Apply now for USFS Native American Research Assistantship

Liz Hotchkiss completed a research assistantship during the 2020 NARA program with Brian Dickerson, a USFS researcher at the Rocky Mountain Research Station, focused on bat surveys and greater sage-grouse vegetation studies in the Buffalo Gap National Grassland of South Dakota. Credit: Liz Hotchkiss

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS), through partnership with The Wildlife Society, is offering research assistantships for Native American undergraduate or graduate students as part of the Native American Research Assistantship Program for Summer 2021. Applications are being accepted now through Jan. 15, 2021.

This is the seventh year for the professional development program, which facilitates opportunities for Native American students to be mentored by USFS research and development scientists. The program promotes student advancement and training for careers in natural resource and conservation-related fields. Assistantship participants aid and learn about the USFS’ ecological, science-based approach to decision-making and balancing multiple use management of national forests and grasslands.

Assistantships are available for Native American students interested in wildlife and forest resource research and management. Students will learn and work with an interdisciplinary team of researchers with the USFS during 2020. 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.

Pursuit of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in wildlife biology, ecology, forestry or other closely related natural resource discipline is preferred. Students with related associate’s degrees from tribal colleges and universities or other community colleges will also be considered.

Research projects potentially available for 2021 assistantships include:

  1. Long term monitoring of treated and untreated Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) territories on tribal lands
  2. Bison grazing and grassland birds: Evaluating prairie restoration on Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
  3. Tracking Native Species Distributions with Environmental DNA
  4. Acoustic bat surveys on the Buffalo Gap National Grassland of South Dakota

For more information, including project objectives, locations, duration and instructions on how to apply please download an application form. The deadline for applications is Jan. 15, 2021.

For questions, please contact Jamila Blake, TWS professional development manager.

The USFS is a Premier Partner of TWS.


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