Apply now for 2023 Native American Research Assistantship

By Jamila Blake

The Klamath River in winter. Credit: Matt Baun/USFWS

The USDA Forest Service (USFS) and, starting this year, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), through partnership with The Wildlife Society, are offering research assistantships for Native undergraduate or graduate students as part of the Native American Research Assistantship Program for Summer 2023. Applications are being accepted now through Jan. 15, 2023.

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

A paid stipend of at least $6,000 will be provided for students. Additional funding may be available to assist with housing costs and professional development experiences, as available.

Assistantships are intended for Native students interested in wildlife and forest resource research and management. Students will learn and work with an interdisciplinary team of researchers with the USFS and USGS. Applicants should 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 and USGS scientists (dependent on travel funding). Students and scientists will integrate Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (ITEK) and expertise held by Tribes and Native communities and western science to sustain and restore ecosystems.

Research projects potentially available for 2023 assistantships include:

USDA Forest Service

  1. Assessing Ramps (Allium tricoccum) Harvesting to Support Cherokee Food Sovereignty
  2. Bat Diversity Along the Klamath River Before and During Dam Removal
  3. Bison Grazing and Grassland Birds: Evaluating Prairie Restoration on Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

U.S. Geological Survey

  1. Hyperspectral Identification of Harmful Algal Blooms in the Klamath Basin and Beyond
  2. Identifying the Potential Socio-Economic Effects of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) on Native Americans
  3. Tribal Data-Network Infrastructure Plan – Transfer of US Geological Technology to Tribal Nations

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. 15, 2023.

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

The U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Geological Survey are TWS Partners.

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

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