The University of Houston-Clear Lake places its highest priority on serving a diverse body of students in every aspect of their university experience. UHCL’s teacher scholars and interdisciplinary staff provide high quality, student-centered undergraduate and graduate programs that prepare students to thrive in a competitive workplace and to make meaningful contributions to their communities. UHCL fosters critical thinking and lifelong learning through a strong legacy of vibrant community partnerships complementing its historical focus on teaching, research, creative activity, and service. Campus is located in a beautiful natural area adjacent to NASA and the Armand Bayou Nature Center, five minutes from Galveston Bay and Clear Lake, 30-minutes from the Gulf of Mexico, and 30-minutes from Houston’s City Center.
As part of the UHCL campus, the Environmental Institute of Houston aims to advance understanding of the environment through interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach. Currently, Dr. George Guillen, Executive Director of EIH and Professor at UHCL (https://www.uhcl.edu/environmental-institute/people/staff/guillen) is recruiting M.S. candidates for work related to monitoring habitat, water quality, and fish assemblages of rivers and streams in Texas as part of the 2023-24 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA). The associated project will be conducted in partnership with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the USEPA and its contractors.
This is an excellent opportunity for recent graduates and aspiring biologists interested in pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Biology focused on freshwater ecology field data collection and sampling techniques. This opportunity provides valuable experience in physical habitat assessment techniques, stream flow monitoring, water sample collection, various methods used to sample aquatic invertebrates and freshwater fish assemblages, and collection of fish tissue samples. Additionally, the student(s) will gain experience in operation and maintenance of field and laboratory equipment and assist with operation of university vehicles, vessels, and trailers. Selected student(s) will be responsible for conducting an applied research project under direction of Dr. George Guillen. The student(s) will be responsible for learning various field and laboratory techniques and will work closely with an interdisciplinary team of scientists and fellow graduate students to conduct field work in sometimes remote locations between April and September of each sampling year. Applicants must be able to conduct physically demanding work during high-heat and humidity and be able to lift and carry up to 50 lbs.
This posting is recruiting Research Assistant (RA) position(s) starting in the Fall 2023 session. Final award of the position is contingent on successful application to, acceptance in, and enrollment in the UHCL Graduate Program (https://www.uhcl.edu/admissions/apply/graduate/) Environmental Science M.S. thesis-option (36-hour) (https://www.uhcl.edu/academics/degrees/environmental-science-ms).
LOCATION: Based in Houston, TX; includes travel throughout Texas
STIPEND: $2,000/month during summer months (1.0 FTE); $1,000/month during fall and spring semesters (0.5 FTE); travel expenses during field work covered by grant funds (relocation expenses not provided); in-state tuition waivers provided as part of RA position for qualified candidates
Applicants should possess or be graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, fisheries and/or wildlife science, environmental science or a closely related field no later than early-August 2023. Applicants must be willing to travel for field work; but are required to have lodging on or near campus for day-to-day activities. Additionally, a successful candidate will:
- Have excellent academic credentials and recommendations from previous institution(s).
- Meet acceptance criteria for the Environmental Science Program Graduate School (M.S. thesis option) at UHCL (application deadline for New Degree-Seeking Students is August 1, 2023; Current or Returning UHCL Student deadline is August 15, 2023).
- Possess a valid driver’s license and be physically able to drive university vehicles.
- Understand that there is an academic commitment to work on their given project in a full-time capacity and ensure timely completion of their project.
- Be willing to travel up to 14 days at a time and work long hours (10+) outdoors during summer months.
- Be in good physical condition (able to lift 50+ lbs.), traverse difficult terrain, have a positive attitude, and be able to work equally well in a team environment or independently.
- Be organized and able to accurately and efficiently collect environmental and biological field data.
- Have previous experience in scientific data collection and assisting with or conducting biological monitoring assessments (including fisheries, wildlife, etc.).
- Have a working knowledge of aquatic wildlife collection and handling.
- Have experience in maintenance, calibration, and operation of field and lab environmental data collection equipment.
- Have experience in freshwater fish sampling techniques including electrofishing, seining, and Texas freshwater fish identification skills.
- Have experience with vessel and/or UTV operation and traveling with trailers up to 25’ ft. in length; be able to swim under your own power.
Additional Notes: Applicants must pass a criminal background and motor vehicle background check prior to hiring. This is a grant-funded position and hiring is contingent on application, acceptance, and enrollment in the UHCL Graduate Program).
HOW TO APPLY: Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, and contact information for three references (including at least one familiar with the candidate’s undergraduate work) to Dr. George Guillen (firstname.lastname@example.org) before applying to the UHCL Graduate Program. Reference letters can also be sent as part of the application packet. Interested candidates should also copy (cc:) Mandi Gordon (email@example.com) when submitting documents.
START DATE: August 16th, 2023 (contingent on enrollment, course registration, and eligibility; fall semester classes start August 21st)
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday June 16th, 2023
Dr. George Guillen, (281) 283-3950, firstname.lastname@example.org *e-mail preferred
Mandi Gordon, (281) 283-3794, email@example.com *e-mail preferred