Graduate Research Assistantships in Critical Zone Science

We are seeking applicants for graduate research assistantships (one M.S. and one Ph.D.) in the study of mineral weathering and the fate of weathering products in forest ecosystems.  Applicants are sought for a project supported by the NSF at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest ( in New Hampshire.  The study focuses on mineral weathering gradients at the hillslope and watershed scale and is aimed at improved prediction of soil and water quality in headwater catchments. Components of the project will include element fluxes, aqueous and solid phase geochemistry, modeling, and hydrologic characterization.  The project will have a demanding field component that will require extensive travel and summer residence in New Hampshire.  Students will work with faculty at Virginia Tech, as well as with scientists from the USDA Forest Service and the University of Vermont.  A strong background in hydrology, forest soils, geochemistry, geology, and/or geospatial analyses is required.  Competitive students should demonstrate excellent written and oral communication and analytical skills.

These positions will be affiliated with the Departments of Geosciences ( and Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation ( at Virginia Tech. The students may also participate in interdisciplinary programs at Virginia Tech in cross-boundary biogeosciences ( and global change (

Assistantships provide competitive annual stipends and include a full tuition waiver. Health services and student health insurance plans are available.  Graduate assistants are actively involved in the departmental teaching programs.

Virginia Tech is located in Blacksburg, VA, which is situated in the Appalachian Mountains.  The population of the area is approximately 100,000. The climate is pleasant with four distinct seasons. Numerous recreational opportunities exist in the surrounding area. Blacksburg has been recognized as one of the “Top 10” places to live in the United States by Outside Magazine.  Additional information on Blacksburg can be found at


Dr. Kevin McGuire is an associate professor in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation and the associate director for the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech.

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