Apply now for Native American research assistantships

Jessica Lackey and Raymond Gutteriez participated in a research assistantship during Summer 2015. During a two-day field workshop at Blodgett Forest hosted by Pacific Southwest researchers, Ray and Jessica hit the ground to sample wild strawberries, one of the species desired by tribal members seeking to restore conditions favoring black oak. ©U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Premier Partner of The Wildlife Society, is sponsoring a research assistantship program for Native American students. This is the second year for the program, which will facilitate mentoring opportunities for USFS Research & Development (R&D) scientists with the students and promote student advancement and training for careers in natural resource and conservation-related fields. The USFS uses an ecological science-based approach to make informed decisions on the multiple-use management of the National Forests and Grasslands.

A short-term assistantship is available for Native American students interested in wildlife and forest resources and excited to learn and work with an interdisciplinary team of researchers. Applicants must be a member of an American Indian or Alaska Native tribe, First Nations, or a Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or have some other indigenous identification, and be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program from an accredited academic institution. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in wildlife biology, ecology, forestry or other closely related natural resource discipline is preferred.  Students with Associates degrees from TCUs or other community colleges will be considered.

Potential project topics include:

  1. Interrupting the disease cycle of Psuedogymnoascus destructans (Pd): Leveraging knowledge of disease and treatment dynamics to design integrated disease management strategies
  2. Evaluating regional and landscape-scale movement patterns of wood turtles
  3. Assessment of wildfire risk in treated and untreated Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) territories on tribal lands
  4. Assessment of camera trap surveys to estimate wild pig and white-tailed deer density
  5. Space use, survival, and nesting ecology of avian cavity excavators in prescribed burns

View the application form for more details on each project, including project objectives, location, housing, and duration. Only a limited number of projects may be funded and are dependent on a suitable student/mentor match.

The appointment is for 3 to 5 months within the 2017 calendar year, depending on the project. Starting dates are negotiable within the context of the seasonality of the research topics.  For more information and instructions on how to apply, please download an application form. The deadline for applications is November 4, 2016.

The USFS is a Premier Partner of TWS.