Recreation & Wildlife Graduate Research Assistantship, University of Wyoming

Laramie, WY & Jackson, WY

Position: Graduate Research Assistantship

Organization: University of Wyoming, Dr. Abby Sisneros-Kidd

Dr. Abby Sisneros-Kidd is recruiting a MS student to join her recreation research group at the University of Wyoming. In cooperation with the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park and other stakeholders in Teton County, WY, the student’s project will focus on developing metrics for measuring and managing the coexistence of recreationists and wildlife. The student will examine questions concerning recreationist perceptions of how recreational activity influences wildlife, acceptable thresholds of both human and wildlife presence and human behaviors around wildlife, and critical metrics for sustaining wildlife populations in areas where developed recreation opportunities exist. There is also potential to evaluate additional questions relative to effective messaging for influencing recreationist behavior.

The main aims of this work are to:

  • (1) advance our understanding of behaviors that recreationists are willing to engage in to coexist with wildlife;
  • (2) offer new insight on useful metrics for monitoring recreation impacts on wildlife; and
  • (3) provide sound information that aids in the management of human-wildlife conflict in one of the most recreated places in the U.S. 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. They will also have experience with quantitative analysis.

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 Zoology/Physiology or Agricultural and Applied Economics, depending on their academic background and interests. The candidate may also choose to pursue a concurrent degree in Environment and Natural Resources.


  • A BA or BS in any field and successful completion of at least one undergraduate course in calculus, statistics/econometrics, and intermediate microeconomic theory*.
  • Preference will be given to applicants with interest OR experience in social science (survey) methodologies; GIS/spatial analysis; topical areas of recreation management, ecology, economics, and wildlife conservation/zoology; and interdisciplinary, collaborative problem solving.
  • A record of effective collaboration and demonstrated ability to work as part of a team is essential for this position.

* Students lacking these courses may complete them without graduate credit while pursuing their degree.

To Apply:

Please send the following materials as one PDF document to Dr. Abby Sisneros-Kidd at with the subject “Your Name_JHRWC 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).

Salary/Pay: $16,500 + tuition/fees + health insurance

Start Date: January 19, 2021

Application Deadline: August 31, 2020

Contact Information: Dr. Abigail Sisneros-Kidd,