» Jobs » Graduate student (PhD): Silvopasture Establishment Methods with UW Madison

Graduate student (PhD): Silvopasture Establishment Methods with UW Madison

Type of position Research Assistantship (4 years)
Employer UW Madison
Location University of Wisconsin-Madison, Agronomy Department (Moore Hall, 1575 Linden Drive Madison WI 53706).
Salary 50% research assistantship + benefits, more information on Wisconsin graduate student salary and benefits can be found here.
Closing date of competition Until filled
Date position available Fall 2021
Description of duties Project background:

Forests comprise 48% of Wisconsin’s landscape, but Wisconsin woodlands and savannas are often degraded by invasive species and lack of management, providing  limited economic value to owners and few ecosystem services to the surrounding environment. Silvopasture, an agroforestry practice that intentionally integrates tree, forage, and livestock production, is an attractive option for these degraded areas. Silvopasture presents a potential win-win land management system to address both economic and conservation objectives. One major obstacle to conversion of these degraded woodlands and savannas into functional silvopastures is effective and economical removal of invasive and weedy shrubs and establishment of forage grasses and legumes. This project will evaluate methods to renovate degraded woodlands into silvopasture at the US Dairy Forage Research Center located in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. Specifically, this project will compare four methods of establishing silvopasture in impaired woodlands that include combinations of physical removal, goat grazing, and herbicides. Costs of implementation, effectiveness of control methods, plant community response, and impact on establishment of desirable forages will be evaluated throughout this project. Additionally, impacts of silvopasture establishment on soil health, soil carbon sequestration, and production of ecosystem services will be accessed. We seek an M.S. student or Ph.D. candidate (preferred) to oversee the project and lead data collection and analysis throughout the establishment phase (3 years) of this project.

Principal duties: The graduate student will be expected to supervise the project described and organize data collection and conduct appropriate statistical analyses that will allow them to present results orally and in written form. While the individual will be under the direct supervision of https://renzweedscience.cals.wisc.edu/“>Mark Renz (professor and extension weed specialist), extensive work will also be conducted with https://extension.soils.wisc.edu/“>Francisco Arriaga (associate professor and extension soil specialist) and Alison Duff (https://www.ars.usda.gov/midwest-area/madison-wi/us-dairy-forage-research-center/“>USDA ARS Dairy Forage). The employee will be expected to conduct the following:

  1. Establish experiments, collect data, perform statistical analyses and prepare manuscripts from project mentioned above for submission to peer reviewed journals.
  2. Supervise undergraduate student hourly workers that assist in data collection.
  3. Fulfill graduate program coursework requirements.
Qualifications sought Type of relevant work experience: Experience with forages is desired, but not required. The candidate will be expected to obtain a pesticide applicator license and apply treatments for experiments. Candidates will also be expected to develop statistically sound experiments, collect appropriate data, and maintain experiments throughout the course of the year. This research will involve extensive fieldwork that will involve full days of data collection under potentially adverse (e.g. hot, wet) environmental conditions. Successful candidates will be expected to function efficiently and independently with minimal supervision. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English, and the ability to work well in a collaborative research environment are essential. Funding is available for four years of support.

Additional information: Individual must be able to obtain a valid Wisconsin Driver’s license, https://businessservices.wisc.edu/managing-risk/driver-authorization-and-insurance/driver-authorization/#become“>become a UW – Madison authorized driver, and acquire a https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/pat/“>Wisconsin Pesticide Applicator’s license within 6 months of employment and be able to conduct fieldwork under adverse conditions. Field activities may involve lifting equipment/material in excess of 50 lbs and walking on uneven surfaces.

Contact for additional information How to apply: To apply for this position please contact Mark Renz (email: mrenz@wisc.edu; 608 282-5684). Several graduate programs are available that could support this position.
Application procedure  
Submit what Candidates must be accepted into a graduate school program that either Dr. Renz or Dr. Arriaga are affiliated with (Agronomy, Soil Science, Nelson Institute).
Submit to Affiliated graduate program (contact Mark Renz)
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