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M.S. Assistantship: Fish studies in rocky-reef marine protected areas in Northern California, Cal Poly Humboldt

Description: There is a masters research assistantship available that will focus on monitoring and studying fishes in rocky reef marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Northern California coast. The graduate student will assist in continuing hook-and-line fishing surveys of MPAs and paired reference sites in the region, which is part of the state-wide California Cooperative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP). Fishes are captured, identified, measured, tagged and released, and a subset of the fish are kept for further biological analysis (that could include otolith extraction, morphometric measurements, gut analysis, etc.). The student will work with advisors to develop a research project that utilizes the survey, builds upon past research, and contributes to our understanding of fish ecology, MPA effectiveness, and environmental drivers of fish populations.

Duties will include:

  • Co-leading a scientific crew on sport-fishing vessels that are chartered out of the ports of Eureka and Fort Bragg, CA (which will require up to 3 hours of travel to get to)
  • Participate in all aspects of hook-and-line sampling in Marine Protected Areas and nearby reference sites, including hook & line fishing, fish identification, measurement, tagging, data recording, volunteer coordinating, and equipment management.
  • Process sacrificed fishes (e.g., otolith removal, collection of other biological samples) at the Telonicher Marine Lab in Trinidad, CA
  • Collaborate with recreational fishers and NOAA Fisheries to collect additional fish carcasses for data and sample collection.
  • Be an enthusiastic ambassador of the project with collaborating anglers, captains, the CCFRP statewide coordinator, and the larger fishing community
  • Participate in state-wide CCFRP meetings and collaborative events
  • Work with faculty mentors to develop a comprehensive thesis project that leverages the monitoring survey. There is a lot of flexibility in the type of research that can be conducted, but it could involve analysis of catch rates, species/community composition, size, growth, stomach contents and trophic interactions, life history, tagging data, environmental drivers, etc.
  • Apply appropriate methods and statistical models to address the research questions
  • Write a thesis with the goal of publishing at least one peer-reviewed research article thesis

The selected student will enroll in the Natural Resources graduate program at Cal Poly Humboldt and work to obtain their M.S. degree within the Fisheries Biology Department. The student would ideally start on or before June 3, 2024 to be able to participate in the summer sampling season (from June – September). The student will receive at least $21,000/year. The student will be advised by Drs. Andre Buchheister and Jose Marin Jarrin, both of whom are faculty in the Department of Fisheries Biology.

About Cal Poly Humboldt
Cal Poly Humboldt is a small to medium sized university located in a relatively remote area of Northern California. It sits near Humboldt Bay, 5 minutes from the beautiful coastline, nestled by majestic redwood forests. The university has numerous facilities, including the Telonicher Marine Lab located in Trinidad (15 minutes from the main campus). Learn more about the university and location here.

Cal Poly Humboldt is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) that strives to foster an equitable and inclusive community that supports our students of diverse backgrounds. Cal Poly Humboldt is a Title IX/Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex including sexual orientation and gender identity, national origin, disability, protected Veteran Status, or any other legally protected status.

Instructions
Email the following three files as PDFs to andre.buchheister@humboldt.edu: (1) a cover letter that also includes contact information of 3 references appended (name, employer, phone, email), (2) a resume or CV, and (3) your academic transcripts. If available, applicants should also submit their GRE scores as a fourth file. Files should be named like this: “LastName_FirstName_CoverLetter”, “LastName_FirstName_CV”, “LastName_FirstName_transcripts”. For full consideration, materials must be received by the closing date.

Point of Contact
Andre Buchheister, PhD
Assoc. Professor, Department of Fisheries Biology
Cal Poly Humboldt (formerly Humboldt State University)
andre.buchheister@humboldt.edu
707-826-3447

  • Job Type: MS
  • Application deadline: 02/18/2024
  • Organization: Cal Poly Humboldt
  • Qualifications: Preferred Qualifications: B.S. in fisheries, natural resources, marine biology, biology, ecology, statistics or related field Strong writing and communication skills Highly motivated and independent, with strong work ethic Experience working on vessels in offshore environments, without getting incapacitated by seasickness Ability and motivation to work long days in challenging ocean conditions while maintaining a positive attitude. Experience with scientific collection of fisheries data and/or experience fishing. Strong quantitative and statistical skills and experience using R, or willingness to learn
  • How to apply: Email the following three files as PDFs to andre.buchheister@humboldt.edu: (1) a cover letter that also includes contact information of 3 references appended (name, employer, phone, email), (2) a resume or CV, and (3) your academic transcripts. If available, applicants should also submit their GRE scores as a fourth file. Files should be named like this: “LastName_FirstName_CoverLetter”, “LastName_FirstName_CV”, “LastName_FirstName_transcripts”. For full consideration, materials must be received by the closing date.
  • Location: Arcata, California

Contact Information

Andre Buchheister
andre.buchheister@humboldt.edu

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