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Vacancy

This is a position announcement for a PhD Graduate Research Assistantship position in Soil Science/Soil Quality/Soil Physics at Washington State University. Provided by Dr. Markus Flury.

PhD Graduate Research Assistantship: Soil Science/Soil Quality/Soil Physics
 

Position Summary:
Plastic mulches are used in agriculture to conserve water, suppress weeds, and increase soil temperatures. However, plastic mulches need to be disposed off at the end of the growing season. Biodegradable plastic mulches that can be tilled into the soil after use would alleviate disposal needs.
However, it is not known how well biodegradable plastic mulches degrade in soils and what their effect is on soil and water quality. Field experiments will be conducted to investigate the effects of biodegradable plastic mulches on soil quality and to investigate plastic degradation over time.


This work is part of a large, interdisciplinary project to investigate the use of biodegradable plastic mulches in agriculture. The graduate student will work in an interdisciplinary team. This graduate student position will be located at the WSU Research & Extension Center in Puyallup, in the south of Seattle, WA.

Responsibilities will include:
• install and maintain lysimeters, environmental sensors, and data loggers for field experiments
• conduct field and laboratory measurements to determine soil quality
• determine degradation of plastic mulches under field and composting conditions
• write and review peer-reviewed publications

Required Qualifications:
• MS in Soil Science, Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, or closely related field
• Excellent written and oral English skills
• Willingness to conduct extensive field research
• Ability to drive a motor vehicle to travel to field locations
Preferred Qualifications:
• Strong analytical and statistical skills
• Experience with working in the field
• Experience with environmental sensors and data loggers
Start Date: January 2015

Benefits:
• Tuition
• 12-month stipend
• Health insurance


How to apply:
Please submit to Dr. Markus Flury (flury@wsu.edu):
• CV
• Transcripts
• Cover letter briefly describing how your background fits this position
• GRE scores within the previous five years
• TOEFL scores (for international candidates for whom English is not the native language)
Review of candidates will begin on October 15, 2014 and continue until a suitable candidate is appointed. For questions, please contact Markus Flury (flury@wsu.edu).

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