MS Graduate Research Assistantship in Private Lands Stewardship and Conservation, University of Wyoming

Laramie, WY

Job Title: MS Graduate Research Assistantship in Private Lands Stewardship and Conservation

Organization: University of Wyoming

Location: Laramie, WY

Overview: Dr. Drew Bennett is recruiting one or more Master of Science (MS) student(s) to join the MacMillan Private Lands Stewardship Program (MacMillan Program) in the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming. The MacMillan Program supports private landowners in Wyoming and the Intermountain West by encouraging collaboration across a number of fields critical to the conservation and stewardship of private lands. The student(s) will work on research and outreach projects in collaboration with landowners, natural resource agencies, and/or not-for-profit organizations. Additionally, students will provide support to the MacMillan Program as needed.

Duties: The Graduate Research Assistant will focus on one of the project areas described below as part their master’s thesis. Current project areas include: (1) evaluating social and ecological outcomes of grassland and rangeland conservation efforts; (2) developing a framework for prioritizing conservation easement acquisition and stewardship based on attributes of water rights and the benefits of irrigation to agriculture and wetland habitat; (3) social dimensions of big game migration corridor conservation in Wyoming and the West; (4) communication of the stewardship and conservation of private lands through compelling storytelling, photojournalism, and/or film production. While these project areas are current priorities, prospective students with well formulated project ideas related to the broad focus of the MacMillan Program are also encouraged to apply.

Ideal candidates for this position will possess outstanding written and oral communication skills, have experience collaborating or working as part of a team, have experience conducting research or stakeholder outreach, and an interest in social science or human dimensions research. Candidates should have an interest in rural communities, appreciation for agricultural livelihoods, and a desire to work with diverse stakeholder groups. Candidates should show creative and flexible thinking, be self-motivated, and able to work independently with guidance and support from project collaborators. Preferred candidates will have experience with applied conservation efforts, financial or economic analysis, social science methods and interview methodologies, and/or strong geospatial skills such as GIS or remote sensing.

The candidate(s) selected will pursue their MS degree in Environment, Natural Resources & Society within the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. The Graduate Research Assistant position is for roughly 21-24 months and requires the equivalent of 20 hours of work per week. The MacMillan Program will cover 9 credits of tuition and fees during the fall/spring semesters and student health insurance.

Qualifications: Preference will be given to applicants with interest and / or experience in interdisciplinary research; private lands stewardship and conservation; and/or working in rural communities. Applicants who have a BA or BS in any field will be considered, with preference given to social science, business, or interdisciplinary fields. Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Standardized test scores (e.g., GRE) are not required. Candidates from backgrounds underrepresented in higher education, conservation, and other natural resource fields are especially encouraged to apply. Formal application to the graduate program at the Haub School at the University of Wyoming is required subsequent to selection of the successful candidate(s). Inquiries about the position are welcome. 

Start Date: Anticipated start date is summer or fall 2022

Funding Package: $16,500/year + tuition and fees + health insurance ($26,266 total benefit annually).

Application Deadline: March 1 at 5 p.m. MST

How to Apply: Please send the following materials as one PDF document to Dr. Drew Bennett at with the subject “Your Name MS Position”. This packet should include:

(1) Cover letter/narrative (roughly 2-3 pages) that explains your desire to pursue graduate education, how your research interests relate to one or more of the project areas described in the announcement, your career goals, and should highlight your relevant skills and experience;

(2) Resume or CV including degree(s) earned, GPA, and contact information for at least three references; and

(3) an unofficial copy of your transcript.