Graduate Research Assistant - Desert Grasslands Habitat Restoration at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas

Posted in Other 12 days ago.

Job Description:

Instructions to applicants:

Application Materials:

  • Letter of intent (in place of cover letter)

  • Resume

  • Unofficial academic transcripts

  • 2 letters of recommendation

  • Completed Sul Ross application

Job Title:

Graduate Research Assistant - Desert Grasslands Habitat Restoration




Borderlands Research Institute

Posting Date:


Until Filled:


Appointment Date:



$1,250.00 Monthly


Bachelor's Degree
Enrolled or admitted as a graduate student at SRSUBackground in natural resource management or related field
GPA of 2.5 or higher
GRA of 290 or higher


Master's degree
Vegetation ID skills
Desire to learn quantitative skills

Primary Responsibilities:

Studies indicate that grassland degradation due to brush encroachment, invasive plants, desertification, severe drouth, and overgrazing is detrimental to wildlife populations and livestock. Because of this, effective restoration requires land stewards to recognize the amount of disturbance or management intervention needed to cause habitat to shift to a required state that meets their goals. We aim to restore grasslands by reducing soil erosion, increasing water harvest, removing invasive species, and reseeding native vegetation. We will be tracking the response of specific wildlife species to these restoration efforts. Specific objectives of the projects include 1.) Evaluate and develop the restoration prescriptions using research-driven practices for habitat restoration of key native grassland species, 2.) obtain information on how soil, hydrology, native plants, and wildlife respond to restoration efforts in grassland areas invaded by Lehmann's lovegrass and creosote bush, and 3.) restore and sustain wildlife populations through habitat improvements.

Successful applicant will participate in the project where areas with Lehmann's lovegrass and creosote bush will be selected, treated with a mix of mechanical, herbicide, fire, grazing, and reseeding (with native vegetation) treatments; discing select habitats (deep, non-rocky soils) to evaluate their ability to promote vegetation growth and curtail Lehmann's reinfestations; reseeding of areas to evaluate if reseeding accelerates the restoration of native grasses; monitor treatments and evaluate every year to assess post-treatment results based upon herbaceous growth, increase in native vegetation diversity, increase in insects, and Lehmann's lovegrass and creosote bush reduction.

Worksites will be primarily located on large, private ranches near Alpine, Marfa, and Marathon, TX, and Sul Ross Range Animal Science Center labs, Alpine , TX.

Applicant will possess strong work ethic, attentiveness to details, organizational skills and ability to meet deadlines, must be willing to work independently or as part of a team.

20 hours per week; Responsibilities may include some or all of the following: developing a project, writing a thesis, supervision of undergraduate assistants, teaching, related coursework. Must practice safe work habits at all times. This position is security sensitive.

This position is dependent on extramural funding.

Other Information:

Texas Law requires a 60 day waiting period before eligible new state employees are eligible to enroll in health insurance. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER It is the policy of Sul Ross State University to provide equal employment opportunity for all persons in accordance with their individual, job related qualifications and without consideration of race, creed, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status and ancestry. Equal employment opportunities shall be afforded in all personnel actions or decisions including, but not necessarily limited to, recruitment, hiring, training, upgrading, promotion, demotion, termination and salary. Retaliation is prohibited against a person who opposes a discriminatory practice, files a charge, testifies, assists or participates in an investigative proceeding or hearing.

About SRSU:

The mission of the Borderlands Research Institute for Natural Resource Management is to help conserve the natural resources of the Chihuahuan Desert Borderlands through research, education, and outreach.

The goal of the Borderlands Research Institute is to provide land managers with the most current scientific information on the management of natural resources of the area.

To meet this goal, the Institute plans and conducts research investigations on various aspects of the natural world and provides the results to the land managers so that they may more effectively manage the resources with which they are entrusted.

Sul Ross State University, located in Alpine, Texas (, is in the Scenic Davis Mountains of West Texas, is a member of the Texas State University System, is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Bachelor's and Master's degrees, and has an enrollment of approximately 2,000 students on campus in Alpine, Texas. At an elevation of 4,480 feet, and on the periphery of the Chihuahuan Desert, Alpine enjoys mild winters and cool summers. Davis Mountains State Park, Fort Davis National Historic Site, Big Bend National Park, and Guadalupe Mountains National Park, are all within one to three hours driving distance from Alpine. More information is available regarding Sul Ross State University and position openings through our website ( See

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