Title: Graduate Research Assistantship (MS) – Coastal Wetlands Ecology
Date Posted: October 18, 2021
Deadline: December 31, 2021

Job Details:

One MS-level graduate student assistantship is available at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab through the University of South Alabama starting as early as Spring 2022, with matriculation in Fall 2022. The position is funded as part of a collaborative research study under the Alabama RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (ALCoE).

Project—The future combination of changes in river flow, sea-level rise, and possible increases in tropical storms creates a scenario for likely increased saltwater intrusion into tidal freshwater forested wetlands. Changes in wetland function or resilience in response to these stressors, including changes in the export of organic matter and nutrients to downstream estuaries is largely unknown.

An MS-level graduate student is sought to help quantify spatial and temporal trends in organic matter composition from river floodplains through the Mobile Bay estuary along an established salinity gradient. The student will collect water for nutrient analyses and water, sediment, vegetation, and fauna samples for bulk organic carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratio determination and compound-specific stable isotope determination of n-alkanes that distinguish freshwater from marine influences and relative nutrient sources. The student will work with a multidisciplinary team to apply these data to define existing and predict future tidal connectivity and organic matter export through the system.

Job Requirements:

Desirable background and skills include:

  • experience in analytical chemistry, molecular biology, or other clean, meticulous work;
  • collecting and processing field samples;
  • operating and trailering small boats;
  • familiarity with GIS, and
  • ability to create spreadsheets and conduct basic data analyses (experience with R is a plus).

Prospective students should be highly motivated and independent, have strong communication skills, and be willing to conduct extensive field and lab work. A B.S. degree in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Ecology, or a related field is required. Preference will be given to students with a competitive undergraduate GPA (> 3.3), GRE analytical writing scores (≥ 4.0), and experience related to desirable background and skills.

Job Contact:

Research assistantships include tuition, stipend (3-years at $17,000-$18,000/yr), and insurance if needed.

Interested applicants should first ensure eligibility and then contact Dr. Ruth H. Carmichael to express interest when completing the online application through the University of South Alabama. Please use the email subject “Wetland Graduate Student Assistantship” and include: 1) a BRIEF description of research interests as they relate to this project; 2) CV, including GPA, GRE test scores, and 3) a list of 2 references.

Learn more about the Carmichael Lab.

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab and the University of South Alabama value diversity in every sense of the word. DISL and USA are equal opportunity employers and encourage applications from a diverse pool of prospective students.