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PhD Position – Ecosystem Services Mapping and Prioritization

A Ph.D. position is available to join a vibrant and diverse team studying how agricultural lands contribute to ecosystem services in the American West. In particular, the student will use a variety of modeling techniques to measure ecosystem services provisioning from farming and ranching landscapes in three iconic study sites in Idaho. In addition, the student will use conservation planning approaches (e.g. Marxan) to identify priority lands for agricultural land protection.

This student will join a vibrant, transdisciplinary project team funded by two USDA grants. The student will collaborate with a social science PhD student focused on determining best policy mechanisms for farmland protection (see position on the Human-Environment systems website) and with a postdoctoral researcher focused on econometric analyses to measure the impacts of land use policies across the United States (see position on the Careers website). The student will have the opportunity to collaborate closely with a wide variety of stakeholders, including local land trusts, The Nature Conservancy, American Farmland Trust, and farming and ranching organizations. The entire project team will develop a “Handbook for Farmland Protection Planning” for a practitioner and policy-maker audience. The products of the research have high potential to influence on-the-ground conservation.

Dr. Jodi Brandt (Website) will be the student’s major advisor, and the student will join Human-Environment Systems, a group of faculty and students committed to trans-disciplinary, team-based, actionable research that addresses real-world environmental challenges. The student will pursue a PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at Boise State University.


We are seeking students who have expertise in ecosystem services modeling, spatial analysis, land use planning, and land conservation. Competitive students will have a Master’s degree and research or job experience related to the topics above.

Stipend and tuition and fees

This position includes support in the form of a graduate or teaching assistantship (renewable, 12-month at $25,000 + cost of housing adjustment), tuition and fee waiver, and health insurance. The positions start Summer (May) or Fall (Sept) 2022.

To Apply

Please send via email (to in a single file attachment (include your last name in the file name): a cover letter that states qualifications and career goals, a CV with the names and contacts for 3 references, and copies of transcripts (unofficial are O.K.). Please put “PhD application-ES Mapping and Prioritization” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed as they are received until November 15, 2021. Top candidates will be asked to formally apply to the graduate program.  All admission decisions must be approved by the Graduate Dean.

Boise State University embraces and welcomes diversity in its faculty, student body, and staff. Accordingly, applicants who would add to the diversity and excellence of our academic community are encouraged to apply.

About Boise

Boise State is in the beautiful city of Boise, which strikes a perfect balance with close-by outdoor recreational activities as well as a vibrant downtown life. Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the capital of the State of Idaho, Boise is frequently featured as a top-ranked metropolis. The city has ample opportunities for world-class outdoor activities year round and a thriving arts and entertainment culture. In 2017, US News and World report ranked Boise the 12th best city to live in the United States. To learn more, please view “Visit Boise” link at: