Grad Student Research Associate

Graduate Student Research Associate (RA) opportunity with Paul Hanson and Hilary Dugan:

A new position for a RA is available at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Center for Limnology, beginning September 2020 for someone interested in pursuing a M.S. or Ph.D. in Freshwater and Marine Science from the UW-Madison, Center for Limnology. This position is funded by a grant from the US National Science Foundation for Harnessing the Data Revolution.

The aims of the project are to better predict and understand controls on lake water quality, both at local and regional scales, by melding ecological knowledge with machine learning. The highly collaborative and interdisciplinary team has experts from four universities and multiple disciplines, including limnology, computer science, hydrology, and meteorology. This project will address the overarching question: What drives anoxia dynamics in lakes of the upper Midwest? To address this question, the team will use hydrodynamic-water quality models, coupled with start-of-the-art machine learning in a framework called, Theory-guided Data Science. The project may have a significant field component that requires collecting lake water samples and deploying high-frequency sensor buoys.

We are seeking a creative and highly collaborative student with an interest in quantitative research in freshwater science, as well as data science. The successful applicant will work with other graduate students and faculty to address fundamental questions surrounding the dynamics of water quality in lakes of the upper Midwest. Research activities will include: collecting field data; modifying and calibrating existing models for lake water quality; managing and manipulating large and heterogeneous data sets used for models; mentoring undergraduate students; and collaborating with project scientists from UW-Madison and from other universities. The successful applicant will also gain valuable training and experience in team science.

Interested students should contact Paul Hanson ( with an attached CV and a brief statement of research interests and why they are interested in the project. Applicants should have experience and demonstrable interest in limnology. They are not required to have a background in modeling, but ideally should have some experience with coding languages (such as R or Python).

UW-Madison is committed to providing opportunities to people from all backgrounds to help create a welcoming, empowered, and inclusive community. UW-Madison is an affirmative action/equal employment employer and we encourage women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities to apply.