POLARIS PhD student position at Penn State

Penn State — Graduate Research Assistant in Arctic Research

Penn State’s Rural Sociology graduate program in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education seeks a PhD-level graduate research assistant to join their large transdisciplinary POLARIS team. POLARIS, or Pursuing Opportunities for Long-term Artic Resilience for Infrastructure and Society, is an NSF funded project that studies environmental migration, food security, and human-environment conflicts in coastal Arctic Indigenous communities and identifies the important assets (social, environmental, infrastructural, institutional) to help them adapt and become more resilient to climate-related changes. More information about the project can be found at: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1927827&HistoricalAwards=false.

This student will have an opportunity to pursue a dual-title degree in Demography, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment, or International Agriculture and Development. This student should have a strong research interest in rural sociology, demography, population and environment, community resilience, and/or climate change in Indigenous communities or remote research settings. Competence in rigorous statistical and spatial analysis is preferred.

The student will be members of a large interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research team. The student will participate in research activities of the POLARIS project and conduct field data collection in coastal Alaskan Indigenous communities. The student is expected to develop their dissertation research based on the POLARIS project. Experience working with Indigenous communities is ideal; a strong interest working with Indigenous communities is a must. The student will join several other graduate students at Penn State’s graduate programs in Rural Sociology, Geography, and Ecology, as well as graduate students from Michigan Tech and University of Alaska, as part of the project team. The student should be self-motivated, open to learning new methods, resourceful, and independent. The funding is guaranteed for four years, conditional on satisfactory performance of both assistantship duties and academic progress.

To be considered for the funded position, prospective students must apply and be admitted to the Rural Sociology graduate program (https://aese.psu.edu/graduateprograms/rural-sociology/apply). Application deadline is December 15, 2020.

For more information about the POLARIS project and the positions, please contact Dr. Guangqing Chi ([email protected]) and/or Dr. Heather Randell ([email protected]). For questions about the Rural Sociology Graduate Program, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Kathy Brasier ([email protected]). For information about one of the Dual Title Degree options, please refer to the individual programs:

Demography: https://sites.psu.edu/demography/

Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment: https://agsci.psu.edu/hdnre

International Agriculture and Development: https://agsci.psu.edu/international/intad