Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

PhD Assistantship in Riparian Invasion Ecology – South Dakota State University

Job Description:  
The Stream Ecology Lab at South Dakota State University is seeking applicants for a Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistantship. The student will assess the effects of hydrology on establishment and spread of invasive riparian vegetation (Russian olive) in riparian habitats on US Bureau of Land Management lands in Wyoming. Student will develop remote sensing models to map current distributions and develop risk models for riparian habitat invasion by Russian olive. Student will have the opportunity for collaboration with state and federal collaborators and SD State faculty including Dr. Lora Perkins, Dr. Maitiniyaze Maimaitijiang, and Dr. John Ball. Data collection will include field work in remote locations, remote sensing, and geospatial data analysis. Responsibilities include the completion of research projects (planning, analysis, writing), sharing results via conference presentations and publications, and the completion of coursework. The location is in Brookings, South Dakota with travel to field sites throughout Wyoming. Start date is August 2024.  
 
Qualifications: 
Required: Minimum GPA of 3.0, B.S. and M.S. in Environmental Science, Fisheries, Wildlife, Ecology, or related field (Completed by start date), valid drivers license. Candidates should have enthusiasm for or background with quantitative analysis and modeling. 

 
Preferred: Experience analyzing remotely sensed data and working with ArcGIS, Python, R, or other similar platforms. Experience with field vegetation surveying techniques. Research experience (from job, internship, or undergraduate research) including any of the following – writing, experimental design, data analysis, conference presentations, or publications. Energetic, optimistic students that work will with people and independent under challenging conditions are encouraged to apply. BIPOC, LGBTQ+, women, and other underrepresented groups in STEM are encouraged to apply. GRE not required.  

 
To Apply: Please submit 1) unofficial transcripts, 2) resume or CV, 3) a cover letter detailing your interest in the position, and 4) a list of three references and their contact information.  Application materials should be combined into a single pdf and submitted to Dr. Christopher Cheek (Christopher.Cheek@sdstate.edu). For full consideration, apply by October 15th, 2023. 
 
Compensation: $24,000 + tuition waiver 
 
Deadline: October 15th, 2023 
 
Contact person Christopher.Cheek@sdstate.edu