PhD Position in Recreation Behavior, Policy and Management, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Syracuse, NY

Job Title: PhD Position in Recreation Behavior, Policy and Management

Organization: State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Location: Syracuse, NY

Position Overview: A PhD position is available in the Department of Environmental Science in the Policy, Planning, and Society (PPCS) area of study at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) starting summer 2022 (date negotiable). The PhD student will work with an interdisciplinary team of faculty, students, and participant-researchers on one of two funded projects regarding recreation behavior, policy, and management:
(1) “Managing the New Hiker: Characteristics, Perceptions, and Behavior Trends among alpine Trail Users in the Northeast.” This project characterizes hikers and hiker trends of the 2020s through a study of six or more popular hiking areas in the Northeast (e.g. Adirondack High Peaks, Acadia National Park, Mt. Monadnock in NH). This project is funded by the McIntire-Stennis Program (USDA).

(2) “AMR Recreational User Intent and Perspectives”. This project is studying the experimental parking reservation system at the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR). AMR is a popular hiking area within Adirondack Park. Its recreation easement is co-managed by the Ausable Club and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the sponsor of this research. Our lab is examining function, access, and equity issues regarding this management action. Through our research, we are creating space for users and other publics to share their interests and perceptions of this action.

Placement will be based on the applicant’s experience, knowledge base, skill set, and interests.
The PhD student will be expected to participate in all aspects of the research project to which they are assigned, which include project management, conducting literature reviews, public records research, qualitative interviews, surveys, and contributing to peer-reviewed publications and presentations at professional meetings. The PhD student will pursue a degree in Environmental Science. Tuition and stipend are included for three years (Summer 2022 + Fall 2022-Spring 2025), as well as research and professional conference travel support.

Required Qualifications

  • Earned MS in a related field by May of 2022. (e.g. Environmental Studies, Rec. Management, Conservation Biology, Environmental Education, etc.)
  • Excellent communication (verbal and written) and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated quantitative analytical skills.
  • Ability to self-manage and execute tasks.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Familiarity with social science research methods.
  • Experience with hiking and alpine recreation and management.
  • Familiarity with recreational areas of the Northeast.
  • Demonstrated record of working in teams and interest in supporting a growing research lab.

How to Apply: Send a cover letter stating interest in and qualifications for the position, a curriculum vitae, one writing sample (e.g. journal article, thesis chapter), an unofficial transcript, and the names and contact information for three references to Dr. Jill Weiss at
A review of applications is in progress.

For more information about the position and the project, please contact:
Dr. Jill Weiss, Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies & Graduate Program in Environmental Science,
SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry