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Job Posting: Graduate Research Assistant, Climate Change Adaptation

DURATION: Immediately to July 31, 2015
POSITION TYPE: Masters level graduate research assistantship
FACULTY: Faculty of Land & Food Systems
GRADUATE PROGRAM: Integrated Studies in Land & Food Systems; Soil Science
HOURS AND PAY RATE: 20-40 hrs per week (depending on course schedule) $4000 per month for full time

This project is designed to help farmers in the Lower Fraser River delta better understand management options that will help them adapt to climate change. The Lower Fraser delta has been identified as one of the agricultural regions in British Columbia that is likely to be substantially impacted by changing weather patterns and sea level rise. The fine textured soils and level topography of the low-lying delta make it
particularly susceptible to increased flooding and changes in water availability. The project will analyze existing knowledge of in-field management for reducing climate change impacts, primarily ways to increase drainage and improve irrigation. This will include a comprehensive review of approaches that have been adopted in similar regions around the world and a survey of farmers in the Delta to assess the efficacy of their current management for flooding. Management options identified in this analysis will be further evaluated and potentially demonstrated through monitoring of existing options in the Delta and/or on-farm field trials.

The research assistant (RA) will work as part of a collaboration between the Delta Farmer’s Institute, Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Laboratory (http://sal-lab.landfood.ubc.ca/) at UBC, the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative and the BC Ministry of Agriculture. The RA will review and compile existing literature on adaptation methodologies. The RA will also conduct a survey of farmers in the Delta to assess their current management practices and summarize an analysis of the reviewed and surveyed management options in a detailed report. The RA will then develop and execute a field study to assess various management options.

Successful applicants will need to demonstrate an interest and ability to conduct interdisciplinary research (e.g. analyses of social, agronomic and economic factors). The applicant must be able to demonstrate experience reviewing, analyzing and reporting on scientific literature. Project management and organizational skills are essential for the position. Applicants that have demonstrated previous experience with fieldwork or other outdoor activities are preferred. The applicant must have a valid drivers license, and willingness and ability to work in a physically demanding environment. The applicant will be expected to work outside in all kinds of weather and must be able to lift 25 kg. Applicants’ resumes should include a summary of their writing, management, outdoor and field and laboratory experience.

• Undergraduate degree in science, preferably environmental, soil or agricultural science or equivalent work experience
• 1-2 years of work experience in a related field

Interested applicants should email Dr. Sean Smukler at sean.smukler@ubc.ca the following:
• Brief email or cover letter describing the applicants qualifications and interests
• Resume or curriculum vitae
• Unofficial Transcript
• Writing example