We are seeking for two PhD students and two MS students to join an NSF funded “Signals in Soils” project and characterize biotic and abiotic CO2 fluxes from irrigated dryland agricultural systems in the Rio Grande Valley at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Students could join the Departments of Geological Sciences (https://www.utep.edu/science/geology/) or Biological Sciences (https://www.utep.edu/science/biology/), or the PhD program of Environmental Science and Engineering, and will be part of an inter-disciplinary collaborative team between UTEP and Texas A&M University AgriLife Research Center at El Paso.
This project will test the extent to which pedogenic carbonate accumulation in irrigated dryland soils emits an important anthropogenically-induced CO2 flux to the atmosphere. Students will work with a team of a biologist, a geochemist, a soil scientist and a civil engineer to provide essential knowledge of how irrigation intensity, water chemistry, soil texture, and crop type affect calcium carbonate formation. Students will collaborate with scientists to combine eddy-covariance, isotopic, and geochemical techniques with novel UAV-based remote sensing to develop multi-scalar approaches to capture and model spatiotemporal variation of abiotic CO2 exchange from ecosystem to atmosphere. Students will work with the team to develop their projects according to their primary interests and to gain the skills and confidence for making independently driven intellectual contributions. Education and outreach opportunities are available.
We seek applicants who have desire to advance carbon flux monitoring with expanded tools and basic knowledge of ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, isotopic techniques, hydrology, or carbon cycling. It is preferred but not required if you have experience with automated sensors and data-logging systems, instrument maintenance in field conditions, data analytical and statistical skills, a programing language (e.g., R or python), or experience with eddy covariance systems/data.
We are committed to creating an inclusive, equitable, and diverse research environment. Applicants will be considered regardless of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information. More on UTEPs support and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion can be found here: https://www.utep.edu/provost/diversity-equity-and-inclusion/
If you are interested, please contact Dr. Lixin Jin (email@example.com) in the Department of Geological Sciences and Dr. Marguerite Mauritz-Tozer (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Department of Biological Sciences and Environmental Science and Engineering. We will answer any questions you have about the project and application to the MS or PhD programs. Applications will ultimately be submitted through the Graduate School (https://www.utep.edu/graduate/).