the drivers of Atlantic Coast shorebird disturbance by beach recreationists, how to effectively promote human behaviors that address this disturbance, and how to reduce social conflict over beach recreation area management.  Using these findings and field data collected by partners, the student will help develop a social marketing strategy for appropriate human behaviors that might be positively impacted by communications. Student may also conduct quasi-experimental research, testing the efficacy of outreach and communications strategies. The student will join a transdisciplinary project team of social and ecological scientists and conservation practitioners from the Virginia Tech Shorebird Program, Dayer Human Dimensions Lab, Audubon, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative.

Student will receive her/his degree in Fish and Wildlife Conservation and be part of the Dayer Human Dimensions Lab.  If a Ph.D. student, student will also be encouraged to apply to the interdisciplinary graduate education program Interfaces of Global Change which offers unique intellectual focus and training in the realm of global change and the science-policy interface.

Minimum qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in human dimensions, fisheries, wildlife, natural resources, or related discipline with coursework in social sciences (for PhD: MS degree required)
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher (over the last 60 credit hours)
  • Demonstrated research experience (data collection, analysis, and writing)
  • Background in communications, policy, management, and/or conservation
  • Experience working directly with the public and/or recreationists
  • Interest in social science research
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience developing survey research instruments and facilitating meetings and/or focus groups
  • Knowledge of shorebird disturbance and/or conflict over shorebird management
  • Experience with GIS
  • Advanced quantitative skills including analysis in SPSS or R
  • Experience applying social science theory to conservation research questions (for PhD)
  • Experience publishing scientific research (for PhD)

To apply:
Submit a single pdf including:

  1. cover letter summarizing interest in the position, qualifications, and experience, as well as research and career goals
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. academic transcripts (can be unofficial)
  4. GRE scores (can be unofficial)
  5. Names, contact information, and short description of relationship for three professional references

Submit via email to Dr. Dayer. Please put “Shorebird HD application” in the email subject line. Selected applicant will also need to apply to the Virginia Tech Graduate School before acceptance.

Contact Person: Dr. Ashley Dayer
Contact email: dayer@vt.edu

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

CONTACT US:

GENENRAL INFORMATION:

Dana Keith
Assistant to Department Head
Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Cheatham Hall, RM100, Virginia Tech
310 West Campus Drive (MC0321)
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Phone: (540) 231-5573
Fax: (540) 231-7580
Email:fishwild@vt.edu


GRADUATE PROGRAM:

Dr. Sarah Karpanty 
Graduate Program Coordinator 

Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Cheatham Hall, RM150, Virginia Tech
310 West Campus Drive (MC0321)
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Phone: (540) 231-4586
Fax: (540) 231-7580
Email: karpanty@vt.edu


UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM:

Stephanie Hart, Director
The Advising Center
CNRE
Cheatham Hall, RM138, Virginia Tech
310 West Campus Drive (MC0321)
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Phone: (540) 231-5482
http://cnre.vt.edu/students Email: cnre_students@vt.edu