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College of Forestry and Conservation


Requests for Proposal

Request for Statement of Interest: Willow Creek Reservoir Water Quality Research and Evaluation Studies. Responses to this Request for Statements of Interest will be used to identify potential investigators for studies to be sponsored by the Portland District and the Engineer Research and Development Center to provide research and evaluation services in Willow Creek Reservoir. The estimated level of funding for FY15 is approximately $80,000. Additional funds of $80,000/yr for 4 additional years may be available for follow on work providing the potential funding of $400,000 over 5 years to the successful Recipient/Awardee. Review of Statements of Interest will begin after the SOI has been posted on the CESU website for 10 working days.  Posted 12/16/2014

Deadline for the 2014 Pine Student Research Grant EXTENDED.  We know you’re out there … students working on whitebark pine … so why didn’t you submit a proposal to the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation (WPEF) for our Student Research Grant? We did not receive any requests for funding before our deadline, so we have EXTENDED the deadline to January 30, 2015.

The mission of the WPEF is to “promote the conservation of whitebark pine and other high elevation five needle white pine ecosystems through education, restoration, management, and research.” In support of this mission, the WPEF offers an annual research grant of $1000 to either an undergraduate student who is writing a thesis or graduate student (MS or PhD) conducting research on whitebark pine. Relevant areas of research include, but are not limited to: threats to whitebark pine, including mountain pine beetle, white pine blister rust, successional replacement, and climate change (only in whitebark ecosystems); interactions with wildlife, such as Clark’s nutcracker or other birds, red squirrels and bears; restoration strategies for whitebark pine, including both field operations and nursery seedling production; and ecosystem level impacts of whitebark pine die-off.

Monies can only be used for travel expenses for field work, or consumable research supplies.  Grants shall not be used to buy equipment that will be used beyond the duration of the project (and thus would be retained by the lab in which the student works).

Please submit a short (two single-spaced pages at most, not including references) proposal covering:

  1. The purpose and need for the research.
  2. A brief description of the study plan and methods, including expected dates of data collection and thesis completion.
  3. Expected outcomes of the research.
  4. A brief explanation of how the money will be spent.
  5. Contact information and academic affiliation of the student.

In addition to the proposal, applications should include a CV as well as a letter of recommendation from the student’s research advisor.

Grant recipients will be expected to publish a summary of their research in a future issue of Nutcracker Notes, and are encouraged to present at one of the WPEF annual science meetings.  All applicants are encouraged to join the WPEF, and the grant recipient will receive a free subscription to Nutcracker Notes for one year.

Please send application materials (electronic only) to by January  30th, 2015

Postdoctoral Research Opportunity: Institutional/policy analysis of opportunities and barriers associated with climate change adaptation processe In the context of climate change, adaptation has been defined as the adjustment in natural or human systems to a new or changing environment that exploits beneficial opportunities or moderates negative effects.  Executive Order (EO) 13514 requires federal agencies to develop recommendations for strengthening policies and programs to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate. To further the adaptation efforts, EO 13653 titled preparing the United States for Climate Change, called for the modernization of federal programs to support climate resilient investments, managing lands and waters for climate preparedness and resilience, the creation of a Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, and the creation of a State Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Efforts of the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience have resulted in the development of national principles for adaptation that are leading to crosscutting and government-wide adaptation policies, plans, and actions. The principles and associated considerations for adaptation planning processes and implementation include local, state, regional, national, tribal, and international issues. Federal agencies are required to plan for adaptation. To facilitate this adaptation the DOI has established the Climate Science Center system (

The National Climate Assessment provides an adaptation process that includes the following components ( characterizing vulnerability, developing options, implementing actions, monitoring outcomes, and reevaluating strategies. During this process there are many barriers that may impede adaptation efforts. Barriers are obstacles that can delay, divert, or temporally block the adaptation process. Example barriers include: a gap between scientific findings and application in adaptation and management decision-making, difficulties in using climate change projections for decision-making; lack of resources to begin and sustain adaptation efforts, lack of coordination and collaboration within and across political and natural system boundaries as well as within organizations; institutional constraints; a lack of leadership; and divergent risk perceptions/cultures and values. Similarly, opportunities may be discovered within the adaptation process along with good practice adaptation activities that highlight how barriers may have been overcome to successfully plan and implement adaptation. Research on the barriers and opportunities of planning and implementation processes is important to facilitating successful adaptation across institutions and scales.

Under this Mendenhall Research Opportunity we seek a postdoctoral research scientist to improve our understanding of climate adaptation processes within United States federal agencies and Tribal Nations with particular attention to the policies guiding the process and institutional capacity to implement adaptation actions on the landscape, specifically addressing opportunities and barriers associated with adaptation planning and implementation processes. The scope of the proposal must include, but is not limited to, adaptation processes in relation to Tribal Sovereign Nations within the North Central Climate Science Center (NC CSC) domain (see: Climate change is expected to have a larger effect on some segments of society because of social vulnerability. Tribes have unique cultural, economic, and political characteristics that may present greater risks than other populations. In response to the Presidential Executive Orders the Bureau of Indian Affairs has asked that each BIA Region create a plan to create a roadmap and establish timelines to address these critical climate issues.

Within these broad boundaries the candidate could explore a wide range of topics including but not limited to:

  • The gap between production of scientific information and the use of science in adaptation and management decision-making;
  • Understanding the structure of adaptation barriers;
  • Institutional and policy organization guiding adaptation planning processes;
  • Information needs, delivery, and application for plan implementation;
  • Develop and improve decision support tools in collaboration with stakeholders to evaluate (alternate) management and response strategies;
  • Identifying potential conflicts among stakeholders that may arise as a result of climate change;
  • Identifying how proposed adaptation strategies affect stakeholders (positive and negative effects);
  • Identifying the effects of geographic scale on adaptation strategie

Candidates should possess strong skills in applying both qualitative and quantitative social science methods in the context of climate change. A successful proposal will use a mixed methods approach including both qualitative and quantitative research techniques; advance the understanding of how science can better connect to climate adaptation planning and implementation processes from the regional to local levels; and contribute to the advancement of institutional analysis and/or policy related science.

The project will be conducted in collaboration with a team of representatives from the USGS Fort Collins Science Center (, the USGS North Central Climate Science Center (, and Colorado State University Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory ( including Nina Burkardt, Rudy Schuster, Jeff Morisette, Shannon McNeeley, and Dennis Ojima, with the objective of integrating the work in the NC CSC adaptation foundational science area (

Proposed Duty Station: Fort Collins, CO
Areas of Ph.D.: Political science, anthropology, sociology, environmental studies, or other behavioral or social science; or related disciplines appropriate to the position
Qualifications: Applicants must meet the qualifications for a GS-0101 Research Social Scientist. (This type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the occupations stated above. However, other titles may be applicable depending on the applicant's background, education, and research proposal. The final classification of the position will be made by the Human Resources specialist).
Research Advisors: Nina Burkardt, (970) 226-9275,; Rudy Schuster, 970-226-9165,
Human Resources Office Contact: Mario Jones, (303) 236-9576, mcjones@usgs.go
Salary for Fort Collins, CO ranges from $74,587 to $96,960


Student Opportunities: Scholarships, Fellowships, Internships

Jerry O'Neal National Park Service Student Fellowship Applications are now being accepted for the Jerry O'Neal Fellowship for work in Glacier National Park, Grant-Kohrs Ranch NHS, and Little Bighorn Battlefield NM. The fellowship aims to provide educational assistance for students seeking to understand natural and cultural resources issues and how these interact with human values. Special consideration will be given to proposals that address the following:

  1. natural resource issues such as aquatic ecology, terrestrial ecology, fire ecology, invasive plants, and climate change
  2. cultural resource issues, such as history and architectural studies, cultural landscape reports, ethnographic research and archeology
  3. social science that informs resource management about a natural or cultural topic and/or that addresses visitor impacts to park resources

Competition is open to graduate students or superior upper division undergraduate students at RM-CESU universities and colleges only.  Awards range from $1000-5000. Applications must be submitted electronically by February 17, 2015. For details on the application process please click here.

Climate Change Youth Leadership Opportunities in the National Park Service The George Melendez Wright Young Leaders in Climate Change (YLCC) program manages paid internships in which undergraduate or beginning graduate students work for approximately 12 weeks on projects in research, interpretation, park operations, policy development, or other fields.  During the internship, students apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to climate change challenges and communicate with diverse stakeholders. Interns who successfully complete the YLCC, an approved Direct Hire Authority Internship program, will be eligible to be hired non-competitively into subsequent federal jobs once they complete their degree program. These jobs would be in the Department of Interior (DOI), NPS, or one of the other bureaus within the DOI. An intern must qualify for the job in order to be hired non-competitively. Applications are accepted from early December 2014 until late January 2015.  

2015 Park Break Sessions will Explore Science, Cultural Resources
Are you a graduate student thinking about a career in parks, protected areas, and cultural sites? Park Break is an all-expenses-paid, park-based field seminar for students like you. Park Break puts you in a national park unit for a  week's worth of field and classroom activities in close collaboration with park scientists and scholars, managers  and administrators, and partner organizations. Organized since 2008 by the George Wright Society in conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service, Park Break is a learning experience that you'll find
nowhere else.  Learn more here.

Graduate Research Assistantship in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources  at Colorado State University  This 12-month graduate research assistantship (GRA) is available for a Ph.D student entering the graduate program in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fall 2015. The GRA will work on a recently awarded project to assess public wildlife values and wildlife agency governance in all 50 U.S. states. Application is due January 1, 2015.  Learn more here.

Graduate Assistantships with the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the Univeristy of Utah  The University of Utah’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is recruiting applicants for Graduate Assistantships (doctoral level) for Fall of 2015. 

Applicants wishing to be considered for financial support for a campus visit should submit the following materials before January 15, 2015. Visitations will be scheduled during February.

  • A cover letter articulating an area of interest for doctoral studies and research.
  • A current resume/CV.
  • Names and contact information for 3 academic or professional references.
  • Transcripts from the last college/university attended.

Probable assistantship openings for Fall 2015 include:

  • Traditional departmental research and teaching assistantships.
  • A youth focused research assistantship under the direction of Drs. Jim Sibthorp & Mary Wells.
  • Our National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) research assistantship under the direction of Dr. Jim Sibthorp.
  • An outdoor recreation management focused research assistantship under the direction of Dr. Matt Brownlee.
  • A sustainable tourism focused research assistantship under the direction of Dr. Kelly Bricker.

For more information, click here.

NPS Historic Preservation Internship Program

Student Programs-BLM

Student Programs-USFS

Student Programs-USGS

National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) Intern Opportunities

Training and Course Opportunities

UM's Flathead Biological Station offers summer courses The University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station will host immersion-based, rigorous field-oriented classes during summer session 2014. Classes will be offered June 16 through Aug. 8.  Course fees for residents and nonresidents are $440 per credit.  The Final amount owed is based on the number of credits you elect to take.  For complete information and online registration, click here.

July 28 - Aug 1, 2014: Sediment Transport in Stream Assessment and Design, Logan, UT.  Cost: $1850 ($1600 Early Bird Special if Registered Before June 1st). This course is intended for those who wish to understand and apply the principles of sediment transport to alluvial channel assessment and design. Principles of open channel flow and sediment transport are combined with watershed-scale, hydrologic and sediment source analysis to place channel assessment and design in the appropriate context. Threshold and alluvial channel design methods are presented along with guidelines for assessing and incorporating uncertainty. The course balances advance reading, lecture, field work, and hands-on exercises for estimating sediment supply, calculating sediment transport rates, and forecasting channel response to water and sediment supply. This course is intended for participants who are familiar with basic principles of river geomorphology.