Master's and PhD opportunities in local environmental governance

Dr. James Robson is always keen to hear from students interested in issues related to local forms of environmental governance (practice, knowledge, institutions), and committed to the principles of community engagement. He has potential opportunities for students (Master’s or PhD), especially those with Spanish-language skills, to work on two planned research projects (2018-2022):

Engaging Indigenous Youth through Innovative Environmental Co-Governance Arrangements

Working with select Indigenous communities in Canada and Mexico where we have on-going relationships, we will address the question: How can governance for sustainability and biocultural diversity effectively engage young Indigenous women and men and strengthen community capacities for long-term land and resource stewardship?  The proposed research will (a) examine how local people understand the social, cultural and demographic drivers that shape environmental governance institutions and processes; and (b) select and assess institutional innovations to better engage young women and men in these arrangements.

Strategies for Building Inclusivity in Mexican Forest Commons

Using a participatory, action-oriented methodology, and working with two community partners in Oaxaca, Mexico, the proposed research will: (i) explore how forest governance and forest work is currently structured, and will do so from the perspectives of community members underrepresented in these arrangements (youth, women, non-rights holders); (ii) consider institutional and organizational innovations with the potential to deliver more inclusive, vibrant and productive forest commons; and, (iii) create spaces for partner communities to learn from each other’s experiences, and for practitioner organizations to consider the wider applicability of the research for other forest-dependent communities. 

PhD Opportunity in Food & Water Systems Governance

Dr. Philip Loring is recruiting a PhD student with strong quantitative skills and an interest in natural resource governance and management. This project is funded by the Global Water Futures program at the Global Institute for Water Security and can offer prospective students an unparalleled experience doing collaborative and interdisciplinary science on some of the world’s most pressing problems.  

The incumbent will design and execute doctoral research that investigates how local water management institutions develop around the challenge of agricultural water drainage in prairie ecosystems. Possible topics of focus include conflict management, food-water-sustainability interactions, and scenarios development via linking social and hydrological models. You will be joining a diverse lab of social and natural scientists who are all committed to using their research to help people solve pressing environmental issues. 

Qualifications for PhD in Environment and Sustainability students

  • Experience with quantitative social science methods and analysis
  • Background in interdisciplinary environment or sustainability research is desirable but not required. This could include such areas as resilience, social-ecological systems, common-pool resources, agricultural systems geography, governance, or human ecology.
  • Master's degree, or equivalent, from a recognized university in a relevant academic discipline
  • A cumulative weighted average of at least 70% (U of S grade system equivalent) in the last two years of study (i.e. coursework required in Master’s program)
  • Proof of English language proficiency may be required for international applicants and for applicants whose first language is not English
  • Written support of  the faculty supervisor (i.e. Phil Loring)

Funding

$24,000/year for 3 years is available for this position. 

How to Apply:

Prior to applying, please contact Dr. Philip Loring, Assistant Professor, phil.loring@usask.ca. Quote “Application inquiry for PhD in Food and Water Systems Governance” in the subject line.

If encouraged to submit an application, you will be asked to provide the documentation outlined on the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

Deadline: Applications will be reviewed as they are received. 

PhD in Hydrology

Andrew Ireson with SENS is currently recruiting for the following PhD candidates. These positions are funded through the Global Water Futures program. The students will be part of a team that will develop and deliver next generation modelling and observation techniques.

Hydrological processes in frozen soils

Details: Where does the water go following snowmelt? Does it go into the soils or run overland into ponds and channels? This is one of the most important questions in cold region hydrology. The result determines whether or not there is a flood, and how much water is available for crops. To address this, we need a better understanding, and better models, for flow processes in frozen soils. Project objectives include: (1) critically reviewing the state of the art in coupled heat and mass transport modelling in frozen soils; (2) proposing improvements that deal explicitly with gaps in our understanding of physical processes; and (3) validating new models using field data and/or laboratory experiments. The primary focus is frozen soils in the Canadian prairies, and there will be opportunities to undertake field work.

The impact of frozen soils on Boreal Forest hydrology

Details: The Boreal Forest plays an important role in the global carbon cycle, the regional climate system, and the water cycle of a number of large watersheds. To predict how climate change and human activity will impact the forest in the future, we need to understand what aspects of this vast and sparsely monitored area are critical to represent carefully within large scale models. For example, is it adequate to treat all needle-leaf trees as a single homogeneous plant functional type, or should try to characterize drought tolerant pine and wetland loving black spruce differently? Critical gaps are broadly associated with quantifying transpiration from different tree-species and the impact of frozen soils on infiltration and transpiration. The objective of this project is to: 1) perform a critical review of hydrological processes in the Boreal Forest and how these are represented in a range of land-surface models; 2) apply suitable models to the BERMs sites in Saskatchewan, where we have detailed observations of the vertical water, energy and carbon balance; 3) develop new algorithms and parameterizations that can be implemented in next generation improved models that are being developed in the Global Water Futures program. Field sites are in the southern Boreal Plains Ecozone.

Qualifications:

  • Master's degree in Hydrology, Engineering, Science, Applied Mathematics or related field of study
  • Knowledge of computer programming
  • Strong capability to apply computer models
  • Familiarity with exploratory data analysis and statistical methods
  • Successful application to the College of Graduate Studies and Research

In addition, the candidate should have:

  • Ability to work in a collaborative manner with team members
  • Strong oral and written communication skills

Funding:

A three-year scholarship is available for a qualified individual through the Global Water Futures program

How to Apply:

Prior to applying, please contact Dr. Andrew Ireson. Once permission is received from him to proceed, please begin the admissions processed outlined on grad.usask.ca.

PhD - In-Stream Water Quality Modelling

Karl-Erich Lindenschmidt with SENS is seeking a PhD candidate with experience in in-stream water quality modelling to support research in understanding the mixing regime and biological processes in aquatic environments of rivers and lakes.

Qualifications:

  • Master's degree in Engineering, Science, Applied Mathematics or related field of study
  • Knowledge of computer programming
  • Strong capability to apply computer models
  • Familiarity with exploratory data analysis and statistical methods
  • Successful application to the College of Graduate Studies and Research

In addition, the candidate should have:

  • Ability to work in a collaborative manner with team members
  • Strong oral and written communication skills

Funding:

A three-year scholarship is available for a qualified individual through the Global Water Futures program

How to Apply:

Prior to applying, please contact Dr. Karl-Erich Lindenschmidt. Once permission is received from him to proceed, please begin the admissions processed outlined on grad.usask.ca.

Opportunities in Watershed Systems Analysis and Modelling

Dr. Saman Razavi is interested to hear from highly motivated individuals wishing to pursue graduate studies within his group.  If you are one of them, please contact Dr. Saman Razavi.

Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in his lab actively work on the different natural (e.g., rainfall-runoff, snow, permafrost, soil storage, etc.) and human-driven (e.g., reservoirs, water diversions and abstractions, agriculture, etc.) components and bring them together under a unified umbrella for the synthesis of systems behaviour.

Global Water Futures

The Global Institute for Water Security's Global Water Futures program is recruiting graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and variety of research support positions.