Graduate Associate Positions, Environmental and Social Sustainability Lab

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The Environmental and Social Sustainability Lab ( in the School of Environment and Natural Resources is seeking high quality applicants for fellowship worthy candidates.  Graduate Associate Positions are available for PhD or MS level studies in Environmental Social Sciences with a specific focus on communication and behavior change, policy and governance, human – nature interactions, or community and international development. Qualified students may also be considered for teaching and research associateships depending on available opportunities.

Our curriculum includes foundational training in the appropriate theoretical areas (sociology, psychology, and/or political science) and related research methods and statistics. Students and faculty engage in research both within the U.S. and in global settings with research emphasis spanning both theoretical and applied interests. Recent graduates have taken positions in both academic and applied settings (such as government agencies and nongovernmental organizations).

Multiple research opportunities are available. Examples include:

  1. Comparative U.S. – Australia project examining management of landscapes to achieve multiple outcomes at the interface of public and private lands in the context of environmental change.
  2. NSF Coupled Human-Natural Systems project examining the potential of changes in human behavior across a watershed to offset the negative impacts of climate change on downstream ecosystem services.
  3. Wildlife project designed to example the socio-psychological factors influencing human tolerance for carnivores and other species posing a hazard to local communities.
  4. Natural disaster and evacuation response project examining the influence of risk attitudes on risk perceptions and evacuation decisions during a natural disaster (wildfire, hurricane, flooding, etc).

Qualifications: Applications should have demonstrated coursework experience in the social sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology, political science, communication, human geography) and a record of academic excellence at the undergraduate and graduate levels (>3.6 GPA and >70th percentile in Verbal and Quantitative GREs strongly preferred). Ph.D. applicants should also have demonstrated social science research experience using quantitative (e.g., survey/experimental design, multivariate statistics) and/or qualitative (e.g., interviews, focus groups, and analysis) methodologies. Strong communication (both oral and written) skills are required. Candidates should describe their ability to participate in an interdisciplinary research team and communicate with both social and natural scientists/practitioners.

Support: The position will include a salary of $20K + per year (higher salary for PhD students) plus tuition and health benefits. Fellowship support may be possible for outstanding applicants.

To Apply: If interested, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae (including undergraduate and graduate GPA as well as GRE scores), and contact info for 3 references to Jen Mackall (ESS lab manager) at by December 20, 2013. Include in your cover letter a description of your interest area and potential faculty advisor of interest. Potential applicants should also be prepared to meet all departmental application requirements by January 6, 2014 (see details about the application process at