M.S. Research Asisstantshp: Effects of risk-enhancing and nutrition-reducing treatments on white-tailed deer behavior and crop depredation.

Start date: January 2017

Closing date: October 20, 2016

Position description:

We are recruiting a graduate student (M.S.) to lead a study investigating white-tailed deer behavior and response to management actions in the Clearwater Region of Idaho, with the goal of identifying management tools for reducing deer damage to crops. The primary objectives of the project are to: 1) evaluate the effects of crop treatments (increasing perceived predation risk or decreasing nutrition) on deer behavior at multiple spatial scales; 2) characterize the effects of habitat types, deer density, and relative abundance of predators on deer behavior; and 3) identify deer preferences for crop types and natural forages throughout the growing season and phenological stage of plants.

The student will be expected to carry out fieldwork for this project, including contributing to study design, capturing and monitoring female white-tailed deer in an agricultural landscape, assisting with feeding trials, and interacting with landowners, stakeholders, and Idaho Department of Fish & Game personnel.

This project is a collaboration between the University of Idaho and the Idaho Department of Fish & Game. The project is fully funded for 3 years, with an anticipated start date of January 2017. The student will be advised by Dr. Sophie Gilbert (Department of Fish & Wildlife Sciences) while pursuing a Master of Science Degree in Natural Resources. The salary for this position is $22,300 a year, including summer salary.

The University of Idaho is located in scenic Moscow, ID, a vibrant small town (~25,000) in northern Idaho that is well known for its high quality of life, excellent outdoor recreational opportunities, abundant public land, and low cost of living.

Qualifications:

B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology, Natural Resources, or a related field. Strong field, analytical and writing skills, and an inquisitive and creative mindset are required. An interest in and knowledge of ungulate ecology and management is highly beneficial. The student will be expected to produce high-quality manuscripts suitable for peer-reviewed journal publication. Further, because this project is a collaboration with agency personnel and local landowners, applicants with experience living and/or working in rural environments, and/or working with the public and with stakeholder groups, will be given preference.

To apply:

Please send a cover letter outlining your qualifications and why you are applying for this position specifically, a CV, transcripts, GRE scores, and contact information for three references to Dr. Sophie Gilbert (sophiegilbert AT uidaho.edu). The student must also meet the minimum requirements for admission into the Graduate School at UI (https://www.uidaho.edu/admissions/graduate/graduate-programs/natural-resources).