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MS Position Available to Study Fire Ecology of Upland Oak Forests

Mississippi State University
Job Field:
Job Type:
Full Time
Location Detail:
Job Description:

A MS position is available with Dr. Heather Alexander and the Forest and Fire Ecology Lab ( in the Department of Forestry at Mississippi State University (Starkville, MS). The student will conduct extensive field research investigating the influence of fire on upland oak forest regeneration and consequences of forest compositional shifts on resource availability and forest flammability at a variety of sites, including Spirit Hill Farm in northern Mississippi and Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in western Kentucky. The student will be appointed as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) but will serve as a teaching assistant for undergraduate courses during two semesters. The student also will be expected to assist other researchers in the lab with their projects and contribute to departmental, college, and university service.


Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree in forestry, ecology, biology, or a related field. Successful candidates must demonstrate an aptitude for research, strong analytical and written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, and ability to work independently. Prior experience in fieldwork related to forest and ecosystem ecology is highly desired. Applicants must be in excellent physical condition and capable of working long hours outdoors exposed to harsh weather, biting insects, and thorny vegetation. The student must have data analysis and scientific writing experience and a strong desire to pursue these non-field related activities. Ability to drive ATVs, side x sides, tractors, operate chainsaws and other equipment, and implement prescribed fires strongly. Must also possess a current and valid driver's license and be able to drive a state vehicle.

How to Apply:

If interested, please email to Dr. Heather Alexander ( (1) a cover letter discussing interest in the research, qualifications, and applicable background experience; (2) a resume/CV; (3) unofficial transcripts, and (4) contact information for three professional references. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Details on the full application process to the MSU Graduate School can be found at Financial support is available for two years, starting in fall 2019, and includes a stipend ($15,000/year), tuition waiver, and health insurance. Review of applications will begin immediately.