MSc opportunity in urban forest ecosystem services

Dr. Oscar Venter and the Integrated Forest Decisions (IFD) Laboratory at the University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George are now inviting applications for fully funded Masters and PhD positions starting in 2017. Students will undertake thesis projects on the ecosystem services provided by urban forests.

Urban forests provide crucial opportunities for people living in cities to experience nature on a daily basis, and receive the benefits from these natural environments, including air and water purification, climate mitigation, noise reduction and recreation. It is at the wildland urban interface that these ecosystem services are most important. Two graduate students are sought to undertake thesis work to quantify and map ecosystem services from urban forest in Prince George, BC. It is anticipated that students will undertake projects to enhance our understanding of how urban forests provide benefits to people at local and global scales, and how these benefits are valued by urban residents.

Located in north-central British Columbia, Prince George is proudly known as the ‘city in nature’, largely because of its extensive and varied forests. These forests, and the greater region, provide a wide range of recreational amenities including skiing, canoeing, kayaking, fly-fishing, hiking and mountain biking. Northern and central British Columbia offers an unparalleled natural environment in which to live and work. UNBC is one of Canada’s best small universities and was ranked #1 by the 2015 Maclean’s survey. We are also Canada’s Green University TM (voted #1 for environmental commitment in the Globe and Mail survey). We are leading the way to a more sustainable future through our passion for discovery, people, the environment and the North.

Prospective graduate students will be expected to develop their own research goals, and should have curiosity, motivation, and independence. Students should also be interested in coupling field surveys with remote sensing, GIS, and modeling. Students could have a background in ecology, geography, environmental science or ecological economics. Students with a strong quantitative background (remote sensing, GIS, statistics, modelling) are especially encouraged to apply.

Full funding is available, but students will be expected to apply for additional funding. Prospective students will apply to the Natural Resources and Environmental Studies program (http://www.unbc.ca/nres-graduate-program.

Prospective students should email a short summary of their research interests as well as a CV to Dr. Venter (Oscar dot Venter at UNBC dot ca) before applying to the program.

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