Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Field Technicians Needed- Forest Ecology Research

Project summary: Long-term impacts of the emerging forest disease sudden oak death in mixed oak woodlands.

Project PIs: Ross Meentemeyer (University of North Carolina at Charlotte- Dept. of Geography & Earth Sciences), Hall Cushman & Nathan Rank (Sonoma State University- Biology Dept.), and David Rizzo (UC Davis- Dept. of Plant Pathology)

Description: Phytophthora ramorum is an exotic plant pathogen of international concern and causal agent of the emerging forest disease Sudden Oak Death (SOD). In North America, P. ramorum has caused extensive mortality of oak and tanoak trees from Big Sur, California in the south to Curry County, Oregon in the north. Our long‐term ecological study established in 2003 is repeatedly sampling a large plot network (200 sites within a 275-km2 region of mixed oak woodland) in order to understand spatio-temporal variability in the population dynamics and ecological impacts of P. ramorum. We seek 2 Crew Leaders and 2 Field Assistants for a two month period (ca. May 1-June 30). Please let us know if you would like to be considered for helping with additional fieldwork in the Big Sur region July - September. Crew Leaders will coordinate plot visits with public and private landowners, ensure data quality (oversee fieldwork and supervise field assistants), and general lab management (inventorying field supplies, digital file management). Field assistants will assist crew leaders in collecting and entering data on disease progression, plant species composition and structure, and understory microclimate variation.

Housing, transportation to/from study sites, and a monthly stipend commensurate with experience will be provided. Desired qualifications include demonstrating a strong interest in disease ecology, landscape ecology and/or forest ecology and management. Strong academic credentials plus completion of at least two years of an undergraduate science program is preferred. Previous experience navigating using GPS and/or topographic maps, as well as working under physically demanding field conditions (i.e., 8+ hours of hiking a day in steep and rough terrain; wet, hot, and/or cold conditions; exposure to poison oak and "buggy" conditions), is helpful.

Send a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three references to Sarah Haas by email at shaas1@uncc.edu. For more information on the SOD project, please visit our website (http://gis.uncc.edu/). DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION IS MARCH 15, 2012.

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