Computer Science or Ecological Landscape Design Ph.D. Candidate Opportunity for Competitive Research Programs Relating to Research on Adaptation to Climate Change

Seeking interested Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) applicants for 1 (one) open position commencing in the spring of 2014. This GRA will participate in two synergistic research thrusts around Research on Adaptation to Climate Change and NEWRnet, both funded by the National Science Foundation. We seek a highly motivated student who wishes to train and carry out novel Ph.D. level team-centered research relative to adaptation to climate change which integrates lake ecology, watershed ecology, land use management, landscape design, numerical modeling, policy and social modeling, and modeling of complex systems.

The successful Ph.D. candidate will have a strong interest in integrating computer science programming and modeling platforms with institutional-design, decision-science and policysystems frameworks. He/she will be co-advised by faculty from UVM’s Computer Science Department and Ecological Landscape Design Program within the Department of Plant & Soil Science. The candidate will also be able to work with undergraduates and high school students for outreach efforts as appropriate.

The scope of work relating to this GRA will include the successful pursuit of a dissertation with guidance from leading faculty in this emerging field, that draws upon the creation and calibration of agent-based models through data drawn from interactive gaming platforms designed to draw on remote sensing data pertaining to water volume and quality under a variety of land use and policy scenarios. Part of the dissertation research will be development of calibrated models of decision-making, policy and governance networks accountable for managing water quality.

Desired Computer/Software Skills include: Java Programming; Knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, ArcGIS, AutoCAD, or other graphic/visual simulation or modeling software used in landscape design.

The individual selected will be expected to interact substantially across the projects. Start date January 1, 2014, or as soon as possible thereafter. Applications will be reviewed immediately. Qualified applicants must meet the requirement for admission to the University of Vermont’s Ph.D. in Computer Science Program and/or Ph.D. in Plant & Soil Science (Ecological Landscape Design Program) and be accepted by VT EPSCoR to receive funding.

Additional information on the Research on Adaptation to Climate Change may be found at: and
With further questions concerning the scope of work please contact Asim Zia, azia@uvm.

For more information about the Computer Science Ph.D. Program at UVM, please contact: Xindong Wu, Graduate Program Coordinator of Computer Science Department at

For more information about the Ecological Landscape Design Ph.D. Program in UVM’s Plant and Soil Science Department, please contact: Stephanie Hurley, Assistant Professor, Plant and Soil Science Department at

Formal applications to the Computer Science or Plant & Soil Science Program must be submitted via the Graduate College web portal at:

To apply for VT EPSCoR funding: please send CV, names and contact information for three references, and a cover letter outlining research interests, expertise and availability to:
Vermont EPSCoR Office, 528 Cook Physical Science Building, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405.