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  Employment & Training Opportunities  

The Landscape Ecology Lab provides opportunities for seasonal employment, graduate training, and post-doctoral research in the field of landscape ecology and related disciplines.

Seasonal employment opportunities

The Lab frequently hires part-time and full-time seasonal technicians to assist in laboratory and field research projects. The availability of these positions varies greatly from year to year. Positions for the spring-to-fall field season are typically filled during January-February. Qualifications for these positions varies greatly with the project.

How to apply: contact Dr. McGarigal to inquire as to availability of positions. Please indicate the period for which you are available (e.g., April 1 through September 30), your ability to work part-time and/or full-time, and any restrictions on your availability (e.g., available part-time on weekends only).

Graduate assistantships

The Lab periodically accepts both Master's and Doctoral degree candidates. Positions are entirely contingent on availability of extramural funding and/or teaching assistantships. Most students are supported exclusively on research assistantships, and their research program is, in part, dictated by the conditions of the research grant or contract under which the assistantship is being provided. Note, UMass does not offer a graduate degree in ‘landscape ecology'. Rather, the Landscape Ecology Lab operates within the Department of Environmental Conservation and its graduate program. The graduate degree conferred is in Environmental Conservation (ECo). Alternatively, students may earn a graduate degree in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB) if accepted into this interdepartmental and multidisciplinary graduate program.

Qualifications: Contingent on funding, applicants are evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Academic performance: minimum GPA 3.0.
  • Writing proficiency: minimum GRE verbal 60th percentile and/or publication record.
  • Quantitative skills: minimum GRE quantitative 60th percentile and/or excellent statistical/mathematical/ computer modeling background.
  • Work ethic/personal skills: proven ability to work with others and demonstrated superior work ethic (largely from recommendations)

How to apply: Please follow these procedures to apply:

  1. Contact Dr. McGarigal via email ( or phone (413-577-0655) to express your interest and inquire as to availability of positions. Please be specific as to your interests and qualifications. If you have independent funding to support yourself, please indicate this when applying. Please attach a detailed resume or CV to your inquiry.
  2. Contingent upon step 1, send 3 letters of recommendation, GRE scores and summary of transcripts to Dr. McGarigal.
  3. Contingent upon step 2, formally apply to the graduate school for admission. Note, graduate students will not be accepted into our department without faculty sponsorship, so it doesn't do you much good to apply to the graduate school before securing an advisor.

Post-doctoral research

The Lab occasionally accepts post-doctoral research associates. Positions are entirely contingent on availability of extramural funding.

How to apply: contact Dr. McGarigal to express your interest in the lab and to inquire as to availability of post-doctoral positions. If you have independent funding to support yourself, please indicate this when inquiring.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Kevin McGarigal
Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Massachusetts
304 Holdsworth Natural Resources Center
Box 34210, Amherst, MA 01003
Fax: (413) 545-4358; Phone: (413) 577-0655

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