PhD Opportunity: Forest carbon stocks at UNBC

PhD opportunity in Forest Ecology at UNBC- Deadline September 1

Project: Long term effects of forest management on the carbon stocks and flux of British Columbia’s forests.

Applications are invited for a funded 4-year PhD position in UNBC’s Conservation Solutions Lab collaborating with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development (FLNRORD).

The project

Forests play an important role in mitigating climate change, absorbing almost a third of anthropogenic carbon emissions. Current forest management practices risk disrupting these carbon stores and potentially converting forests from carbon sinks to sources of carbon emissions. However, empirical studies of alternate forest management on forest carbon stocks are sparse and often short-term.

In the early 1990s the British Columbia government established 21 large scale experiments across the province to investigate lower impact forest management practices. Now, 25 years later, these large scale experiments provide a unique opportunity to quantify the long-term effects of varying harvesting practices on the carbon stocks and flux of forests, and compare them to the conservation of old growth forests. This work will contribute to the basic scientific knowledge of forest carbon in harvested forests compared to intact old growth forest, and be highly relevant to decision makers interested in climate change mitigation.

The student will conduct field work at selected experiments in BC to measure forest dynamics and various forest carbon pools. The student will lead the field campaigns, requiring strong organization skills and the ability to work in difficult terrain. The student will also have access to existing pre-harvest and post-harvest datasets to estimate carbon stocks over time, and collaborate closely with a postdoctoral fellow and research assistant.

The student should have:

* Completion or expected completion of a MSc degree in ecology, forestry, biology, or related subject.

* Strong analytical skills.

* Field work experience.

* Demonstration of the ability to work in difficult conditions or terrain.

* Driver’s license.

* Excellent written, verbal, and digital communication skills.

* Ability to work independently.

The process:

The successful applicant will be working with Dr. Oscar Venter (University of Northern British Columbia), Dr. Caren Dymond (University of Calgary; B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development), and Dr. Michelle Venter (UNBC). Four years of funding are guaranteed to cover stipend and field expenses for this position.

Interested students should contact Oscar Venter (Oscar.venter@unbc.ca) or Caren Dymond (Caren.Dymond@gov.bc.ca) for further information on this research opportunity and position. Applicants for this position are asked to send a letter of interest, detailed CV, transcripts, and names of 3 references to Oscar Venter by September 1st, 2019. The preferred start date for this position will be January 2020.