Funded PhD student research and teaching opportunity focused on equity, inclusion and access within environmental education and the environmental workforce

Wednesday, September 20, 2023 12:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

We seek an enthusiastic prospective student interested in pursuing a graduate degree in partnership with a multi-campus effort focused on understanding factors that influence environmental education and career aspirations among members of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community.  This assistantship is available through the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment at the University of Connecticut.  Start date is May 2024. 


This research will be part of a larger collaborative project with SUNY Plattsburgh and University of Vermont.  Project team leadership includes Drs. Anita Morzillo (UConn), Laura Cisneros (UConn), Kimberly Coleman (SUNY Plattsburgh), and Leon Walls (UVM), in partnership with the Connecticut and Lake Champlain Sea Grants, UConn Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA;, Upward Bound, and Connecticut Collegiate Awareness and Preparation Program.


Research for this assistantship will involve understanding factors that motivate or discourage members of the BIPOC community to pursue or not pursue environmental degree programs and careers, and pivotal events, experiences, or other factors that have influenced career choices of BIPOC members of the environmental workforce.  Part of the assistantship funding will be provided by the NRCA Conservation Ambassador Program (; the selected student will assist Dr. Cisneros in leading this teen environmental education program, which includes a summer environmental science field experience and community environmental action project with high school students, their undergraduate student mentors, and adult community partners.  Although the dissertation is expected to focus mainly on these topics, there is some flexibility for part of the dissertation to expand into a complementary focus, based on specific student interest.  Opportunity to serve as an instructor-of-record or teaching assistant is a possibility, but not guaranteed.


Preferred qualifications include: 1) a background or prior experience in natural resources, environmental science, and interest in environmental science-based education and student mentoring; 2) interest in focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice; 3) at least some familiarity with social science methodologies (quantitative, qualitative, or both); and 4) ability to work both independently and as part of a research team.  The student will be expected to present research results at professional conferences, publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific outlets, and pursue extramural funding to supplement their assistantship, as appropriate.  Candidates must have completed a Master’s degree; please indicate on your cover letter if it was thesis-based or not.  Although not required for the position, we appreciate knowing if applicants have proficiency in the Spanish language.


Interested students are asked to send the following materials directly to me (Anita Morzillo; as a single .pdf document: 1) a cover letter describing their professional background, relevant research experience and interests, career goals, and reasons for seeking a Doctoral degree, 2) names and contact information for three references, 3) a current curriculum vitae, and 4) copies of transcripts, and 5) GRE scores (if available).


Unofficial copies of transcripts are sufficient for initial contact.  GRE scores are not required for program admission, but helpful for overall application evaluation.  Potential students must have received a GPA equivalent to a 3.0/4.0 in the last 90 term (or 60 semester) hours of their prior degree programs.  Do not submit materials to the NRE department or UConn Graduate School at this time.


Application review will begin 15 October 2023, and continue until a candidate is selected.  Members of the BIPOC community are encouraged to apply.


Further information about the UConn Department of Natural Resources and the Environment may be found at

Founded in 1983, the League of Environmental Educators in Florida is the professional association for individuals and organizations dedicated to the cause of environmental education in Florida. We are the state affiliate for North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), an organization that brings together those interested in the study and enjoyment of our natural world and one that has promoted excellence in environmental education throughout North America and the world for over four decades.  

The League of Environmental Educators in Florida is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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