Two Graduate Assistantships in Ecosystem Service Economics & Policy

The University of Idaho’s Department of Conservation Social Sciences in the College of Natural Resources is offering graduate assistantships for one Ph.D. and one M.S. student to assist in research on ecosystem service economics and policy. The University of Idaho is located in Moscow, ID, a vibrant town of 25,000. Moscow is just a short drive to the Bitterroot Mountains and provides easy access to recreational and wilderness opportunities in ID, WA, OR and Canada.

The successful applicants will be expected to complete coursework toward a Ph.D. or M.S., and to develop a dissertation or thesis project related to the economics and policy of ecosystem services. They will be expected to take courses in economics and quantitative methods (econometrics or statistics), as well as departmental core social science courses. In addition to research tasks, the students will serve as teaching assistants for an undergraduate natural resource economics course in spring semesters. Assistantships pay tuition and fees, and competitive 12-month salaries; the Ph.D. assistantship is for four years and the M.S. assistantship is for two years.

Potential areas for thesis or dissertation research include:

1. Management and valuation of ecosystem services

  • Quantifying economic tradeoffs across ecosystem services in working landscapes
  • Identifying the economic value of ecosystem service provision from public, private and indigenous lands
  • Evaluating the impact of ecosystem service changes on measures of human well-being

2.  Market-based instruments

  • Assessing demand- or supply-side constraints to developing ecosystem service markets
  • Evaluating outcomes from existing markets or payments for ecosystem service programs
  • Identifying the effect of governance and institutional arrangements on market adoption or success


The successful applicants will have an academic background in natural resources, environmental studies, economics, or a related field. Previous training in economics and quantitative methods is preferred, but not required if a strong competency and willingness to learn new concepts and methods is demonstrated. Previous experience with data management, survey methods, GIS, or publishing in academic journals is also desirable. Preference will be given to students who can start spring 2012 (January 2012) but a start date of fall 2012 (August 2012) will also be considered.

To apply

Please submit a resume, list of three references, and a 1-2 page letter describing your qualifications for this position and research interests by October 15, 2011 to Prof. Kelly Wendland at Review of applicants will begin on October 16th and continue until suitable candidates are found.

Note that research assistantships are contingent on acceptance to the graduate school and Conservation Social Sciences Department; requirements for admissions are found at the following website: .

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. Kelly Wendland
CNR Room 19M
P.O. Box 441139
Moscow, ID 83844
(208) 885-7044

Websites of interest:

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