We seek to fill a graduate-research assistantship (GRA) position supported through funding provided by National Science Foundation Grant EAR 2024411: Conceptualizing and Quantifying the Function of Beaver Dams and Stormwater Ponds on the Hydrology and Biogeochemistry of Urban Streams. The student will complete a Master of Science (M.S.) degree within the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University (GSU). The degree program includes concentrations in Geography, Geology, and Water Sciences, also with a professional certificate program in GIS. The GRA could being as early as fall semester (August) of 2020, although beginning during the spring semester (January) of 2021 is also acceptable. We can consider an applicant that would begin their coursework during fall semester of 2021, although in that case we would need the GRA to commit to beginning field work at the onset of the summer semester (May 2021).
The research focus for this GRA will be conducting field-based tracer tests, using stable-isotopes and ion tracers, to evaluate the comparative effects of beaver-constructed impoundments versus human-built storm water ponds on the transit times of water and solutes through urban stream channels. These tests will be conducted at multiple sites in Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, and in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of NC. The GRA will be trained to operate a laser spectrometer instrument for laboratory analysis of water samples to quantify stable-isotope abundances, and be responsible for organization and analysis of test samples. The GRA will work collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team of investigators at Georgia State University, Georgia Gwinnett College, and the Universities of North Carolina at Charlotte and Chapel Hill, as well as additional graduate students.
The student will receive a competitive stipend of $15,000 per year for two calendar years, tuition waiver, and funds to support travel to conferences for presentation of research results. The project investigators at GSU–the home University for this GRA—are Sarah Ledford (PI) and Luke Pangle (Co-PI). We ask that interested applicants contact by e-mail Dr. Ledford (sledford at gsu dot edu). The applicant should attach to the e-mail a single pdf document containing a short statement describing how the project appeals to their intellectual interests and career goals, an unofficial transcript from their degree-granting institution, and the names of two references.
GSU Geosciences is robust department with 17 core faculty members and approximately 45 M.S. students. GSU, which is located in downtown Atlanta, is the largest university in Georgia, with total enrollment exceeding 50,000 students. GSU supports one of the most culturally diverse student bodies in the U.S, and we especially encourage inquiries from women and underrepresented cultural groups.