Graduate Research Opportunity in Ecosystem Ecology

Brian W. Benscoter

Graduate Research Opportunity in Ecosystem Ecology
 (12 May 2011)

We are inviting applications for a graduate research position (M.Sc. preferred) in the Plant Ecology Lab at Florida Atlantic University ( We are seeking a highly motivated student for a Joint Fire Sciences Program-funded research project with broad focal areas in forestry, fire ecology, wetland ecology, remote sensing, soil science, and biogeochemistry. This research is part of a collaborative project by researchers at FAU, Michigan Technological University, US Forest Service, and US Fish and Wildlife Service investigating fire dynamics in wetland ecosystems. 

Research will focus on examining spatial patterns of wetland soil conditions and fuel moisture influence on soil combustion using a combination of laboratory and field experiments, prescribed burning, and remote sensing. The project will be based at Seney National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR), located in the east-central portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula ( ). The Refuge encompasses 95,238 acres of wetland and upland forest ecosystems, including the Seney Wilderness Area and the Strangmoor Bog National Natural Landmark.  Opportunities exist for synergistic activities with other current research programs in Michigan, western Canada (, Alaska (, and the Everglades. 

Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in ecology, forestry, or a related field. Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible for this position. Successful candidates must demonstrate the ability to work independently and conduct rigorous fieldwork in remote settings, as well as willingness to travel and work for extended periods at the research sites, occasionally under adverse weather conditions. A valid U.S. driver’s license and good driving record is preferred, as is prior experience in field research or prescribed burning. 

The successful candidate will be enrolled in the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program at FAU in Dr. Benscoter’s lab on the FAU-Davie campus. Student support includes monthly stipend and tuition as well as travel and accommodations at research sites and scientific meetings. The Biology and Environmental Science programs at FAU have partnerships with a number of research institutions, including Max Planck, Scripps, USGS, and Everglades National Park. Visit the FAU Environmental Science Program website for information on the graduate program and application requirements ( 

Consideration of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled, with a target enrollment date of January 2012. Interested applicants should send a copy of their CV or resume, a written statement of research background and interest, and names and contact information for two references via email to Dr. Brian Benscoter ( 

Brian W. Benscoter, MSc PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Florida Atlantic University
3200 College Ave
Davie, FL 33314 USA

Office: DW437  Lab: DW434
Tel: 954.236.1141  Fax: 954.236.1099

Fri, 12/23/2011 (All day)