Masters Degree Assistantship in Dendrochronology

Opportunity Type: 
Location of Opportunity: 
Off Campus
Host Department/Organization: 

Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources, Humboldt State University

Opportunity Description: 

Master’s Degree Assistantship available in Dendrochronology and Forest Ecology within the Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources, Humboldt State University

Dr. Harold Zald ( is seeking a highly-motivated student interested joining the recently created Forest Measurements and Ecology Lab ( to pursue an MS degree in Forestry and Wildland Resources at Humboldt State University (  Selected student will use dendrochronology (tree-rings) to quantify forest responses to drought stress in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.  Project will take place at Teakettle Experimental Forest (, a long-term experiment studying how forest restoration treatments (thinning and prescribed burning) influence forest composition, structure, and function.  Project at Teakettle will collect and analyze tree-ring data to quantify how restoration treatments influence tree growth, determine if treatments alter tree growth responses to drought stress, and characterize growth patterns between trees that have lived and died during the recent California drought.  Student will be co-advised by Dr. Lucy Kerhoulas at Humboldt State University (  For additional information regarding the project, please see the current projects section of the Forest Measurements and Ecology Lab website (

Minimum and Preferred Qualifications:

Strong candidates for admission to the HSU Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources Graduate Program should have a grade point average of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale for all college and university work, and GRE scores in the top 50th percentile (>152 Verbal, >153 Quantitative, >4 Writing).  Minimum qualifications include a BS degree completed no later than May 2017 in Forestry, Forest Ecology, Ecology, or related fields.  Candidates should have prior field experience in forestry and/or ecology, be competent using Excel, and possess a valid driver’s license.  Preferred candidates should have prior experience: identifying tree species of California and/or the Pacific Northwest, collecting and processing tree cores, using global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), and conducting statistical analyses using various software (R, Python, SAS, etc.).  Selected student must be able to work independently and in team settings, thrive in adverse field conditions, and be willing to camp for extended periods of time during the field season.

Assistantship Benefits

MS student will receive a stipend of approximately $17,000 per year for 2 years.


Paid Position: 
Required Documents: 
Cover Letter
How to apply: 

How to Apply

Applicants are being considered to begin field work in June 2017 and enroll in graduate school fall semester of 2017.  To apply, send the following (as a single PDF or Word Document) to Dr. Harold Zald (

1. A letter of interest (clearly stating your research interests and background).

2. CV (including GPA, GRE scores, prior relevant work experience, complete contact information).

3. The names and contact information for three academic and/or professional references

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until a suitable candidate is selected for the position.  After initial screening, a selected applicant will be asked to submit a formal application for graduate school at HSU through CSUMentor (  Woman and applicants from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply.  We also encourage applications from residents of California and member States of the Western Regional Graduate Program (  Students who do not have a previous degree in forestry are eligible for admission to the Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources graduate program.  However, students who are admitted may be required to take prerequisite undergraduate forestry courses (e.g. forest mensuration, silviculture, etc.)

Research Theme(s): 
Climate and Adaptation
Informatics, Modeling, and Remote Sensing
Natural Environment and Biodiversity