MS Project: Assessing spatial relationships between littoral habitat availability and sport fish populations in Ohio reservoirs (2023-2025)
I anticipate accepting a masters-level graduate student (starting field work in Summer 2023, official program entry in Fall 2023) to work on a fully-funded, collaborative project with Ohio Division of Wildlife/Department of Natural Resources deploying side scan sonar for large scale habitat assessment in Ohio reservoirs. This project will involve both field data collection (sidescan sonar imagery and groundtruthing habitat classifications while operating a small boat) and spatial data analysis (GIS, image analysis, programming) to test hypotheses relating aquatic habitat availability and important gamefish species (particularly black bass, crappie, catfish, etc). Applicants should have some formal background in GIS (coursework or experience), a willingness to learn programming skills (e.g., R, Python, SQL), and be excited about a balance of field AND office work. The student will have regular opportunities to meet and work directly with fisheries professionals at ODOW and financial support to attend local, regional, and national conferences in fisheries and aquatic science. Applicants from groups historically excluded from STEM fields are encouraged to apply. Yearly stipend is $24,444 paid annually and the grant sponsor pays tuition fees.
Due to logistical considerations, students that require permission to work in the United States (e.g., visa, etc) cannot be considered for this position.
Email a single PDF, named “lastname_firstname_ODNR_MS.pdf” containing a short cover letter (<1 page) that explains your interests, qualifications, and career goals (particularly describing your experience/training with GIS) and a CV/resume.
Applications will be reviewed as received, with priority to those received before Feb 28, 2023. Exact start date is flexible, but anticipated to be July 1, 2023 to ensure training and initial fieldwork are completed before the academic year begins.
I believe that both your college and graduate degree should provide you with practical skills that will help you pursue the career of your choice, whether it be academic teaching and research, consulting, resource management, or whatever path you may choose. As such, I expect my students to be willing to pursue a multidisciplinary education and seek training and skills beyond the minimum necessary to perform their research. Although it has gone out of fashion in modern biology, I believe that understanding the natural history of your system and study species is critical to developing reasonable hypotheses and answering biologically important questions. I believe that scientific research should not exist solely in the hallowed halls of academia and strongly encourage my students to participate in public outreach and frame their research in ways that will guide responsible resource management.