Opening for an M.S. graduate student at the Institute of Arctic Biology

The Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks has an

opening for an M.S. graduate student to work with Roger Ruess and Donie

Bret-Harte on an NSF-funded project on shrub feedbacks to C and N cycling

along a boreal-arctic transect in northern Alaska.  A widespread shift from

tundra to deciduous shrub-dominated vegetation appears to be underway in

northern Alaska, which could have profound implications for C balance and

biogeochemical cycling. Because much of the Earth=92s soil C is stored in

arctic and boreal regions, changes in the C budgets of these biomes may

feedback strongly to global climate. Biogeochemical C and N cycles are

linked tightly in boreal and arctic ecosystems, and plant production is

strongly N-limited; therefore, N-fixing shrubs affect soil C through their

effects on near-surface soil N, via both SOM turnover and N inputs. The

graduate student will focus on the effects of the growth and ecophysiology

of Siberian alder on biogeochemical cycling across topo-edaphic sequences

along a latitudinal transect from the boreal forest (BNZ LTER) to arctic

tundra (ARC LTER). The student will be expected to develop their own

research questions within the overall framework of the project, and will

have the opportunity to interact with PIs and other graduate students

working on project.  Because research sites are distributed between

Fairbanks and areas north of the Toolik Field Station (see, the graduate student will be conducting research

and camping in very rugged/remote terrain.  The student will be supported

through a combination of research assistantships and teaching

assistantships, and expected to begin fieldwork in the summer of 2018, and

coursework in the fall of 2018.  For more information, please contact Roger

Ruess ( or Syndonia Bret-Harte (

You must also apply for graduate study to the Department of Biology and

Wildlife at University of Alaska Fairbanks (see for application requirements);

the deadline for applications is January 15, 2018.