[permaculture] Grad Research opening in Perennial Polycultures at U of Illinois

rafter sass ferguson liberationecology at gmail.com
Fri Jan 16 14:30:11 EST 2015

Available 2015 (May or August)

Graduate Research Assistantship (MS or PhD)

Multifunctional Landscape Analysis & Design Lab (MLAD)

Applications are being accepted for Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA)
to the program on multifunctional landscapes in the Department of Crop
Sciences at University of Illinois.

MLAD is committed to the research and development of sustainable solutions
for our working lands. In the face of current challenges that threaten our
world including climate change, water shortages, and food insecurity, new
alternatives for our landscape are needed. We believe that landscapes
designed to provide multiple ecological, cultural, and production functions
will be more sustainable and able to meet these challenges. Our lab group
works on projects located on urban and agricultural sites in the Midwest,
the Northeast, and elsewhere in the United States. MLAD has access to
extensive resources including a network of Field Research Centers
throughout the state, one of the largest library systems in the world, and
the National Center for Supercomputing. See the website for more details:

This position is being supported by the Institute for Sustainability,
Energy, and Environment at the University of Illinois (
http://sustainability.illinois.edu/) to work on the thematic area of
“Secure and Sustainable Agriculture”. Our specific project, entitled
“Multifunctional Woody Polyculture for Sustainable Food Production”, will
compare a variety of different mixtures of trees, shrubs, and pasture as an
alternative to our existing row crop agricultural systems in a brand new
field site established this year. In addition to providing food products
such as fruits and nuts, the complex mix of species in these systems could
offer environmental benefits such as stabilizing soil, storing carbon, and
conserving biodiversity — all of which we will measure. Specific
responsibilities for the GRA will involve a strong field component
for: evaluating
survival of newly established species, monitoring soil characteristics and
other variables in plots, recording inputs such as labor, and assisting
with data collection at existing farms. Graduate Research Assistants are
expected to participate in data entry, preparation of research papers,
presentation of results at scientific meetings, statistical analysis, and
graphical illustration of data.

The Graduate Research/Teaching Assistantship includes a stipend of
approximately $23,000 (MS) or $25,000 (PhD) per year, plus a tuition
waiver. The workload is expected to average a minimum of 20 hours per week
on research (plus more during the field season), in addition to coursework
over a 12-month period. Interested students, please send me (Dr. Sarah
Taylor Lovell) a cover letter explaining your background and experience,
along with your curriculum vitae. Admission will also require receipt of a
completed application to our Graduate Program. You can find information on
admissions and a link to applications on the Crop Sciences website:

Contact information:

Sarah Taylor Lovell, MLA, PhD
Assistant Professor of Landscape Agroecology
Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Phone: 217-244-3433 Email: stlovell at illinois.edu
Website: www.multifunctionallandscape.com

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