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Doctoral Assistantship in Modeling Food, Energy, and Water Systems (FEWS)

Doctoral Assistantship in Modeling Food, Energy, and Water Systems (FEWS)

FEWS_picThe Department of Geosciences and Human-Environment Systems Initiative at Boise State University seeks applicants for a funded PhD assistantship in modeling of coupled Food, Energy, Water Systems (FEWS) to begin in Fall 2016 or Spring 2017. In support of a large, state-wide grant funded by the National Science Foundation, a team of researchers have developed a suite of models using the Envision modeling framework that simulate the coupled human-natural system dynamics of southwest Idaho. This region includes the Boise metro area (population >650,000) and is undergoing the significant combined effects of climate change and land use change associated with rapid population growth. The student researcher will join an interdisciplinary team, applying these models to examine the implications of adopting water-conserving irrigation technologies on spatiotemporal patterns of (1) water use, (2) crop yield, (3) agricultural energy consumption, and (4) saturated areas serving as intermittent habitat for waterfowl under future scenarios of climate and land use change.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • An MS or equivalent degree in Hydrology, Ecology, Engineering, Geospatial Sciences, or related field,
  • Experience with a scientific programming language such as Matlab, Python, or R,
  • Training in GIS and/or geospatial data management
  • Enthusiasm for working collaboratively in a highly interdisciplinary team consisting of hydrologists, ecologists, land use scientists, remote sensing scientists, social scientists, scientific programmers, and computational scientists,
  • A desire to engage with stakeholders including state and federal agency scientists and regulators, water and land managers, advocacy groups, irrigation companies, and growers to ensure the fidelity of simulated scenarios.

Interested applicants should send a brief CV summarizing qualifications and interests to Professors Lejo Flores ( and Shawn Benner (

Boise State University is Idaho’s largest graduate institution and a metropolitan research university of distinction. The city of Boise is frequently mentioned as among the best for career and quality of life. In 2014-2015 alone the city was listed as being a top city for Millennial entrepreneurs, among the greenest cities, most artistic mid-sized cities, and best city to raise a family. World class river sports, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and backpacking are less than three hours away by car.

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