Graduate Research Assistantship: WY-ACT

Institution: University of Wyoming
Start Date: August 22, 2023 (earlier summer start may also be possible)
Apply By: February 1, 2023 (rolling deadline)
Job Category: Graduate Research Assistantship
Salary: $28,128/year + tuition + fees health insurance
Location: Laramie and statewide travel in Wyoming

Description: Dr. Kristi Hansen is recruiting an MS student to join the Dept of Agricultural & Applied Economics at the University of Wyoming. This student will work on an NSF EPSCoR-funded project called WY-ACT (Wyoming Anticipating Climate Transitions) project. This project seeks to help Wyoming stakeholders and communities anticipate and prepare for changing water availability. The 5-year grant will support creation of integrative models showing the cascading effects of changed water availability through socio-environmental systems with implications for hydrology, ecology, economics, and dependent human communities.

This 2-year master’s project will help to create sector-specific water demand functions for an integrated hydro-ecologic-economic model through the collection of existing secondary data on water use, availability, and shortages, and the implementation of focus groups with stakeholders. The focus groups will contribute to an understanding of tipping points, thresholds of concern, and likely responses to future changes in water availability. This student will work with another MS student focused on human dimensions and qualitative methods to plan, implement and analyze focus group data. This is an opportunity to work with a large, interdisciplinary team on a relevant and current topic. There will be opportunities for networking across the state and across the project team with graduate students and postdocs from other disciplinary backgrounds.

Ideal candidates for this position will possess strong quantitative skills, outstanding written and oral communication skills, and have experience or strong interest in collaborating and/or working as part of an interdisciplinary team. Candidates should also have an interest in climate change adaptation and working with diverse stakeholder groups. Candidates should show creative and flexible thinking, be self-motivated and able to work independently with guidance and support from project collaborators.

The candidate selected will pursue their degree in the Dept. of Agricultural & Applied Economics within the College of Agriculture, Life Sciences, and Natural Resources. The project will cover the student’s funding for two academic years. The position is the equivalent of 20 hours/week and will cover 9 credits of tuition during the fall/spring (no summer tuition) and student health insurance.

Qualifications: Preference will be given to applicants with interest OR experience in economic analysis or other quantitative analysis of social systems; water issues; climate change adaptation and/or working in rural communities. Applicants will be considered who have a BA or BS in any field, with preference given to agricultural economics, economics, or a related field.

To apply: Please send the following materials as one PDF document to Dr. Kristi Hansen at with the subject "Your Name_Water MS Position”. This packet should include:
(1) Cover letter/narrative that explains your desire to pursue graduate education, your research interests, career goals, and highlights relevant experience;
(2) Resume or CV including degree(s) earned, GPA, and contact information for at least three references;
(3) Unofficial copy of transcripts; and (4) An example manuscript or report you have written (if available). Closing date and time: February 1, 2023 at 5 p.m. MST. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis after this deadline until a candidate is offered the position.

The University of Wyoming is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.