USA NPN National Phenology Network

Taking the Pulse of Our Planet

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Advancing macrosystem phenology modeling and forecasting Research Assistant position at UW-Milwaukee

The Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) seeks a student interested in beginning their Ph.D. program in connection with advancing understanding of phenological coherence and seasonal predictability across North America through the development of more accurate and diverse models of spring plant growth stages, as part of a National Science Foundation-sponsored project affiliated with the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN).  As a 50% (academic year) Research Assistant, available starting in 2022-2023, the student, under mentoring of Dist. Prof. Mark D. Schwartz, will support research aimed at developing a suite of spring phenological models which can accurately represent the variations of driving factors such as temperature, precipitation, and light levels on spring plant development.  The student will conduct research across a wide array of different species at continental-scales, using data collected by USA-NPN and the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).  Additionally, the student will assist in applying phenological models to important questions related to macrosystem theory and the impacts of accelerating global environmental change, as well as help adapt them for use in assessing the potential predictability of spring plant development on seasonal to decadal time horizons.  

With the development of their doctoral dissertation project, the student will have the opportunity for independent research that benefits from the support of and interactions with research team members and broader project accomplishments.  Desired qualifications include experience working with R or Python, combining diverse data sets, using statistical models, and analyzing time series data, as well as interest and some familiarity with phenological research methods.  This is an exciting opportunity to be a key part of a major research project, with significant potential for high-impact publication and visibility of your future research. 

To express interest:  Please send an email to Prof. Mark D. Schwartz ( with subject line:  “Interest in phenology modeling research assistantship” that includes your CV, list of contacts for three references, and a short cover letter (1 page) highlighting your qualifications and interest in the position. 

All those formally interested in being considered must apply to the UWM Geography Department Ph.D. program for admission in Fall 2022.

Application Procedures:

Deadline December 1, 2021.

Opportunity within the NCO: 
Closing Date: 
Wednesday, December 1, 2021