Two Graduate Research Assistantships are available to study the sustainability of wood-based bioenergy systems at University of Idaho.  Managed forest ecosystems and purpose-grown short rotation woody crops (SRWC) are important sources of biomass to produce bioenergy.  However, increased removal of biomass from managed forests and intensive SRWC systems each have the potential to alter soil and water quality, which might decrease ecosystem productivity, biodiversity, and other ecosystem services.  Two Masters-level Research Assistantships are available to work on soil sustainability questions within projects in both managed forest and SRWC systems. These large integrated projects involve multiple partners offering diverse expertise.  Graduate research assistants will work on field and laboratory-based approaches to assess management effects.  We are taking a broad approach to assessing soil quality, with metrics including tree nutrition, mass loss through erosion and leaching, soil biological activity, greenhouse gas fluxes, and microbial diversity using biochemical and genetic assays.  Candidates should have a background in forest science, soils, biology, chemistry, microbiology, or ecosystem science.  Students may select from programs in Natural Resources or Environmental Science at University of Idaho.  Graduate program begins fall semester 2015; however, earlier start dates are encouraged to join with field research.  For questions or to apply, send an email to Mark Coleman (mcoleman@uidaho.edu<mailto:mcoleman@uidaho.edu>).  Applications should include a letter of interest (addressing background, career goals, and interest in project objectives), curriculum vitae, transcripts, GRE scores, TOFEL scores (non-native English) and contact information for three professional references.  Deadline is 15 March 2015, open thereafter until filled.

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