NASA Funded Research Assistantship on improving effectiveness of Riverscape Consortium Apps for supporting beaver rewilding
With support from NASA (Award: 80NSSC21K1353) we currently have funding through a joint project with researchers at Boise State University to develop commercial-grade Apps that will support beaver rewilding restoration efforts in riverscapes as well as citizen science. The broader project is focusing on leveraging earth observation platforms (i.e. remote sensing) to support on the ground decision making in rewilding work (see recent article) . We are already pretty far along working with professional software developers on development of a MorPhoto (repeat photo monitoring App), improvements to BRAT and are scheduled to begin development on a citizen science app. Two years of graduate student support are secured (could be MS or PhD) included in the last 2 years of the grant starting Fall 2023.
The focus of this graduate student would be on objectively testing the effectiveness of the suite of tools at helping facilitate beaver rewilding efforts and riverscape restoration. There is opportunity to work directly with practitioners, policy makers and the public and iterate based on feedback to improve the tools and see if it improves effectiveness. The ideal candidate will have a strong interest and/or experience in low-tech process-based riverscape restoration, and rewilding using beaver. Experience in programming and scripting is not necessary, but an aptitude to learn and become proficient in GIT version control, python and/or R scripting, MarkDown and ability to work and communicate with a large team of software developers and communications professionals. I am looking for someone with an interest and/or experience in studying riverscapes, and working at the interface of science and practice. Strong communication skills, empathy with end users, some technical aptitude and proficiency are all musts. I can train the student with the right mindset in what skills you are missing and help you design a program of study that helps you fulfill your career goals and plug critical knowledge and skills gaps.
The primary deliverables from the graduate student will be getting some publications out on a mix of the effectiveness of the tools we're building and maybe some case-studies of using them for monitoring LTPBR effectiveness. We're deep right now into developing the MorPhoto repeat photo monitoring app. We'll be transitioning into making Commercial Grade versions of BRAT and a citizen science beaver monitoring app.
Interested applicants should send an email to me (see instructions on prospective students page) and any questions. If interested, please apply formally through USU School of Graduate Studies. A review of applications will begin mid to late February.
See video below for an example (from project) of the types of projects we are trying to support in these efforts: