Two M.S. Assistantships in Fire Management/Invasive Species Monitoring

The School of Forestry & Natural Resources at the University of Arkansas at Monticello seeks highly motivated students to contribute positively and work on one of the following research projects. Both assistantships are available on August 16, 2018 and each offer an annual stipend of $15,000 and cover tuition.
Evaluating extent and severity of emerald ash borer in Arkansas and Louisiana ([] Ash trees represent a critical ecological component of bottomland hardwood forests and provide $2 million of annual revenue to Arkansas landowners alone. The detection of the invasive emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis; EAB) represents a serious threat to the ash resource and forestry sector in the southern United States. As part of a larger research project, the student will evaluate current on-the-ground conditions of ash host and EAB adult and immature larval populations to determine severity and extent of the infestation in Arkansas and Louisiana. Student’s thesis may focus on comparing detection techniques or examining effective EAB adult dispersal and ash mortality pattern or examine effect of biological control on EAB population and the development of immature stages over time. This is an opportunity to work closely with representatives from multiple conservation and natural resources management agencies including the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, State Forestry Agencies in Arkansas and Louisiana, and the U.S. Forest Service-Forest Health Protection to provide up-to-date information on EAB and its effects.
Evaluating fuel treatments potential in reducing wildfire risk and fire behavior in the Arkansas Ozarks([] in frequency, duration, severity, and size of catastrophic wildfires have occurred, especially in the western United States. In 2017, suppression costs exceeded $2 billion and consumed 56% of the U.S. Forest Service budget. As part of a larger, interdisciplinary research project, the student will evaluate fuel conditions in relation to thinning and harvest removals aimed to reduce densities of small-diameter trees and evaluate the potential reduction in wildfire risk and fire behavior implications. The student will work closely with the U.S. Forest Service National Forest personnel and other participating agencies to simulate fire behavior and examine potential impacts, while working in the scenic Arkansas Ozarks.
Requirements: Applicants must have a 2.7 overall undergraduate GPA or 3.0 GPA in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate courses and satisfactory GRE scores. A B.S. degree in a natural resources-related field is also required. Applicants must have a valid U.S. driver’s license or obtain the same within 60 days of starting employment. Overnight travel is required as well as the ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions.
Location and Facilities: The School of Forestry & Natural Resources is located in Monticello, Arkansas in the southeastern portion of the state. The Arkansas Forest Resources Center is also headquartered here and is administered by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The Arkansas Forest Resources Center is the research and extension arm for forest-based programs within the State. Additionally, the USFS Arkansas Forestry Sciences Lab is located at the School. The School and Center maintain several state-of-the-art laboratories (hydrology, soil, quantitative analysis, silviculture, wildlife ecology & management) available for graduate research and education.
Application & Additional Information: Graduate program and application information can be found at Applicants must be admitted to the University of Arkansas at Monticello and apply to the School of Forestry & Natural Resources before they can be considered for an assistantship. Applicants must submit all GRE scores, official transcripts, a statement of interests, and three letters of recommendation. Please indicate the position number above on all application materials and inquiries.
For additional information, please contact:
Dr. Mohammad M. Bataineh, Office: 870-460-1449, Email:
The positions are available until qualified applicants are selected.
UAM is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer