PhD or MS Assistantship on Microplastics in Freshwater Systems at the University of Vermont
University of Vermont, Vermont, United States
Apply before: 1 December 2023

The Watershed Lab ( in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources ( at the University of Vermont ( seeks a graduate student to work on a fully-funded project on microplastics in Lake Champlain, beginning in June 2024. Lake Champlain is an 1100 km2 lake between Vermont and New York, and this project will characterize the sources and sinks of microplastics in the lake through sampling microplastics in tributary rivers, along shorelines, and in the lake itself. A PhD student will also be able to add a research component on plastic pollution dynamics that could extend beyond Lake Champlain.

Graduate students will earn a degree in Natural Resources ( from the University of Vermont and will be situated in the interdisciplinary Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Lab ( The project is in collaboration with faculty and students at SUNY Plattsburgh and will draw on the team’s interdisciplinary skills and expertise. Research in the Watershed Lab ( focuses on hydrology and geomorphology in human-altered landscapes. The lab values and supports diverse identities, experiences, and needs.

Qualifications: B.S. or M.S. in environmental science, geology, geography, water resources, natural resources, or related field, and strong interest in pursuing research related to plastic pollution with a physical science focus. Students should have strong quantitative and writing skills, interest in field work around water in a range of weather conditions, and the patience and attention to detail for careful laboratory analyses.

Application: Submit a cover letter addressing their qualifications and interest in the project, along with a resume or CV, and unofficial transcript to Dr. Anne Jefferson ( by December 1, 2023. In addition, assistantship selection is dependent upon acceptance to the UVM graduate school.

Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Hydrology Focus Research Group