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Ph.D. Graduate Student Funding Opportunity at the University of Oklahoma

Anthropological Research on Coupled Human and Natural Systems at the University of Oklahoma.

The University of Oklahoma’s Department of Anthropology seeks a committed and motivated graduate student who can enter the anthropology program at the level of a Ph.D. student (i.e., having completed a Master’s degree, though, exceptional Bachelor’s level students who will commit to the pursuit of a terminal-Ph.D. will be considered) and who is interested in conducting research at the intersection of several of the following: 1) ecological/environmental anthropology, 2) Native American studies, 3) community studies, 4) psychological anthropology, 5) medical anthropology, and 6) the study of grassroots political movements focusing on issues of the environment. This assistantship will include tuition and a graduate assistant salary, as well as funds to assist with fieldwork expenses. The student will be joining a large, interdisciplinary team of researchers composed of social scientists, ecologists, hydrologists, meteorologists, and climate scientists who are committed to long-term, actively-engaged Coupled Human and Natural Systems research exploring the ways in which people adapt to the consequences – physical, ecological, and socio-cultural – of climate change, climate variability, and extreme weather events. This graduate assistantship is funded through the current Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR grant.


The University of Oklahoma has recently invested heavily in the infrastructure to support innovative socio-ecological research that focuses on the impact of climate change, climate variability, and severe weather events. The University of Oklahoma is home to 1) the world-class Oklahoma Mesonet infrastructure ( used to monitor key meteorological and some hydrological features throughout the state, 2) the National Weather Center (, and 3) the South Central Climate Science Center ( Together with the recently awarded-$20 million, NSF-funded Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) grant (, the University of Oklahoma continues to invest in socio-ecological research infrastructure to study the impact of climate change/variability in the region.


Oklahoma offers a uniquely exciting and challenging research setting for the study of Coupled Human and Natural Systems. From a climatological and hydrological perspective, Oklahoma has suffered a long history of severe droughts – from the Dust Bowl to the recent droughts of 2010-2012 – and is projected to be a region that will be heavily impacted by climate change. From a meteorological perspective, Oklahoma annually faces some of the most extreme weather events in the world, which not only impact life and property, but create unique psycho-cultural understandings of the natural world among residents of the state. From an ecological perspective, Oklahoma rests at a key transition point between central grasslands and eastern deciduous forests, with one of the most extreme east-west precipitation gradients in the country, all of which result in rich comparative research opportunities at these transitional ecotones. Finally, from a cultural perspective, Oklahoma has a unique cultural landscape, being home to 38 federally recognized Native American tribes, historic African American communities and towns, and a growing Latino population, all spanning a wide-range of urban and rural population centers.


While the University of Oklahoma’s deadline for applying for the graduate program in the Department of Anthropology is February 15, 2014, those who are interested in contributing to this research in pursuit of their Ph.D. in anthropology should email 1) a statement of purpose describing their interests and background, 2) digital copies of all coursework and transcripts, 3) the names and email addresses of 3 references, and 4) a C.V. to Dr. Jack Friedman ( by January 15, 2014. Do not hesitate to contact Dr. Friedman if you have further questions or would like details regarding this opportunity.