PhD position in trans-disciplinary Team-TERRA training program-Building Resilient Landscapes for Food, Energy, Water, and Ecosystem Services in America’s Original Megalopolis
The University of Connecticut is looking for Ph.D. candidates to begin Fall 2023 in a newly funded transdisciplinary training program.
Team-TERRA is a training program that studies the northeastern U.S. megalopolis stretching from Boston to Washington, D.C. as a living laboratory to understand, predict, manage, and communicate risks to food, energy, water, and ecosystems in the face of global change. As part of the training program, trainees work in diverse teams to predict and solve the complex problems of the future in regions that are urbanizing and challenged to both provide the essentials for human wellbeing while maintaining the many benefits of biodiversity and natural ecosystems.
The training program consists of a 2-year sequence of coursework, teamwork, an applied internship, and associated workshops. Successful students will learn highly sought-after skills in risk analysis, management, and communication. These skills include landscape analysis and decision support tools embedded in Geographic Information Systems and how to collaborate with diverse stakeholders. In addition, a cornerstone of the training is the opportunity to learn how to work in and lead teams with members who have diverse lived experiences, knowledge, and skills. Participating students can have an array of research interests and professional experience, all of which makes valuable contributions to the team. Team projects can contribute toward each student’s departmental and university dissertation requirements.
We seek collaborative, driven, and creative students with diverse lived and professional experiences who are trained broadly in the environmental sciences for this National Science Foundation-funded training program. We are especially interested in applicants from groups historically excluded from STEM, including but not limited to people with varying neurological and physical abilities, women, gender non-conforming, Black, Indigenous, and other Students of Color. And, we are interested in students whose life experiences or academic history will contribute to the environmental justice focus of the program.
Candidates should have an excellent GPA (>3.5) and relevant research experience. Preference will be given to students with proven research records, published scientific articles, external funding, a Master’s degree, or demonstrable research experience.
Benefits to trainees
- Trainees will learn how to work with stakeholders, develop quantitative analytical skills in predicting risk and uncertainty, explore options for managing such risks, and communicate risk and uncertainty to clients, stakeholders, and the public
- Overall, trainees will learn transferable skills by working with real-world problems, while providing an important service to governments, NGOs, and businesses
- $34,000 stipend for one year
- Tuition and fees waived
- Subsidized health benefits
- Travel funds
Students should seek admission into a relevant department at UConn and apply simultaneously to the Team-TERRA program or if already a student at UConn, students can contact one of the co-PI’s from a related department. A partial list of potential departments includes:
- Civil & Environmental Engineering
- Computer Science & Engineering
- Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
- Natural Resources & Environment
Is your department not listed? No worries – contact Mark Urban to discuss adding it. For more information about the program or for advice on pertinent departments or potential advisors, please contact Mark Urban email@example.com.
The application can be found on this website under APPLICATIONS: Trainee Application.
If your advisor is not listed in the below list of Team-TERRA core faculty, then your advisor can become a Team-TERRA affiliated faculty by completing a Mentor Application here.
List of core faculty members, departments, and interest areas:
|Faculty member||Department||Interest areas|
|Mark Urban||Ecology & Evolutionary
Biology (TERRA Lead
|Eco-evolution in cities;
climate change; aquatic
ecology and resources
|Chris Elphick||Ecology & Evolutionary
|Biodiversity protection and management; conservation planning; coastal resilience; agroecology|
|Lisa Park-Boush||Geosciences||Risks to aquatic ecosystems and water resources from hurricanes and climate
|Margaret Rubega||Ecology & Evolutionary
Biology (TERRA Co-PI)
|Functional ecology of birds in degrading habitats; Science Communication.|
|Kathleen Segerson||Economics||Agriculture and natural
incentive effects of alternative policy instruments
|Guiling Wang||Civil and Environmental
Engineering, Center for
Environmental Science and Engineering
|Risks of climate-land
interactions to agriculture, ecosystems, and water
|Michael Willig||Ecology & Evolutionary
Biology, Center for
Environmental Science and Engineering (Director,
Institute of the Environment)
|Resistance, resilience, and vulnerability of ecosystem services and biodiversity|
|Chuanrong Zhang||Geography, Center for
Environmental Science and Engineering (co-PI)
|CyberGIS and spatial data science for risk analysis of food-energy-water