Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wetland/Estuarine Ecologist

Job Title:
Wetland/Estuarine Ecologist

South Florida Water Management District

West Palm Beach, FL

Closing Date:
January 6, 2012

The Florida Bay Watershed Unit of the Everglades Systems Assessment Section seeks an estuarine and/or wetland ecologist at the Scientist 3 level. The successful candidate will join a multi-disciplinary team to assess the restoration needs of the southern Everglades and Florida Bay and evaluate hydrologic, water quality, plant community and food web responses to changing water management. Primary responsibility will be the compilation, management, and analysis of hydro-ecological data in support of statistical analysis, simulation modeling and the production of technical reports and scientific publications. This position also will support field and laboratory monitoring and research activities. Requirements for this position are a Bachelor’s degree in ecology, environmental science, or related subject; a Master's degree is preferred. Expertise and experience using databases and ecological statistics is required, with proficiency in the use of PC-based spreadsheets, graphics, and statistical software such as JMP and R or similar packages. Strong writing skills are expected and a broad knowledge of estuarine and wetland ecology is desired. The candidate should also be willing to work in rigorous field conditions for up to several days at a time.  
Applications should be submitted to the South Florida Water Management via
(enter 664BR in keyword search). For more information, Contact Dr. Christopher Madden: cmadden@sfwmd.gov

Data Specialist at DISL

Please visit the following link for full job description and application.

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab proposes to hire a full-time, 12 month, Data Specialist to perform the following functions and achieve the goals enumerated in the Statement of work:
Minimum Requirements: B.A degree in Biology, Earth Science or a related field. Experience with metadata creation preferred. Knowledge of relational database concepts. Be able to maintain tables and to query database. Be skillful at SQL database, Microsoft Access. Knowledge of one or more programming languages (VB Script, Cold Fusion, PHP, C). Must be detail oriented. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Be able to work well in a collegial relationship with faculty, be flexible, and highly motivated.
Functions: Collects research data sets from faculty; assembles metadata information of data sets; writes metadata using FGDC compliant tools (such as MERMAid on National Coastal Data Development Center web site); submits metadata to NCDDC; has the opportunity to work with and guide faculty and staff to create metadata records; will be an integral part of bringing valuable input for a lab wide project that will house research data and metadata records for Dauphin Island Sea Lab; creates interface to allow easy access to these data items.

Graduate Research Assistant at UHCL

Position/Title: Graduate Research Assistant
Agency/Location: University of Houston Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd, Houston, Texas 77059
    Needed: beginning Spring 2012 or Summer 2012.
Responsibilities: Excellent opportunities exist for new graduate students interested in freshwater, estuarine, and marine fisheries, limnology, wetland ecology, blue crab ecology, and Diamondback Terrapin research. Individuals will be responsible for conducting research projects under direction of a graduate advisor in coastal and/or inland ecosystems in Texas. Potential project topics include but are not limited to:
1) Urban fish population assessment
2) Population dynamics of diamondback terrapin and impracts of blue crab fishery
3)  Estuarine Fish community responses to changes in water quality and hydrology
4)  Effectiveness of constructed wetlands for habitat enhancement and water quality improvement
5)  Ongoing water quality assessment of coastal streams
6)  Blue crab mortality studies
 Student will be responsible for learning and operating various field and laboratory methodologies including telemetry, acoustic doppler current meters, side scan sonar, electrofishing gear, nets and boats. Student may need to partially live onsite at various locations including wildlife refuges during portions of their study. Extensive travel along Texas coast possible during study period. Campus is located in beautiful natural area adjacent ot NASA and the Armand Bayou Nature Center, and 5 minutes from Galveston Bay and Clear Lake and 30 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico. 
 * Graduation from recognized accredited university with a B.S. degree in an appropriate field depending on research interest (e.g. fisheries, wildlife science, herpetology, aquatic/marine biology) with excellent academic credentials and letters of reference
* Acceptance into graduate school in the Environmental Science Program at UHCL (M.S. Thesis Option)
* Ability to carry out strenuous field work (heat, rain, mosquito's etc).
* Academic commitment to work on project fulltime and timely completion of project.
$1890-2100 per month (full-time) – normally 50% during full-semesters, 100% in summer
* Waiver of out of state tuition rates (in state rates will apply) upon acceptance into school AND award of competitive RA
Closing Date: June 1, 2012 or until filled.
* Note may also have some limited job opportunities at the Environmental Institute of Houston located at UHCL for temporary  (part or full-time employement).
For more information contact:
Dr. George Guillen – 281-283-3950 guillen@uhcl.edu  

Research Experience for Undergraduates at Mote Marine Lab

Each summer, Mote Marine Laboratory hosts a 10-week program focused on providing research experiences in estuarine science to 10 advanced undergraduate students. Students are paired with Mote scientists and develop and complete an independent research project related to their mentor's research interests. Students gain experience in science communication by presenting the results of their independent project in a manuscript-style research paper and orally at a laboratory-wide poster session. Students attend research seminars and workshops on career skills in science and also have the opportunity to present their research findings at professional conferences.

Information about 2012 REU mentors and their programs, as well as the application procedures, are now posted on the REU web site: www.mote.org/reu

**All application materials are due on February 15, 2012**

Monday, November 14, 2011

The latest from our lab on invasive plants

The latest publication from the lab. This article comes from Cara's REU program - congrats!
Valinoti, C.E., C.-K. Ho, A.R. Armitage. 2011. Native and exotic submerged aquatic vegetation provide different nutritional and refuge values for macroinvertebrates. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 409: 42-47.

Proliferation of exotic submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) has the potential to alter trophic interactions among native fauna. The invasion of Myriophyllum spicatum (Eurasian watermilfoil) into brackish and freshwater wetlands on the Gulf Coast of the United States has decreased the abundance of native plant species such as Ruppia maritima (widgeongrass). Macroinvertebrates use SAV to meet nutritional requirements and seek refuge from predators. Shifts in SAV dominance can alter patterns of SAV use by associated fauna, but the dynamics of these alterations following Myriophyllum displacement of Ruppia are not well understood. In our study, we examined the trophic implications of shifts between native (Ruppia) and exotic (Myriophyllum) SAV in a brackish wetland in Port Arthur, Texas, USA. This study addressed the following questions: 1) Do aquatic invertebrates directly consume Myriophyllum, and 2) do predator–prey interactions differ in native and exotic SAV canopies? We collected Ruppia, Myriophyllum, Palaemonetes spp. (grass shrimp), and juvenile Callinectes sapidus (blue crabs) from the field and ran a series of three mesocosm experiments in the laboratory. In a “no-choice” grazing experiment, Palaemonetes consumed 13% of the Ruppia biomass but had no impact on Myriophyllum biomass. In a second study, when given a choice of plant canopies, Palaemonetes selected Ruppia over Myriophyllum 60% of the time when Callinectes was absent, but selected Myriophyllum more frequently in the presence of Callinectes. The selection of Myriophyllum was likely due to its refuge value; a third mesocosm experiment resulted in 60% Palaemonetes mortality due to Callinectes predation in Ruppia canopies but only 20% mortality in Myriophyllum canopies. Myriophyllum has a more structurally complex canopy that probably provides better protection from predation. Our studies suggest that native and exotic plants provide substantially different values as food sources and as refuges from predators for lower trophic levels.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Octopi Wall Street

Too funny not to share!

Credit: Laurel Hiebert and and Kira Treibergs from Oregon Institute of Marine Biology