Position Opening: M.S. Graduate Research Assistantship in Southeast Alaska Hydrology and Juvenile Salmon Ecology

salmon in river

University of Alaska Fairbanks – Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit


The successful applicant will be part of a multidisciplinary study to link fine-scale hydrologic variation with juvenile salmon growth in Southeast Alaska streams. In the coming decades, this region is predicted to experience more dramatic low water events due to diminished snowpack and seasonal droughts interspersed with larger and potentially more frequent high flow events from frequent storms (atmospheric rivers) and rain-on-snow events. Such changes will likely influence the growth of juvenile salmon, such as Coho Salmon and Chinook Salmon, that live up to two years in freshwater before migrating to the ocean.

The student will be tasked to develop a high-resolution mechanistic study to examine how the sequence of high and low flow events that a watershed experiences influence foraging and growth by juvenile salmon. Results will develop and inform hypotheses regarding how on-going and future changes in stream flows in Gulf of Alaska rivers may reshape the trajectories of fish growth, which can inform broader-scale studies and monitoring.
The incumbent will work closely with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Alaska Southeast, along with other local, tribal, state, federal and university entities with interests in the project. As such, good communication skills are essential.

  • Qualifications – B.S. in fisheries biology, ecology, or closely related field. Experience conducting field
    and/or lab research in freshwater ecosystems and interest in ecohydrology are preferred.
  • Salary — $34,500 per year, plus tuition waiver and student health benefits for 2.5 years.
  • Closing date – Applications will be accepted through Friday September 11, 2020. Start date will be mid-January 2021.

Contact – E-mail cover letter describing your professional interests and experience, CV, copies of unofficial transcripts, and contact information for three references to Dr. Jeff Falke.

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