Currently Recruiting: Our lab is currently recruiting a Masters of Science student for a project focused on drought resilience of lodgepole pine seed sources from across the Central Rocky Mountains. See the accompanying flyer for further details: Position Announcement
Thinking of Joining Our Team?
Currently, we are seeking someone for an MSc position, funded through a combination of Research and Teaching Assistantships, focused on remote sensing of forest demography and biomass estimation in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
The MSc student will work with a database of species-level leaf biomass assembled by the US Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Inventory and Analysis program. Part of the project will include refining estimates of biomass per unit of leaf area for more than 60 tree species in tropical forest systems. The second half of the project has the flexibility to use the database to ask questions related to forest demography, age to biomass relationships, or the role of leaf biomass accounting in biomass estimation. Work will include publication of the database in the Forest Service Research Data Archive and a peer-reviewed journal article, as well as opportunities to present project findings through webinars and as part of conferences. The start date is August of 2021 with two years of graduate assistantship available.
- A research-based Bachelor of Science degree in forestry, ecology, natural resources, remote sensing, geography, or a related field
- Experience coordinating complex projects with stakeholders and collaborators.
- Experience with geospatial data acquisition, management, manipulation, and analysis.
- Prior experience with remote sensing is a benefit, but not mandatory.
- Strong self-motivation, determination, and ability to work in unstructured environments.
How to apply:
- Please send the following to Dr. Wade Tinkham via email (Wade.Tinkham@colostate.edu by end of day on Friday, May 28th, 2021 (applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis after that)
- A one-page letter clearly stating experience, qualifications, and research interests
- An up-to-date resume
- A recent writing sample
- Contact details for three references (at least one academic reference)
When inquiring, please provide enough about yourself to begin our conversation (at a minimum, your CV and unofficial transcript). Please also read some of my publications and those of my collaborators (especially my students’ papers) on related topics. Colorado State University no longer has a requirement for applicants to have taken the GRE. However, any applicant to the lab must demonstrated a high level of quantitative skills. Our work in remote sensing, forest modeling, and natural resource monitoring is computationally and quantitatively intense, so students with good quantitative backgrounds (science, math, or engineering) will fit in well. We find ourselves working with a range of programs including R for statistics and graphics, ESRI or Qgis for GIS and remote sensing (although we try to do as much spatial analysis in R as possible), ENVI or Google Earth Engine for spectral remote sensing, and R for LiDAR/point cloud remote sensing. Any experience candidates have with those tools is great but not required. Along with this, field experience is not a requisite for application, but most of our project will include a field component (I provide considerable in-the-field training for my students at all research sites). My approach to graduate advising is to form a partnership with the to produce high quality work, publishable in a journal, while helping the student grow into a better scientist. Note: For potential PhD applicants, I typically expect that you will have published something in a ‘legit’ journal (i.e., not simply a predatory ‘pay to play’ journals). Your publication doesn’t need to be earth-shattering, but you need to of been through the process of publishing science.
Expectations and Style
I hire graduate students on 12-month assistantships through a mixture or research and teaching appointments. Graduate students are expected to keep to an academic schedule, working 11 of the 12 months (one month of vacation time, to be taken primarily during school holidays). Graduate school is a full time pursuit, which means you will be expected to work at least 40 hours a week. Nominally, graduate students spend half their time on their coursework, but more realistically, your early graduate school semesters will involve considerable classwork, and your later semesters will involve almost none, meaning that you will be working on your projects full time. Very likely, in your last semester or two, when you are writing, you will wish you could get by working only 40 hours a week. The three to five years allotted for a PhD (meaning, the amount of funding most grants provide) or the two years allotted for a MSc assumes that students will diligently work full time.
All graduate students working on my funded project spend summers in the field, both collecting data for their own research, and also learning field techniques collecting demography data that is used for all of our lab research. The summer field season is a group endeavor, and every lab member joins, every year. Self-funded students should plan on at least one season of field involvement in our various projects.
A critical component of graduate school is developing a productive relationship with your adviser. As every student has different personal habits and approaches to getting their work done, I like to think that I can adapt and form a plan to help each individual succeed. I deeply value intellectual curiosity and try to surround myself with high performing and self-motivated individuals. I have a passion for the work we do, including helping students be productive, progress academically, and continually develop new skills.