Saturday, November 13, 2010

Graduate Opportunity at UNH

Funded Research Seeking Graduate Students Interested in Human-Environment Interactions

The University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH invites applications for a highly-motivated graduate student interested in linking human dimensions to ecosystem change to work on a new interdisciplinary project in northeastern Oregon.  This project, "Community and Forest:  Linked Human-Ecosystem Responses to Natural Disturbances in Oregon" is funded through the USDA's Disaster Resilience for Rural Communities Program.  In addition to thesis/dissertation research, this student will work closely with project directors in designing, implementing, and analyzing a household survey, will conduct field work in northeastern Oregon, and will work alongside other graduate students and community and agency partners in providing appropriate deliverables throughout the project (e.g., extension publications, briefs, conference papers, community presentations, refereed articles).  Funding is available - 2 years funding for a MS student and 3 years funding for a PhD student.

Project synopsis:
Forests in the Wallowa-Whitman Ecosystem (WWE) are threatened by the risk of catastrophic insect outbreaks and wildfire. Forecasted growth in these natural hazards implies dramatic socio-economic costs to communities that are dependent on forests and their ecosystems. Coupled with that risk is ongoing ecological deterioration concurrent with declining commodity timber-production and changing management goals on public lands, all of which has completely transformed the ways that forests are perceived, valued, and managed.  This research uses a multi-scalar, multi-disciplinary approach to examine risk perceptions and behavioral reactions to forest management with implications on land use and housing. Further, this work focuses on the dynamic feedbacks between landscape changes, land use conversion, parcelization, and the strategies people use to respond to risk in the WWE.

Application procedure:
Application is open to students from social science disciplines (e.g., sociology, geography), natural resources, landscape ecology, and related professional fields who will make significant contributions to linking social dynamics of land management and risk perception with ecological change the research project in the form of a master's thesis or PhD dissertation.  Preference will be given to individuals who have experience in statistics and GIS.  Optional qualifications include an interest in working in rural communities of the US West, rural sociology, landscape ecology, experience in satellite imagery analysis, and modeling.

Potential PhD students can apply to either to the Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science ( or Sociology ( and potential MS students can apply to either the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment ( or Sociology at UNH.  The student has the option to begin study in late January 2011 or September 2011.

Graduate students will also work closely with the Carsey Institute ( while at UNH.

Send a CV and letter of application by December 15, 2010 to:

Joel Hartter
Department of Geography
University of New Hampshire
102 Huddleston Hall
73 Main Street
Durham, NH 03824  USA
Tel: 603-862-7052

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