Northern Arizona University Announces Graduate Research Assistantship (Ph.D.) Opportunity

Graduate Research Assistantship (Ph.D.) School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University

A Ph.D. graduate assistantship is available in the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University (NAU), in Flagstaff AZ. The position will provide 4 years of support in the project “Regionally Scaled Adaptive Forest Management for Production of Climate-Resilient Ecosystem Services” pending final federal funding confirmation. Critical ecosystem services provided by forests in the western US are at risk of decline under future climate change and altered disturbance regimes. This project will use forest landscape simulation modeling to (1) project the potential impacts of climate change on forest vegetation and disturbance regimes and (2) design and test innovative management approaches aimed at maximizing production of forest ecosystem services. The project will involve computational modeling and collaboration with Forest Service and Tribal managers in the central Rocky Mountains of New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. This research is a collaboration between Dr. William Flatley (Department of Geography, University of Central Arkansas) and Dr. Peter Fulé (School of Forestry, NAU). The student will be co-advised by Dr. Fulé and Dr. Flatley, while pursuing a Ph.D. in forestry at NAU. Funding will include a $26,000 stipend, tuition waiver, and health benefits. The successful candidate will gain expertise in the fields of forest and fire ecology, management, climate change, and ecosystem services. Candidates should also have an interest in developing skills in landscape modeling, geospatial analysis, and quantitative methods.

Minimum Qualifications: An M.S. in forestry, geography, environmental science or a related field and an interest in modeling ecosystem services, vegetation, fire, and climate change effects.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of ecosystem services, forest ecology, fire ecology and climate change effects
  • Experience with modeling of vegetation and/or fire
  • Experience with Geographical Information Systems and/or Remote Sensing
  • Experience using R, Python, C#, or other programming language
  • Experience publishing quantitative research

Availability to start by July 1, 2018

For more information, contact Dr. Flatley at or Dr. Fulé at

If you are interested, please send the following by February 16, 2018:

  • A one-page letter describing career goals, qualifications and experience
  • C.V.
  • Unofficial transcripts and unofficial GRE scores, as well as unofficial TOEFL score if relevant.
  • Names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three references

If invited to apply, the application deadline for the graduate program in the School of Forestry at NAU is somewhat flexible but March 15, 2018 is preferred. For the application, official transcripts, GRE scores, and TOEFL score (if needed) will be required.

A PDF version of this position description can be found here.