Wednesday, January 27, 2016

MS Position available at Utah State University in the Department of Environment and Society

The Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University is seeking a highly qualified candidate who is committed to pursuing a MS focused on understanding how the spatial and temporal availability of freshwater resources affect where, when and how individuals choose to participate in outdoor recreation or nature-based tourism.

Depending upon the student’s background, interests and future career goals, he/she will have the opportunity to pursue a MS degree in Environment and Society, Geography or Recreation Resource Management. The successful candidate will work with Dr. Jordan W. Smith and Dr. Jacopo Baggio to develop and refine an integrated agent-based model of changes in the demand for water-based outdoor recreation opportunities under climate-altered hydrologic regimes. The research is geographically focused on the Weber and Bear River watersheds of Northern Utah. The successful candidates should have a strong desire to engage in rigorous research that couples social science methodologies (e.g., interviews, focus groups, survey methods) with biophysical models of environmental change (e.g., watershed hydrological transport models).

The assistantship is a 12-month 20-hour per week position. The position includes a competitive stipend, tuition and health insurance benefits. Funds for professional development purposes (e.g., conference presentations) are available. This position is funded annually and is renewable each year based on satisfactory progress.

The successful candidate will work out of the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism. The Institute conducts research and provides extension services related to: 1) tourism and outdoor recreation use within Utah; 2) the social and economic tradeoffs of tourism and outdoor recreation for local communities; and 3) the relationship between outdoor recreation and tourism and public land management practices and policies. The Institute is a collaborative space dedicated to conducting state-of-the-art behavioral experiments as well as modeling and visualizing spatial and spatio-temporal data.


  •  Actively engage with interdisciplinary research teams that include natural, social and spatial scientists to develop new areas of inquiry in collaboration with Dr. Jordan W. Smith and Dr. Jacopo Baggio
  • Conduct literature reviews, design experimental studies, collect and analyze data and disseminate results through academic (peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations) and non-academic (websites, web-services, etc.) outlets
  • Maintain good graduate standing and make satisfactory progress toward completion of the MS degree

Potential candidates for the assistantship must meet admission standards and be fully accepted into one of the Department of Environment and Society’s MS programs (Environment and Society, Geography or Recreation Resource Management). Candidates must have highly positive recommendations from previous positions. Prior undergraduate research experience is preferable as are GIS, project management and communication skills.

Start Date: June 1, 2016

Application Process
To apply, send a current CV and 1-page letter of interest by February 15, 2016 to:
Dr. Jordan W. Smith
Director, Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Environment and Society
Utah State University

Utah State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Utah State University welcomes allpersons without regard to sexual orientation or genetic information.