The USGS South Carolina Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit at Clemson University (South Carolina, USA) has a Graduate Research Assistantship (PhD) available to examine spatial ecology of Brown Pelicans along the coat of the SE USA. Our lab has conducted research on spatial and reproductive ecology of Brown Pelicans in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific and we seek to build on that work with this research effort. This new study will focus on space use, home range characteristics, migratory paths, habitat modeling, and foraging strategies of Brown Pelicans during both the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. The student will also have the opportunity to consider additional research questions consistent with their interests and final funding levels. The research supports needs identified by the USGS Outer Continental Shelf program and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
The selected applicant will be expected to manage and maintain master data sets from all field work, use GIS and appropriate statistical techniques to analyze data, prepare annual reports, present results at meetings, and develop and cultivate relationships with federal and state agency personnel. The student will study in Clemson, South Carolina, but will be based in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida USA throughout the breeding season (final field sites depending upon colony dynamics). The student must be able to work closely with a small field crew over long periods of time. Since fieldwork will take place on offshore island colonies, the selected candidate must be comfortable handling small motorboats, preferably in marine or estuarine environments, and working safely in remote field conditions. The successful candidate should also have experience working long hours under hot, humid, buggy conditions and navigating difficult terrain. Experience working in chaotic seabird colonies and safely handling large birds will also be an asset.
Candidates should have a MS in wildlife ecology, zoology, biology or a related field, GPA > 3.4, verbal and math combined GRE > 315. Student will be supported through a GRA with a salary of $22k/yr and will be advised by Dr. Patrick Jodice in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation at Clemson University. A graduation tuition deferment and a health fee subsidy will be provided. The selected candidate will begin in mid-August 2017 (or sooner if available). Candidates should provide a letter of interest, a CV, a list of three references, copies of transcripts and GRE scores (unofficial is fine for now) directly to Patrick Jodice, firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 April 2017. If needed, the mailing address is Patrick Jodice, SC Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, G27 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, 29634, USA.