Information for prospective graduate students
The Landscape Modeling Lab supports diversity, equity, and inclusion in science and I encourage inquiries from all eligible applicants, including international scholars and domestic students who are underrepresented in science. I actively recruit new lab members when I have funding from grant competitions to pay lab member salaries and related expenses, such as tuition. If I have new funding, I will advertise and also post a copy of the ad on the this website. If I am not advertising, feel free to send me your application materials (a CV and letter of interest are both required). My funding situation can change quickly and I will review prospective lab member emails to see if someone is a good fit for new opportunities.
Best Practices for Letters of Interest to the Lab
A good letter of interest prepares me to match you to research grants as the lab receives funding. The Landscape Modeling Lab is interdisciplinary. The work we do involves ground-truth data collection through field ecological studies, usually in wetlands. Wetland field work requires travel to remote, outdoor locations, followed by long days of physical data collection in muddy, wet environments. We then scale field data through remote sensing assessments, reproducible research, open-source coding, and data-driven models. I sometimes have projects that are model-focused and don’t require field work. Because the work of the lab is diverse, please let me know which research skills and topics interest you by addressing the questions below in your letter of interest:
1. Describe your background, career goals, and why you are interested in the work of the lab.
2. Describe your interest and experience in the following skill areas: outdoor field work, remote sensing and geospatial analyses, data-science/statistics/coding. Most students do not have all of these experiences already, but it helps me to know what your background is and what you want to achieve.
3. If you are interested in field work, please explain your automobile driving experience. Public transit in and around CSU and Fort Collins, CO is reasonably good. But for field work, we usually drive. This requires licensed, experienced drivers with clean driving records. If you are an internationally licensed driver, check if your license allows you to drive on US roads. You also need experience with US driving practices, such as driving on the right side of the road.
4. Which research topics interest you? Our research often focuses on wetland-dominated landscapes. Examples of past research include wetland landscape ecology, plant population and community dynamics, plant-driven ecosystem carbon balance, surface water modeling, plant-soil interactions, landscape energy balance, landscape conservation, restoration and management. We also often create reproducible research products to share with research partners, end-users, and land managers. You can look through the research and publication pages for more examples of what we do.
5. What is your timeline for your position search? While graduate students most often join in the fall, positions open when funding becomes available. This can be unpredictable and I sometimes start students in spring and summer.
Increase Your geospatial modeling and coding skills:
Data Science: Foundations using R Specialization, Coursera
R for data science, by Hadley Wickham et al.
The R workshop series
Earth Data Science Lab
Google Earth Engine Tutorials:
List of research job boards:
If I’m not advertising, someone else may be. For opportunities, see these job ad resources