Master's Opportunity: nearshore fisheries, climate change, and oceanography; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Job Title: 
Master's Opportunity: nearshore fisheries, climate change, and oceanography
Job Location: 
San Luis Obispo, CA
Application Deadline: 
Friday, February 1, 2019

Master's Opportunity at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA: nearshore fisheries, climate change, and oceanography

The Ruttenberg Lab and Wendt Lab at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo have funding for a master's student for a project examining the link between climate change and nearshore groundfish fisheries along the central coast of California (and throughout the state), to begin Fall 2019. More information about the Cal Poly Biology Graduate Program is available here:


The project will continue two on-going fisheries monitoring programs that provide data to fishery managers. However, these datasets (initiated in 2003 and 2007) now span several major oceanographic events (e.g. El Niño/ENSO and ‘The warm-water blob’), providing an opportunity to examine the impact of changing oceans on key nearshore fishery species. Major tasks for the student would be: 1) conduct analyses of existing fishery monitoring data, 2) assess relationships between these data and relevant oceanographic metrics, and 3) assist with field and lab work for the ongoing monitoring projects.


There will be ample opportunities to explore additional questions of the student’s interest related to these issues.  Funding for the project includes in-state tuition, costs related to field work and travel, and moderate salary support; opportunities will also be available to obtain additional salary/stipend support as a teaching assistant/lab instructor in the Biological Sciences Department at Cal Poly.


This is a specific project, so the ideal student would have many of the following qualifications:

  1. Experience and/or understanding of nearshore recreational fisheries in California

  2. Experience managing and analyzing complex datasets using coding-based statistical software packages (experience with R strongly preferred)

  3. Experience with marine fieldwork conducted from vessels; experience aboard recreational or commercial fishing vessels and/or experience with fishery research projects preferred.

  4. Experience managing teams of students/assistants.

  5. Ability to collaborate with commercial/recreational fishers, scientists, and resource managers.

  6. Minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and 150 on each GRE section (higher strongly preferred).

  7. CA residency advantageous but not required; tuition funds only cover in-state tuition, but out-of-state tuition waivers are available for strong candidates.


Interested candidates should email Dr. Benjamin Ruttenberg (bruttenb (at) calpoly (dot) edu) and cc Dr. Dean Wendt (dwendt (at) calpoly (dot) edu) with:

a *brief* description of qualifications, interest in the Cal Poly MS program and the project, followed by a short CV (2 pages max), all as a single PDF file (with the title ‘LastName_Firstname.pdf’). Please include GPA, GRE scores, experience with data analysis/statistical software, fieldwork/logistics, fisheries, and other relevant skills. Please include names and contact info for at least 3 references following the CV.


Application deadline for Cal Poly is Feb 1.

Please note that all jobs are automatically removed once the application deadline passes. Jobs without a deadline are automatically removed after 30 days.