University of Vermont

Graduate assistantships & fellowships

RSENR Graduate Assistantships & Fellowships

This is an evolving, partial list of assistantships and fellowships and will be updated as faculty know about assistantships from new grants. Please either check back at this site or contact Carolyn Goodwin Kueffner (cgoodwin@uvm.edu, 802-656-2511) to learn which faculty are taking new students. Most of our graduate students receive some form of funding.

PhD Assistantship in Nonmaterial Values of Ecosystems (Cultural Ecosystem Services)

Project: As the ecosystem services paradigm becomes increasingly common and powerful in land use decision making, building a framework that represents the diversity of ways that ecosystems benefit people becomes ever more important. “Cultural ecosystem services” are a critical but relatively understudied aspect of the ecosystem services framework. These “services” encompass the nonmaterial ways that nature impacts human well-being, and include (among other phenomena) spiritual fulfillment, identity development, cultural heritage, and psychological well-being.

One motivation for this project is that the relationship between ecosystems and these fundamental aspects of human life is often left out of decision making; this has potentially serious consequences at many scales (spatial and temporal). A second motivation is that these values can vary tremendously throughout the population, and when they are not explicitly identified, the permutations of them that implicitly enter into decision making are typically those held by powerful actors. This means that neglecting rigorous characterization of these values can serve to amplify inequities and marginalization in environmental decision making.

This project’s goal is to develop creative, respectful, interdisciplinary approaches for characterizing these values for inclusion in decision making. Emphasis on the creative – this field needs new ways of looking at existing data and new ways of thinking about what constitutes data. Characteristics that will help a student succeed in this role include (but are not limited to) the ability to look at problems and possibilities in new ways; self-direction within a collaborative, team environment; desire and skills related to working with non-academic partners; background in quantitative science (natural or social) or statistics; either experience or interest in engaging with qualitative methods; and a love of learning about the diverse connections between people and ecosystems.

Application: The student will work with Dr. Rachelle Gould. Interested students should visit Dr. Gould’s website to learn more about her team’s work. If the work is appealing, prospective students should complete the Google Form listed on the Join the Team page and email a CV to Dr. Gould. This will start a conversation. Applications are due by UVM’s deadline early in 2017.

PhD Assistantship in Environmental Education for Adults

Project: This project will explore the role that education plays in mediating peoples’ connections to forests and other elements of Vermont’s landscapes. The project is part of a larger research effort focused on UVM’s school forests. Working closely with community partners, the student and mentors will design educational interventions to share particular aspects of local forests with adult learners. We will then investigate what effects, if any, different permutations of education have.

Depending on student interest, we may extend the project to address how education interacts with connections to other elements of Vermont’s landscape. This work connects important conversations about environmental values and learning – how are these values formed, and do they change? If so, what role does learning play in that change? Interventions will be carefully designed to attempt to isolate some of the primary factors that current research suggests may be at play.

Characteristics that will help a student succeed in this role include (but are not limited to) deep interest in theory related to human values and human learning; self-direction within a collaborative, team environment; desire and skills related to working with non-academic partners, including a desire to run experimental educational programs; background in quantitative science (natural or social) or statistics; and either experience or interest in engaging with qualitative methods.

Application: The student will work with Dr. Rachelle Gould. Interested students should visit Dr. Gould’s website to learn more about her team’s work. If the work is appealing, prospective students should complete the Google Form listed on the Join the Team page and email a CV to Dr. Gould. This will start a conversation. Applications are due by UVM’s deadline early in 2017.

PhD Assistantship in Nutrient Cycling & Ecological Design

Project: The University of Vermont, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources is seeking a motivated Ph.D. student to investigate nutrient cycling and ecological design. Potential research topics include ecological sanitation, resource recovery from wastes, watershed nutrient management, and nutrient dynamics in agroecosystems.

Qualifications: M.S. in ecological engineering, ecological design, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, environmental engineering, agronomy, or a closely related field. Competitive applicants will have lab experience, strong mathematical and computer skills including background in spatial dataset development and analysis, demonstrated writing capabilities, and a desire to pursue applied, collaborative research.

Compensation: Funding is guaranteed for three years. This includes a 12-month stipend and a tuition waiver for 18 credits per year.

Closing date: Until filled

Start date: August 2017

Contact: Dr. Eric Roy (eroy4@uvm.edu)

Application: Interested applicants should email Dr. Roy, providing a CV and a description of their interest in this position. Applicants will then need to supply all application materials to the UVM Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources (RSENR) Program (PhD in Natural Resources) by Feb 1, 2017. When applying, please state your interest in this position in the "Statement of Purpose." How to apply: (http://www.uvm.edu/rsenr/?Page=graduate-application-process.html).

PhD Assistantship in Limnology

Location: Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, University of Vermont

Responsibilities: Successful applicant will serve as the USGS Powell Center Fellow for the working group GEISHA (Global Evaluation of the Impacts of Storms on freshwater Habitat and structure of phytoplankton Assemblages), which is co-funded by the USGS Powell Center for Synthesis and Analysis and the Centre de Synthèse et d’Analyse sur la Biodiversité. The position is based at the University of Vermont. The Fellow will work with a team of 15+ international researchers in the fields of limnology, physics, ecology, and modeling to analyze traditional long-term datasets and contemporary high-frequency datasets from across the globe to explore theoretical questions related to species diversity and succession in aquatic ecosystems. GEISHA is built within the framework of the GLEON project “Storm-Blitz”. The Fellow will engage in all aspects of the project, including individual and team research, project management, data management, and leadership.

Qualifications: Competitive applicants will have strong mathematical and computer skills, a background in limnology or equivalent field, a demonstrated aptitude for organization, and the ability to work with people of diverse backgrounds in a team environment. Position involves regular international travel. A valid passport is required.

Salary: Stipend plus tuition

Closing date: until filled

Start date: August 2016 (preferable) or January 2017

Contact: Submit cover letter, CV, and contact information of three references in a single PDF document to Dr. Jason Stockwell at Jason.Stockwell@uvm.edu

Relevant Links:
www.uvm.edu/~ecolab
http://gleon.org/research/projects/%E2%80%9Cstorm-blitz%E2%80%9D-impact-storms-phytoplankton-composition
https://powellcenter.usgs.gov/
http://www.cesab.org/index.php/en/

MS Assistantship to Assist Extension Assistant Professor of Watershed Science, Policy and Education

Project: The University of Vermont, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources is seeking a Masters-level graduate student with a background in water resources, natural resources, environmental science, community-engaged research or a related field who has an interest in conducting social science research. The student’s research will relate to designing, implementing, and assessing potential behavior changes through a community-based social marketing campaign that targets private contractors carrying out winter salting maintenance. There is potential to integrate the project with citizen science monitoring. The position is available starting in the Fall 2016 and includes two guaranteed years of funding with a combination of work to include both research and teaching assistantship positions. Stipend, tuition scholarship and 100% of the single student health insurance premium is included.

Qualifications: Bachelor’s in water resources, natural resources, biology or related field. Applicants should be able to work independently, but also cooperatively with other researchers on the larger project. Applicants should also have a strong work ethic, demonstrated writing and quantitative capabilities, and a record of leadership.

Application: Interested students should email Kristine Stepenuck with a CV and description of interest and why getting involved in community-based social science research would be a good fit. Interested applicants should supply all application materials to the UVM Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources (RSENR) Program (MS in Natural Resources) by June 1, 2016 – when applying, please state your interest in this position in the "Statement of Purpose." (http://www.uvm.edu/rsenr/?Page=graduate-application-process.html).

Contact: Dr. Kristine Stepenuck (kstepenu@uvm.edu; (802) 656-8504)

Gund Institute PhD Assistantship

Position: The Gund Institute at the University of Vermont (UVM) is recruiting exceptional PhD students for Fall 2017 as part of a competitive Graduate Research Assistantship program. Students will have considerable latitude and assistance in developing the direction of their work but it should focus broadly within our research themes: Ecological Economics, Natures Benefits, Healthy Landscapes and Seascapes, and Climate Change.

The Gund Institute is an interdisciplinary research center, where more than 50 faculty, post-docs, and graduate students collaborate widely to understand the interactions among ecological, social, and economic systems. Consistent with the mission of the Institute, we seek students interested in both advancing research frontiers and addressing concrete environmental issues.

Offer: Students will receive three years of funding to be spent over four years. These funds cover an annual stipend of $27,000, tuition, and UVM's student health insurance. Students will work with home departments to augment this support with Teaching Assistantships or additional grants.

Qualifications:

  • Student must be starting year 1 of a PhD program
  • Competitive GPA and GRE scores
  • If applicable, minimum TOEFL score of 100 or IELTS score of 7.0
  • Preference given to applicants who have not previously studied at UVM, and who already have a Master’s degree, but all qualified candidates will be considered.

Application: Interested candidates should:

  1. Contact potential advisors directly to discuss your interests.
  2. Apply to the appropriate UVM college or school by its deadline (deadlines vary among schools). Indicate in your statement of purpose that you are applying for a Gund Institute Research Assistantship.
  3. Complete the separate Gund Institute Research Assistantship Application by February 1, 2017.

Applications from women and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are encouraged.

Economics for the Anthropocene - Gund Institute PhD Assistantships

Position: The Gund Institute at the University of Vermont (UVM), McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and York University in Toronto, Ontario seek up to nine PhD or MS students to join the international Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) research initiative, in Fall 2016. The Fall 2016 cohort will focus broadly on applying approaches based on ecological economics to issues of climate justice in Eastern Canada and Northeastern U.S. Students will have considerable latitude and assistance in developing the direction of their work.

Background: Humanity is degrading the Earth’s life support systems. Fresh water is too often contaminated, in short supply, and subject to competing claims. Continued reliance on non-renewable sources of energy is unsustainable and faces increasingly unacceptable trade-offs for both regional and global environments. Irreversible climate changes are raising stark questions of justice. In short, Earth has entered a human-dominated epoch: the Anthropocene. Yet, prevailing norms continue to rely on thought systems that insufficiently account for knowledge of how human society interacts with and affects Earth’s life systems.

The Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) project builds on the strengths of McGill, York and UVM in ecological economics. They form the core of a diverse partnership of 25 academic, government, and NGO partners designed to improve how the social sciences and humanities connect to ecological realities of the Anthropocene. E4A’s overarching goal is to articulate, teach and apply a new understanding of human-Earth relationships grounded in and informed by the insights of contemporary science. The partnership will:

  1. Create a vibrant international research network in ecological economics;
  2. Train students to become change agents capable of analyzing and managing the unique challenges of the Anthropocene;
  3. Actively link academic and non-academic partners in solving transnational problems that exemplify these new challenges; and
  4. Integrate the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities by extending the core vision of ecological economics to other normative disciplines such as finance, law, governance, ethics, and cosmology.

The partnership will train up to 60 graduate students in three cohorts over six years. Students will enroll at any of the three universities, and cohorts will take core courses together through web-enabled classrooms that link our campuses. Joint field courses will engage non-academic partners in providing hands-on experience in transdisciplinary problems and their ecological, social, and economic dimensions. E4A partners and collaborators will help guide research questions, mentor students, and provide internship opportunities. The partnership will focus on three daunting challenges: water security, energy supply and use, and climate justice.

Offer: PhD and MS students at UVM, McGill, and York may receive a generous 12-month E4A research stipend. The majority of tuition for this program will be covered via scholarships and teaching assistantships. Travel and research funds are also available. Funding is guaranteed for three years.

Qualifications: Master’s degree preferred for PhD applicants, but all highly qualified candidates interested in all four dimensions of the program will be considered.

Application: Applications from women and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are encouraged. Interested students should contact one of the following at UVM:

Applications from women and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are encouraged.

For more information, visit the E4A website at www.e4a-net.org.

Ph.D. Assistantship, University of Vermont IGERT Smart Grid Program: Wind Farms and Human Health

Application Deadlines: Letters of interest and supporting materials are due to Dr. Christine Vatovec by February 1st; Applications are due to the UVM Graduate College by February 1st; IGERT Application forms are due to Dr. Jeffrey Marshall by February 1st.

Position: PhD Assistantship; Three years of funding available with a goal of securing project funding for the duration of the students’ program.

Project background: This project represents a collaborative effort between the University of Vermont and the Vermont Department of Health to investigate the human health outcomes of wind farms in Vermont. At the University of Vermont, Dr. Christine Vatovec (environmental health social science) and Dr. Brian Voigt (complex systems, simulation modeling) will serve as co-advisors to the student. Dr. David Grass, Environmental Health Surveillance Chief at the Vermont Department of Health, will serve as an external advisor to the project. Please contact Dr. Vatovec or Dr. Voigt if you would like to discuss the project before applying.

Responsibilities: The successful applicant will work with the advising team to develop a research protocol, apply for grant funding, conduct field research, analyze data, and prepare publications and presentations for academic and lay audiences.

Qualifications: The successful applicant will have a background in natural resources, or a related discipline, and an interest in environmental health, complex systems, and smart grid technology. To qualify for the IGERT assistantship, the successful applicant must have completed the required coursework prior to beginning the program. For information about program requirements, please visit http://www.uvm.edu/smartgrid/the-program/prospective-students/.

Application process: Interested applicants should complete the following three steps:

  1. Submit the following materials to Dr. Vatovec by February 1st:
    • a. A letter of interest (two pages, maximum) that outlines the applicant’s professional interest in the UVM IGERT Smart Grid program and this specific project (human health outcomes of wind farms), and why earning a PhD is the best path for achieving your career goals,
    • b. the names and contact information of three references,
    • c.unofficial transcripts, and GRE scores, and
    • d. your current CV (please include your GPA from your current or most recently completed graduate studies).
  2. Submit an application to the UVM Graduate College by February 1st (indicate that you are applying for admittance to the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources (RSENR; Graduate application process). In your application, be sure to state your preference for working with Drs. Vatovec and Voigt.
  3. Submit the IGERT Application Form (indicate Drs. Vatovec and Voigt as intended advisors; http://www.uvm.edu/smartgrid/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Student-Application.pdf) to Dr. Jeffrey Marshall by February 1st.

Transportation Research Center at the University of Vermont

Posting Date: Open

Application Deadline: Applications come through faculty nominations in January & February; the process is currently under review. See the TRC website for updates.

Position: One-year (12-month) graduate student research assistantships have been available to full-time UVM graduate students who work as research assistants (RAs) for 20 hours per week on transportation research related to the Center's themes. Faculty working in these areas may request funding for a GRA to work with them.

Responsibilities: Students chosen for the research assistantship must have been accepted into a UVM graduate program before starting. Students should plan to make transportation the core of their graduate student work. In most cases, the student's work should build on the research conducted during the research assistantship.

Application & Qualifications: TBD

Contact: Glenn McRae, UVM TRC Graduate Program Coordinator (802-656-1317)

Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory

Project: Impacts of climate and global change on arctic stream ecosystems

Responsibilities: The student will: access these datasets and compile them into a common database; help develop a data retrieval system to ease in analysis and publication; select a specific research question within the project to pursue as an MS thesis; spend time at SESYNC in Annapolis, MD to develop the database with their IT staff and to participate in working group meetings.

Description: Opportunities exist from time to time to support students who will focus on their research on some aspect of how the changing arctic environment affects the structure and function of stream ecosystems. Past work has focused on primary production, hyporheic processing, tundra fires, and thermokarst. Future work will focus on top-down effects of top consumers, thermokarst impacts on landscape evolution, and late-season nutrient dynamics in arctic streams. Support for graduate students is dependent on availability of funds

Qualifications: Preference will be given to PhD students with a strong background in biogeochemistry, hydrology, and/or stream ecology. Well-prepared and experienced MS students will be considered.

Application/Contact: Dr. Breck Bowden at breck.bowden@uvm.edu (802-656-2513) for further details, and see www.uvm.edu/~wbowden.

Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory

Project: Watershed Science and Nonpoint Source Pollution

Responsibilities: From time to time there are opportunities to conduct watershed and ecosystem research that addresses pressing management, regulatory, and policy challenges. Students with a strong background in biophysical sciences and related ecological disciplines are encouraged to contact the principal investigator listed below. Research includes studies of stormwater runoff; phosphorus loading from land to surface water; community-based watershed management; integrated land-use and environmental modeling using a complex systems approach; and threat analysis of the Lake Champlain Basin.

Application/Contact: Dr. Breck Bowden (wbowden@uvm.edu)

Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

Position: Teaching Assistantships

Responsibilities: The Rubenstein School also has many teaching assistantships available each academic year starting in September. Graduate teaching assistants lead field and indoor laboratories, facilitate discussion sessions among small groups of undergraduates, assist with evaluation and grading, and run workshops and help sessions. Typical assignments are for ten hours a week.

Qualifications: Teaching Assistantship assignments are competitive and based on GRE scores, undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation and requests from student advisors.

Application: Check box on submitted UVM electronic application

Last modified November 11 2016 11:56 AM