Announcements > Climate Adaptation GRA

Agency: University of Wyoming
Start Date: Spring or Summer 2021 [start date is flexible, but Spring is preferred]
Apply By: 11/15/2020
Job Category: Graduate Research Assistantship
Salary: $16,500/year + tuition + health insurance
Location: Laramie and Central Plains Experimental Range (Nunn, Colorado)

Description: Dr. Corrine Noel Knapp is recruiting a MS student to join her rangeland social science and climate adaptation group at the University of Wyoming. The student's project will focus on understanding rancher perception of and response to drought. It has been theorized that participating in community-based natural resource management and/or adaptive management efforts can help to increase adaptive capacity. The Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management (CARM) project in northeastern Colorado provides an opportunity to explore rancher adaptive capacity in this region - including networks of ranchers associated with the Crow Valley Livestock Cooperative, Inc. and Pawnee Grazing Associations (both with grazing permits on the USFS Pawnee National Grasslands), as well as an existing network of >25 ranchers in eastern Wyoming and Colorado where on-ranch monitoring efforts have been ongoing since 2012. This research will help us to explore how participation in these efforts influence rancher adaptive capacity. The main aims of this work are to answer the following: 1) How are drought management strategies perceived by ranchers and what are the context-specific reasons for these perceptions?, 2) What ideas do ranchers have for responding to drought and what are barriers to adopting these strategies?, 3) What level of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity do ranchers have? And 4) Are there differences in the above (1-3) between CARM affiliated, Cooperative-affiliated, and non-affiliated ranchers?

Ideal candidates for this position will possess outstanding written and oral communication skills, have experience collaborating and/or working as part of a team, and will have experience conducting field research or working in the field. Candidates should have an interest in land-based livelihoods and adaptation to increased variability. Preferably candidates would have experience with social science methods and interview methodologies. Candidates should have a strong interest in social science research methods, show creative and flexible thinking, and be self-motivated and able to work independently with guidance and support from project collaborators. The candidate selected may pursue their degree in either Ecosystem Science and Management (co-advised by Melanie Murphy) or Environment, Natural Resources & Society, depending on their academic background and interests. The candidate may also choose to pursue a concurrent degree in Environment and Natural Resources.

Qualifications: Preference will be given to applicants with interest OR experience in rangeland ecology; interdisciplinary and collaborative problem solving; climate change adaptation and/or land-based livelihoods. Applicants will be considered who have a BA or BS in any field. A record of effective collaboration and demonstrated ability to work as part of a team is essential for this position.

To apply: Please send the following materials as one PDF document to Dr. Corrine Knapp at with the subject "Your Name_CARM MS Position":
(1) Cover letter/narrative that explains your desire to pursue graduate education, your research interests, career goals, and highlights relevant experience;
(2) Resume or CV including degree(s) earned, GPA, and contact information for at least three references;
(3) Unofficial copy of transcripts; and
(4) An example manuscript or report you have written (if available).

Closing date and time: November 15, 2020 at 5 p.m. MST.