Graduate Student Openings in Watershed Ecohydrology & Biogeochemistry at Penn State University
Penn State University, Pennsylvania, United States
Start reviewing process: 1 November 2023

Four Graduate Research Assistantships are available on different projects at Penn State beginning Spring or Fall 2024 to study interactions of climate and critical zone on streamflow, water quality, and greenhouse gas emissions. Successful applicants will be encouraged to take full advantage of interdisciplinary teams. Both PhD and MS applicants will be considered.

Project 1: One graduate research assistantship is available to study the role of large storm events on nitrogen export from forested watersheds with contrasting forest management history. This USDA funded project will focus on the Leading Ridge Experimental Watersheds, just 30 minutes from the Penn State campus. Research could focus on data analysis, modeling, field work, or a combination of the above. Interested applicants should contact Jon Duncan (jmduncan at psu dot edu).

Project 2: One graduate research assistantship is available to examine the ecohydrology and biogeochemistry of urban hot spots and hot moments. The GRA will measure greenhouse gas emissions from a soils across a variety of urban landscape features and different neighborhoods in and around Baltimore, MD. This project is funded through the Baltimore Socio-Environmental Collaborative Urban Integrated Field Laboratory (, funded by DOE. This GRA will also be funded through the NSF Urban Critical Zone Network Cluster ( to examine ecohydrological and biogeochemical linkages in urban watersheds on a project funded by NSF. Interested applicants should contact Jon Duncan (jmduncan at psu dot edu) or Lauren McPhillips (lxm500 at psu dot edu).

Project 3: Two graduate research assistantships are available at Penn State beginning fall 2024 to study how anaerobic soils affect carbon and nitrogen fluxes in forests. This NSF funded project supports an interactive team of graduate students, postdocs, research support staff, and faculty from a range of disciplines including ecology, soil science, hydrology, and meteorology. Successful applicants will be encouraged to take full advantage of this interdisciplinary team. Research will take place in the Shale Hills catchment, near PSU, leveraging abundant instrumentation and historical data. Interested applicants should contact Dr. Jason Kaye (jpk12 at psu dot edu), Ken Davis (kjd10 at psu dot edu), Yuning Shi (yshi at psu dot edu) or Jon Duncan (jmduncan at psu dot edu). Students interested in Kaye or Duncan as advisors may apply to the Graduate Programs in Soil Science ( the Inter-College Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (, or the graduate degree program in Forest Resources ( Students interested in working with Davis and Shi may apply to the Meteorology and Atmospheric Science graduate program ( All of these degrees can be combined with the Biogeochemistry Dual Title Degree program (

Please indicate which position(s) you are interested in and include a CV. Competitive stipend and benefits are included. Applicants from diverse backgrounds are especially encouraged to contact us. The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in all its forms.

Jonathan M. Duncan, Ph.D., M.P.A.
Associate Professor of Hydrology
Watershed Ecohydrology & Biogeochemistry Lab
Pennsylvania State University
Department of Ecosystem Science & Management
306 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802

Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Critical Zone Focus Research Group
  • Human Dimensions Focus Research Group
  • Ecosystem Dynamics Focus Research Group