Master’s Graduate Assistantship at the Cal Poly Humboldt Fire Lab, California

Master’s Graduate Assistantship at the Cal Poly Humboldt Fire Lab, California

Master’s Graduate Assistantship in Community Fire within the Department of Forestry, Fire, and Rangeland Management, Cal Poly Humboldt.

California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, also known as Cal Poly Humboldt, Humboldt, or Cal Poly, is a public university in Arcata, California. It is one of three polytechnic universities in the California State University system.

About the Master’s Graduate Assistantship

Dr Jeff Kane ( is seeking a highly motivated
student interested in joining the Cal Poly Humboldt Fire Lab ( and the Humboldt Fire Resilience Institute ( to pursue an MS degree in Forestry, Watershed, and Wildland Sciences at Cal Poly Humboldt

The selected student will be supported by an assistantship to work on a Cal Fire project developing resources (website, pamphlets, briefs) and coordinating workshops and training opportunities related to engaging community members about wildfire-related benefits, problems, and solutions in Humboldt County and adjacent regions.

The student’s research project is flexible but likely focused around assessing community resilience to prior or future wildfires in northwestern California/southern Oregon. The selected student must be able to work well independently and in a team setting, assist with other on-going projects, and be willing to travel to regional sites in northwestern California/southern Oregon. Successful candidates must reside in or near Arcata, California over the duration of the assistantship.

Minimum Qualifications:

Strong candidates for admission to the Cal Poly Humboldt Department of Forestry, Watershed, and Wildland Science Graduate Program should have a grade point average of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale for all college and university work. There is some flexibility if the candidate has a strong experiential background associated with community fire or a related field. Minimum qualifications include a BS degree completed no later than June 2023 in Forestry, Forest Ecology, Ecology, or related fields.

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Additional minimum qualifications include:

  • Undergraduate coursework in some combination of forest ecology, fire ecology, fire
    science/management, and geospatial sciences
  • Familiarity and willingness to use common fire behaviour and effects modeling programs
  • Ability to competently use ArcMap, ArcPro, or ArcGIS Online programs
  • Willingness to learn R or Python coding languages
  • Ability to synthesize scientific information and convey it in plain language
  • Well-organized and detail-oriented
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Possess a valid US driver’s license
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Experience developing and posting content for websites
  • Experience collecting and analyzing spatial fuels and forest data
  • Experience using spatial fire behavior and effects modeling programs
  • Experience in using R or Python coding languages
Position Duties:
  • Assist in developing community fire outreach materials
  • Establish connections with community members and groups related to fire and fuels
    related issues
  • Assist in developing and coordinating workshops and webinars for community members
  • Lead or coordinate periodic Humboldt Fire Lab demonstrations and tours for the community members
  • Work closely with the Humboldt Fire Resilience Institute Director and Integrated Fire
    Education, Training, and Experience program managers to assist with project goals

Assistantship Benefits:

  • MS student will be hired as a full-time graduate assistant beginning in mid-May/early June 2022 at $25,000/yr.
  • The project duration is for two years with the possibility to extend for a third if needed.

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How to Apply for Master’s Graduate Assistantship at the Cal Poly Humboldt Fire Lab, California 

Successful applicants would begin in summer 2023 and enroll in graduate school during the fall semester of 2023. Review of applications will begin in early to mid-January.

To apply, send the following (as a single PDF document) to Dr. Jeff Kane (

  1. A letter of interest (clearly stating your background, research and career interests).
  2. CV (including GPA, prior relevant work experience).
  3. Unofficial transcripts
  4. A writing sample that demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely
  5. The names and contact information for three academic and/or professional references
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Notes: Applicants need not apply to the Cal Poly Humboldt Graduate Studies Program for
consideration. The selected candidate will be asked to apply to the program once the application review process is completed.

Last Date to Apply: January 15, 2023

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