Local recruitment: Graduate Research Assistantship, PhD level for Physical Analyses to Inform Adaptive Management of the Devils Hole Ecosystem

Desert Research Institute (DRI)

Reno, NV, USA 🇺🇸

Job Description

The Desert Research Institute (DRI; www.dri.edu) in Reno, NV, in partnership with the Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences (GPHS www.unr.edu) at the University of Nevada Reno (UNR), invite applications for graduate studies beginning in Spring semester of 2023. The student will do his/her research at DRI, but coursework and degree will be provided through UNR (Graduate school application deadline is December 15th, 2022).

Working in partnership with physical scientists and ecologists from DRI, the US National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Nevada Department of Wildlife, the student will develop and perform physical hydrologic analyses that can inform adaptive management of the Devils Hole ecosystem and support the recovery of the endangered Devils Hole pupfish. Research topics will specifically address quantifying disturbances to Devils Hole by floods and earthquakes, which can have significant ecological impacts that are currently understood only on a qualitative level. The funding package includes three years of a research assistantship at DRI and one year of teaching assistantship through GPHS.

Required Qualifications

  • An undergraduate degree in a technical field (e.g., engineering, physics, hydrogeology, etc.)
  • Strong interest in cross-disciplinary research and applied science
  • To be eligible for an assistantship, students must be admitted to the Hydrologic Sciences graduate program and be in good academic standing at the University of Nevada, Reno. The student must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and must be continuously enrolled in at least 6 graduate level credits throughout the duration of the assistantship
  • Ability to work independently
  • Excellent oral and written English communication skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • A master’s degree and/or professional experience in an environmental field
  • Demonstrated experience in interdisciplinary work or research

Conditions of Employment

  • All positions are contingent upon available funding from your DRI advisor’s research projects and may be terminated for lack of funding or performance.


DRI offers a competitive support package, which includes a half-time (50% FTE) monthly salary of $2050 for PhD students during the academic semester with the ability to work up to full-time during the summer and coverage of student health insurance. A grant-in-aid tuition waiver covers about 70-75% of tuition/per credit costs for up to 12 credits and waives non-resident tuition rates. This assistantship is 20 hours a week during the academic year and up to full time during the summer. This assistantship is available for up to 4 years, with 3 years with DRI and one year with UNR. The UNR portion of funding will be paid at UNR’s standard assistantship rates.

A 60-year partnership between DRI and UNR, the interdisciplinary Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences is one of the most well-established interdisciplinary programs of its kind in North America (https://www.unr.edu/hydrologic-sciences). The mission of GPHS is to provide outstanding academic training for students to become hydrologists and hydrogeologists who will understand and address critical water challenges facing the world. The Program focuses on studies of water in the environment including its surface and subsurface roles in geologic and biogeochemical processes, ecosystem functions, and climate science.

This position is based in Reno NV, a wonderful city to live in with its bike paths, the Truckee River, access to world-class skiing, hiking, mountain biking and trail running, and a well-connected airport. Reno is also located close to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, and Lassen National Park.

Exempt: Yes

Full-Time Equivalent :50.0%

Required Attachment(s)

Prospective students are encouraged to apply to UNR’s Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences immediately (https://www.unr.edu/grad/admissions). UNR’s deadline for graduate applications is December 15. Please upload a current curriculum vitae once you have applied to the UNR Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences.

For more detailed information about DRI and DRI faculty, research projects, and publications, please visit us at www.dri.edu. For questions regarding this position contact Dr. Mark Hausner at mark.hausner@dri.edu, and for assistance with your application, please call the recruiting office at 775-673-7332.

Posting Close Date

Note to Applicant

Applicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience with specific reference to each of the minimum and preferred qualifications. The search committee will use this information during the initial review of application materials.  

References will be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant notification and permission.

Newly hired faculty and postdoctoral fellows must assure that their official transcript is submitted to the Human Resources Office within 30 calendar days from the effective date of employment.  Academic degrees must have been awarded by regionally accredited institutions.

This position may require a criminal background check to be conducted on the candidate(s) selected for hire.

As part of the hiring process, applicants for positions in the Nevada System of Higher Education may be required to demonstrate the ability to perform job-related tasks.

DRI employs only U.S. citizens and aliens authorized to work in the U.S. DRI only sponsors aliens applying for research faculty or postdoctoral fellow positions (J-1 or H-1B Visas).

All applicants hired by the Desert Research Institute are subject to E-Verify.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development