Master’s Degree Assistantship available in Post-fire mortality in redwood forest

Hiring Organization: Humboldt State University
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Arcata, California
Application Deadline: April 30, 2021

Master’s Degree Assistantship available in Post-fire mortality in redwood forests within the Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources, Humboldt State University 

Dr. Jeff Kane ( is seeking a highly motivated student interested in joining the HSU Wildland Fire Lab ( to pursue an MS degree in Forestry and Wildland Resources at Humboldt State University (

The selected student will collect and analyze field and lab data to examine factors associated with fire severity in second-growth redwood forests following 2020 wildfires in California. Field duties will include collecting field observations on tree and stand characteristics. Laboratory work will include processing geospatial data and statistical analysis. The selected student must be able to work well independently and in team settings, tolerate adverse field conditions, assist with other on-going projects, and be willing to camp for extended periods of time during the field season. The student will be primarily based out of the broader Bay Area during the summer field season and Arcata, California during the academic year.

Minimum Qualifications

Strong candidates for admission to the HSU Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources Graduate Program should have a grade point average of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale for all college and university work, and GRE scores in the top 50th percentile (>152 Verbal, >153 Quantitative, >4 Writing). There is some flexibility if the candidate has a strong background related to the research topic and associated methodologies. Minimum qualifications include a BS degree in Forestry, Forest Ecology, Ecology, or related fields.

Additional minimum qualifications include:

  • Undergraduate coursework in some combination of forest ecology, fire ecology, and fire
  • science/management.
  • Prior field work experience with basic tree and fire effects sampling
  • Orienteering skills (navigation with map, compass, gps, and aerial photographs)
  • Ability to navigate off trail and hike up to six miles per day in steep terrain.
  • Competent using Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Possess a valid US driver’s license

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Prior experience supervising field assistants
  • Experience collecting and analyzing data
  • Experience using geospatial analysis tools
  • Undergraduate coursework in statistics using R software

Assistantship Benefits

MS student will be hired as a full time field research assistant beginning in mid May/early June 2021 at $18,000/yr. The project has funding for at least 2 years, with the second year of funding conditional based on student academic standing and project progress. Student will likely be required to teach 1-2 lab sections of an Introduction to Wildland Fire course. MS student will supervise up to 5 undergraduate field assistants supporting field data collection.

How to Apply

Applicants are being considered to begin field work in summer 2021 and enroll in graduate school fall semester of 2021. To apply, send the following (as a single PDF document) to Dr. Jeff Kane (

  1. A letter of interest (clearly stating your background, research and career interests).
  2. CV (including GPA, GRE scores, prior relevant work experience).
  3. Unofficial transcripts
  4. The names and contact information for three academic and/or professional references