Description: The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University invites applications for the position of Doctoral Research Assistant. The intent is to investigate the impacts of emerging populations of wolves on population dynamics of deer and elk, and associated influences on local and regional economies in the northern portion of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. The project will focus on inclusion of key constituencies to inform statistical modeling scenarios. The project has four years of financial support.
Background: Wolves colonized the western portion of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in 1989 from Wisconsin and expanded to occupy nearly all of the Upper Peninsula. In 2015, wolves were documented in the northern portion of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Continued expansion of wolf populations and specific areas of colonization will be dependent on human tolerance and prey abundance. As wolves expand south, they will encounter more people, larger densities of deer, and a population of elk. Consequently, our investigations are intended to: (1) forecast wolf population expansion, (2) estimate their potential impacts on the population dynamics of deer and elk, and (3) evaluate the associated economic effects on local communities, as well as on regional hunting and recreation industries. The doctoral student will draw on statistical modeling and constituency involvement processes to lead a team of scientists and stakeholders through assessments of alternative management scenarios.
Program Support: Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife is one of the largest programs of its kind with 45 core faculty (www.fw.msu.edu/). It hosts the Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center whose mission is to promote wildlife conservation by applying mathematics, statistics, and computer modeling (www.qwc.fw.msu.edu/).
Qualifications: Applicants must have a Master’s Degree in wildlife ecology or a related field and demonstrated strong quantitative abilities; preference will be given to candidates with a background in population dynamics and modeling, and a record of excellence in working with government conservation agencies.
Salary and Start Date: $22,000, tuition and health benefits. Expected start date is August 16, 2016.
Applications: Contact Dr. William Porter, Boone and Crockett Chair of Wildlife Conservation (e-mail: [email protected]) or Dr. David Williams, Associate Director, Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center (e-mail: [email protected]). Submit via e-mail: a letter of intent, resume or CV, copies of transcripts and GRE scores, and a list of 3 references.
Review of applications will begin March 15, 2016 and continue until the position is filled.