Graduate Assistantship: Sage Grouse Connectivity and Energy Development

Focal Area: Environmental Science
Institution Name: University of Wyoming
Terminal Degree:
Location: Laramie, Wyoming
Start Date:
Application Deadline: 6/10/2011

I have a newly funded project to determine how energy-related management activities (oil/gas development and subsequent reclamation) influence distribution and functional connectivity of Sage Grouse in Wyoming. Isolated populations of Sage Grouse are unlikely to continue to persist over time. Evaluating reclamation and conservation priorities in relation to distribution and functional connectivity of Sage Grouse is a vital need. To address this need, the project will integrate models of Sage Grouse distribution and functional connectivity, then use this information create tools that help managers prioritize reclamation and conservation activities. This project will rely on both innovative niche models (distribution) and landscape genetic approaches (functional connectivity). The goals of this project are to provide science-based management tools and technology-transfer to support Sage Grouse mitigation actions (avoiding impacts and focusing reclamation efforts on high-value sites).

I am recruiting a PhD student for this project starting in August 2011. The project includes a highly competitive 12-month stipend, tuition, fees, health insurance, and research funds. The selected student will be in the interdepartmental Program in Ecology (PiE; Prospective students with a background in ecology, natural resources, conservation biology, landscape ecology and/or population genetics are encouraged to apply. Evidence of robust quantitative/analytical skills (including spatial modeling), strong work ethic, passion for investigating scientific questions, ability to work under harsh field conditions and collaborative skills will all be vital for the success of potential candidates.

Applications should be submitted by June 10th (early application is strongly encouraged as review of applications will begin immediately). Applicants should meet the following minimum requirements: MS degree or other evidence of independent research, total GRE of 1100, and undergraduate GPA of 3.3 (or MS degree). Applications should include: cover letter with statement of research interests, CV, transcripts, GRE scores, and contact information for three references. Please be sure to include any evidence GIS, statistical modeling and/or population genetic analysis skills.

University of Wyoming ( is ideally located in Laramie, Wyoming with easy access to excellent outdoor recreation opportunities and beautiful field sites. In addition, the campus is only 1 hour from Fort Collins and 2 hours from Denver, CO.

Contact Information:
The packet can be sent as a pdf attachment to Dr. Melanie Murphy ( Please contact me if you have any questions.

"Melanie A. Murphy"