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MS Graduate Research Assistantship on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Nature-related Recreation

Start date: August 2021 Applications will be considered as received

Description: Graduate Research Assistant sought to complete a master's degree at Virginia Tech in a project on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in nature-related activities (e.g., fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing) in the United States. The study will be focused on understanding factors that constrain or encourage the engagement of underrepresented groups in nature-related activities. The student will be involved in designing qualitative and quantitative research, data collection (interviews with residents of rural and urban areas), analyses, and writing. The student is expected to return the results of the study to stakeholders, including research participants. The student will receive a master's degree in Fish and Wildlife Conservation from Virginia Tech and work with Willandia Chaves (

Minimum qualifications:

  • Undergraduate degree in human dimensions, fisheries, wildlife, natural resources, environmental social sciences, or related discipline 
  • Interest in social science research 
  • Interest in research in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Works well independently and as part of a team

Preferred qualifications:

  • Demonstrated research experience (data collection, analysis, and writing) 
  • Experience with research using surveys and/or interviews

Interested candidates should submit the following documents (as a single pdf file): 1) Cover letter summarizing interest in the position, qualifications, experience, and research and career goals; 2) CV or resume; 3) Academic transcripts (unofficial is fine at this stage); 4) Names, positions, and contact information for three professional references, and a short description of your relationship with each.

Submit application materials via email to Willandia Chaves ( with “GRA Application – DEI Research” in the email subject line. For full consideration, applications should be submitted by February 15, 2021, and will be reviewed as they are received.

Following this process, the top candidate will need to apply to the Virginia Tech Graduate School before acceptance. The position will be supported by a combination of Graduate Research and Teaching Assistantships. Virginia Tech is an equal opportunity employer.

Position: PhD Assistantship in Assessing Effects of BMPs and Land Use in the Chesapeake Bay Basin on Stream Fishes

Project: Innovative multi-scale assessment of the effectiveness of widely implemented BMPs in improving physical, chemical, and biotic conditions in streams of the Chesapeake Bay basin

Location: Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Responsibilities: Help design and lead watershed-based studies of relationships among landscape features, sediment/nutrient loading, water and benthic habitat quality, and stream fish communities to advance understanding of BMP effectiveness. Conduct field and modeling studies to relate BMP implementation and land use to fish population and community responses. Conduct data analyses, write reports, develop public presentations, and publish peer-reviewed papers related to these studies. Complete relevant coursework.

Qualifications: MS in fish/stream ecology or related discipline, with landscape and conservation perspectives; working knowledge of water and habitat quality, sediment/nutrient dynamics, and watershed models; demonstrated ability to work independently, and in a team, and to publish findings; strong writing, speaking, statistical, and spatial-analysis skills; highly motivated.

Salary: $26,000 - $27,000/year plus tuition.

Closing Date: 16 October 2020.

Contact: Send a single pdf that includes a) letter of interest (2-page maximum), b) curriculum vitae, c) GRE scores (if available), d) sample of scientific writing (e.g., a first-authored manuscript in preparation or a published paper, and e) contact information for three references who know your research competencies and interests to:

Paul L. Angermeier, Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0321; 540-231-4501;

Selected applicants will need to apply formally to the Virginia Tech Graduate School before acceptance.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.