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AGL seeking two new grad students

The Department of Natural Resource Ecology & Management (NREM) at Iowa State University is seeking applications for two graduate assistantship (M.S.) positions starting January or May, 2020. Ideal candidates for both positions would have a Bachelor’s degree in biology, geoscience, civil or environmental engineering, or environmental science. Both projects will be jointly supervised by Dr. Pete Moore and Dr. Tom Isenhart and can be pursued as part of an M.S. degree in Environmental Science, Geology, or Fisheries Biology. Interested students should contact Pete (pmoore@iastate.edu) or Tom (isenhart@iastate.edu) directly with questions or for application instructions. Applications submitted by September 15th will have priority consideration.

Position 1: Watershed-scale streambank erosion estimation. This project aims to estimate sediment and phosphorus inputs associated with bank erosion and channel migration in rivers and streams around the state of Iowa. We will use statewide high-resolution imagery and LiDAR elevation data to detect channel morphology and change over timescales of years to decades using an ISU-developed GIS tool. Major project activities will include GIS and remote sensing analysis with supporting field and lab work. As a part of this project, we will also evaluate the effectiveness of streambank stabilization in reducing sediment and nutrient loading to streams at a reach to watershed scale. Ideal candidates should have experience with GIS software. Familiarity with Python or similar programming experience is a plus. A research assistantship for this project is fully funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and Hungry Canyons Alliance.

Position 2: Reference conditions for stream restoration in intensively-managed landscapes. Stream restoration and rehabilitation are increasingly seen as tools for infrastructure protection, flood mitigation, and habitat and water quality improvement in agricultural landscapes of the Midwestern USA. However, most of the available tools and resources for stream restoration were developed in systems that differ greatly from the Midwest in many respects. This project aims to explore the distinct challenges facing stream restoration practitioners in these settings while establishing reference criteria for degraded and functioning streams in the region. This project will include extensive fieldwork in wadeable rivers and streams during summers of 2020 and 2021. Ideal candidates should have familiarity with stream geomorphology and/or ecology and interest in interdisciplinary work. This project is partially funded by Iowa Rivers Revival and the McKnight Foundation.

NREM is a multidisciplinary department housed in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. The faculty of roughly 30 includes researchers in fisheries, wildlife management, landscape ecology, forestry, natural resource economics, and soil and water conservation. Around 40 graduate students pursue M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Forestry, Wildlife Ecology, Fisheries Biology, or one of several interdepartmental graduate programs including Environmental Science, Sustainable Agriculture, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.