Apply now for USFS Native American Research Assistantship

By Jamila Blake

Week-old bison (Bison bison) stay close to the herd at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.
Credit: U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service, through a 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 2022. Applications are being accepted now through January 17, 2022.

This is the eighth year for the professional development program, which facilitates opportunities for Native American students to be mentored by USFS research and development scientists and promotes student advancement and training for careers in natural resource and conservation-related fields.

A paid stipend of at least $6,700 will be provided to cover living expenses during the assistantship time-period.

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. Applicants must be a member of an American Indian or Alaska Native tribe, First Nations or a Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or have another 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.

Students may have the opportunity to assist in publishing manuscript(s) in peer-reviewed journals, popular press, and/or present findings at scientific meetings along with USFS R&D scientists (dependent on travel funding). Students and scientists will integrate traditional ecological knowledge and expertise held by Tribes and Native communities and western science to sustain and restore ecosystems.

Research projects potentially available for 2022 assistantships include:

  1. A Delicate Balance: Supporting white-tailed deer (waawaashkeshi) habitat and forest sustainability on Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) lands
  2. Bison grazing and grassland birds: Evaluating prairie restoration on the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
  3. Long-term monitoring of treated and untreated Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) territories on tribal lands

Only a limited number of projects will be funded and are dependent on a suitable student/mentor match.

For detailed information and to apply, please download the application instructions. The deadline for applications is Jan. 17, 2022.

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

The USFS is a Premier Partner of TWS.

Jamila BlakeJamila Blake is The Wildlife Society's Professional Development Coordinator.
Read more of Jamila's articles here.

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