Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

Post-fire reforestation PhD opportunity at Colorado State University 

We are hiring a PhD student in Forest Science or Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at Colorado State University in the Fire Ecology Lab in the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department. This position is funded by the USDA and will work closely with the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, the Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change Network, and the US Forest Service. 
 
The PhD student will carry out fieldwork and analysis, meet with managers and stakeholders, and lead the development of professional products such as peer-reviewed articles, written and oral outreach materials, and management recommendations. Potential applicants are welcome to communicate by email to discuss their background and interest. Ideal start date Spring 2024 
 
Project Synopsis: 
As more land area burns in large wildfires annually, managers will continue to require new understanding of how to reforest in a changing climate. This study focuses on post-fire climate-smart reforestation as a contested and potentially critical management tool for sustaining resilience in our forests. Climate-smart reforestation incorporates planting species for elevations and latitudes outside of a particular fires footprint to achieve more successful reforestation in a changing climate. Our long-term goal is: to understand and quantify the social and ecological limitations to adapting post-fire reforestation efforts to climate change through changed management practices in order to inform more effective post-fire restoration. Our specific research objectives are to: 1) Understand seedling survival and growth using current reforestation practices versus climate-smart reforestation; 2) Quantify ecosystem services (i.e. carbon storage) under differing forest recovery scenarios 
 based on field-based studies of survival and growth of different species. 
 
Desired qualifications 
MS in ecology, forest sciences, or related field 
Evidence of leading field crews and performing ecological field work 
Evidence of professional presentations and publications 
Knowledge of fire ecology in the western US 
Knowledge of carbon modelling 
Experience navigating species habitat suitability projection tools 
 
Contact information Camille Stevens-Rumann c.stevens-rumann@colostate.edu