Project SU15b: Analyzing livestock grazing patterns in Kenya's drylands

Project SU15b: Analyzing livestock grazing patterns in Kenya's drylands

Researcher: Kayla Yurco kzy110@psu.edu

Semester for work to be done: summer 2015 and/or fall 2015

Position type: data analysis

Application deadline: 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Application URL: http://www.geog.psu.edu/uroc-apply


Project description

This research investigates spatial and temporal patterns of pastoralist livestock grazing in southern Kenya's drylands. Directed instruction in regional and topical context will ensure the student thoroughly understands the mixed methods data available, which includes quantitative and spatial data collected via GPS tracking during cattle migrations as well as qualitative data from herder interviews over a period of one year. The research assistant will be responsible for evaluating quantitative GPS-derived data for errors, organizing a large-scale dataset, and analyzing data for basic statistical purposes. Should student skill and time allow, data could additionally present unique mapping/geovisualization opportunities for the research assistant. This position would benefit any student interested in gaining experience working with quantitative and/or spatial data, and would be of particular benefit to anyone with interest in mixed research methods more generally.


Desired qualifications

Experience with Microsoft Excel, extensive attention to detail, and ability to work independently required; some background in statistics (coursework and/or statistical software) desired but not required. Candidates with experience in ArcGIS and interest in cartography/GIS will find additional opportunities for analysis. Candidates must be willing to contribute 40–120 total hours of work toward the project over the semester, resulting in 1–3 credit hours applied to the transcript. There is no monetary stipend attached to this assistantship, although the experiences gained in this work will be immediately valuable when applying for graduate school or full-time employment.

 

 

To apply

Prospective candidates should submit application to http://www.geog.psu.edu/uroc-apply by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

A complete application must include:


1. All required fields of online form: http://www.geog.psu.edu/uroc-apply

2. A one-page cover letter identifying the position for which you're applying and stating your interest in conducting research, your academic preparation, the skills you hope to gain from this experience, and contact information of two references.

  • Upload a PDF document named as follows: FirstinitialLastname_letterMMYY.pdf (e.g. jvender_letter1114.pdf)

3. A resume

  • Upload a PDF document named as follows: FirstinitialLastname_resumeMMYY.pdf (e.g. jvender_resume1114.pdf)