Friday, October 26, 2018

New MS Positions Studying Reptile Conservation! Apply Now!


MS opportunity at the Department of Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University

The Department of Natural Resources Management is seeking two MS students to work as research assistants on an assessment of the distribution and habitat conservation of two reptile species of concern (Desert Massasauga and Spot-tailed earless lizard) in Texas. The positions will be based out of Lubbock, TX at Texas Tech University, with fieldwork in West and South Texas. The MS program and thesis will be supervised by Dr. Samantha Kahl, Dr. Carlos Portillo-Quintero, Dr. Gad Perry, Dr. Robert Cox and Dr. Nancy McIntyre.

Applicants should have previous experience in herpetology or identifying herps in the field, and preference will be given to applicants that have a BS degree with coursework in Herpetology, and field experience. One MS student is expected to focus on each of the reptile species. Experience in critical thinking, analysis, and systems thinking will also be given preference in the interview process. Research work will demand driving a truck to validation sites on scheduled dates and spending days in the field, and training for field handling and species identification for study species will be required prior to the start of the first field season. The MS students will also supervise undergraduate technicians during field data collection. Prospective students will be fully funded (upon qualification) as a Research Assistant. This Research Assistant position includes tuition, stipend, health benefits and fringes for two years, including summer months.

To apply, please send your Curriculum Vitae (resume) • a Cover Letter • A statement about prior experience and career interests • Transcripts from undergrad program • The names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of 2 references. 
Application deadlines: Applications before 11/20/18 may be considered for a January 2019 or May 2019 start, and Applications 11/20/18-2/15/18 will be considered for a May 2019 start. Position is open until filled.

Send your application documents to: Dr. Samantha S. Kahl, Ph.D., Department of Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-2125 USA, Tel. 806-834-4041, or via email to samantha.kahl@ttu.edu.

During the application process, successful applicants will also be required to apply to the Texas Tech University Graduate School (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/admissions/howtoapply.php) and hire will be contingent upon acceptance to the Graduate School and the Department of Natural Resources Management.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

New Geospatial PhD Position! Apply Now!


PhD opportunity at the Department of Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University
The Department of Natural Resources Management is seeking a PhD student to work as a research assistant on an assessment on the distribution and landscape structure of grassland ecosystems in South-Central Texas using GIS and very high resolution (VHR) remote sensing data. The PhD program and dissertation will be supervised by Dr. Carlos Portillo-Quintero, Dr. Samantha Kahl, Dr. Nancy McIntyre, Dr. Robert Cox and Dr. Gad Perry.
Applicants should have previous experience in GIS or remote sensing, and preference will be given to applicants that have a Master’s degree. Students with a background in cartography, geography, biogeography and/or landscape ecology are preferred. Research work will demand driving a truck to validation sites on scheduled dates and spending days in the field. The PhD student will also supervise undergraduate technicians during field data collection and GIS analysis. Prospective student will be fully funded (upon qualification) as a Research Assistant. This Research Assistant position includes tuition, stipend, health benefits and fringes for three years, including summer months, with the possibility of an extension.
To apply, please send your Curriculum Vitae (resume) • a statement about your research interests • a statement about your career goals • Transcripts from Master program • the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of 2 references.
Application deadline: November, 20th 2018.
Send your application documents to: Carlos Portillo-Quintero, Ph.D., Department of Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-2125 USA, Tel. 806-8347309, carlos.portillo@ttu.edu.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Thinking Outside the Box in TTU's RAMP Course

This semester, and every Spring semester at Texas Tech University, I teach the Rangeland Analysis and Management Planning course, or RAMP, as many students and faculty like to call it. I started teaching this course in 2015 and I just thought I would give it a little spotlight here.
The students in this class take many of the natural resource management skills they've learned in previous coursework, and put them to work in the real world. In this class they produce management plans for two different properties after viewing each property, meeting and speaking with the landowner (possibly multiple times), doing a site inventory assessment, analyzing data, and working as a team with students they may never have worked with previously. They build off of each other's strengths and weaknesses, and work very hard to put together a plan that they are proud to offer to the landowner. Each student having a slightly different background allows them to teach each other things that they might not have had time to learn in the coursework for their particular degree plan. I have had luck thus far in gaining access to some fantastic pieces of property in the Texas panhandle region, and I'm excited to see what every new round of the course will bring. New properties and new students mean new ideas and more 'thinking outside the box'.
We need this type of thinking our field now more than ever, with decreases in funding and increases in environmental issues and human development, and I'm happy to be able to encourage it in the courses I teach at TTU.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Reflections on the Field Season

Author: J. Coward, Kahl Lab Technician & former TTU student

Photo Credit: ??
My situation as it relates to this project was somewhat unique. By the time I joined James's crew of field technicians there was only one month of the field season left. I was the newest member of an already seasoned and experienced team. My background had been working with Northern Bobwhites, and I had no experience working with waterfowl. Fortunately, James and the other field technicians were enormously helpful in the process of learning the necessary skills to contribute to this project.
Photo Credit: ??
Each day out in the field brought with it a new experience. Early on in the field season I made it my personal goal to learn something new everyday that would be helpful to the project. Some days it would be something simple, such as how to keep your field equipment tidy and organized. Other days it would be something such as how to log field data.  My favorite lesson I learned while in the field was how to take samples from a kayak without falling out. I remember clearly my first morning paddling the kayak I turned it over into a ice-cold pond while trying to retrieve a sample. Other than some well deserved ribbing from my coworkers and a set of soggy waders, I emerged from from that murky water unscathed and with a newly found appreciation for handling the kayak with caution.

Photo Credit:??
With the field season drawing to a close, there are a few main lessons I will take with me as I move on to my next position as a field biologist for Turner Biological Consulting. First and foremost, fix little problems before they become big problems. A little hole in your waders is a minor nuisance that can easily be patched, but if you don't fix it quickly little hole can quickly become a large hole and a much larger problem. Secondly, it's important to start each morning on a positive note. Doing the little things like making a pot of coffee and having the field equipment ready to load up make the whole day start off better. Finally, one of the most essential attributes for working in this field is having an appreciation for small details. In closing, I'd like to say thanks to James, Brandon, Matt, and Dr. Kahl for letting me jump right into this project and having me along for the ride!