Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

MS graduate assistantship (Oklahoma State) camera traps & population dynamics 

MS graduate assistantship (Oklahoma State) “ camera traps & population dynamics 
Agency: Oklahoma State University 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma  
Job category: Graduate assistantships 
Salary: $20,004 per year + subsidized health insurance 
Start date: 1/8/2024 
Last date to apply: Review of applications will begin 10/15/2023 and continue until a successful candidate is identified. 
 
Description: Dr. Anna Moeller at Oklahoma State University is seeking one highly motivated Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) to improve existing approaches to noninvasively estimate abundance of multiple species using camera traps. Abundance estimates are critical for understanding population dynamics and informing wildlife conservation decisions. Camera traps capture around-the-clock data that can be used to estimate abundance but require a clearer understanding of animals availability for detection throughout a 24-hour period. Species-specific behaviors influence availability (e.g., burrowing underground, roosting in trees, migrating), which may result in underestimates of abundance.  
 
The Moeller Lab develops analytical models to improve conservation decisions and population monitoring (https://sites.google.com/view/moellerquantitativeecology). This students primary responsibility will be to develop and test different strategies for correcting for imperfect availability in camera trap abundance estimators. This will involve collecting camera trap field data and performing computer simulation. The student will be able to tailor questions to their species of interest (e.g., elk, deer, carnivores, etc.). The successful candidate will be fully involved in project idea development, data collection, data analysis, and publication of results. This position will allow the student to develop quantitative and coding skills; although the applicant will need to have a strong interest in developing these skills, no previous experience is required.  
 
The successful applicant will pursue a Master of Science (MS) degree in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Oklahoma State University. The GRE is not required. To apply, please send application packet PDF to Dr. Anna Moeller (anna.moeller@okstate.edu) with the subject Cameras MS application. Packets should include the following in a single PDF file:  
1) cover letter describing your interest in the project, relevant skillset, and skills you want to develop  during graduate school 
2) CV including contact information for at least 3 references 
3) writing sample (e.g. a scientific paper, grant application, class project) that demonstrates your  ability to synthesize complex information 
 
Qualifications 
Candidates must have:  
bachelors degree in ecology, wildlife management, biology, statistics, mathematics, or related field 
Self-motivation with a strong work ethic, organization, and time management 
Demonstrated ability to complete all parts of the scientific process (generating creative questions, searching and integrating primary scientific literature, collecting data, performing statistical analysis, communicating results) A strong interest in learning quantitative skills, including statistical analysis and R coding 
A valid US driver license without restrictions 
Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or greater (as required by the Department and Graduate College)  

TOEFL score 79, IELTS score of 6.5, or PTE Academic score of 53 (required for students from a country in which English is not a recognized primary language) 
Ideal candidates will have experience in:  

Analysis using R, Python, GIS, etc.  
Coursework in upper-level mathematics or statistics 
Working with biologists from agencies, nongovernmental organizations, etc. 
Publishing peer-reviewed articles 
 
Contact person: Dr. Anna Moeller 
Contact email: anna.moeller@okstate.edu