Biological and Agricultural Engineering/Science MS/PhD students wanted, University of Arkansas

I am recruiting a PhD and/or MS student to join the Landscape Flux Group within the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Arkansas in lovely Fayetteville, Arkansas. The research projects will be based in rice agricultural systems in Arkansas, where we are working with farmers to modify irrigation practices to reduce methane production while saving water. The projects use flux budgeting methods to understand the landscape’s ecological and hydrological functioning. This research will connect between site dynamics and climate drivers with the goal of creating simplified process representations used at the scale of the global climate model. Resources are available for travel, equipment and international collaboration. The projects are in collaboration with research scientists from the USDA-ARS office in Jonesboro, AR.

These positions can start in summer or fall of 2022, or later by discussion. Students should have a background in one or more of the following disciplines: environmental or biological engineering, wetland ecology, biogeochemistry, biometeorology, watershed or surface-water hydrology, agricultural sciences or engineering. Some ability to code in python, R, Matlab or a related language is beneficial, as is experience in gas flux measurements using leaf-chamber, soil chamber, or eddy covariance methods. These positions will require (eventually) a valid US driver’s license.

My research group develops budgets of water, energy, and carbon in different agricultural systems. This research uses micrometeorological techniques to evaluate land-atmosphere fluxes of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and heat. For example, the eddy covariance technique is used to determine the turbulent flux within atmospheric boundary layers. These methods quantify major environmental fluxes that serve as inputs for process-based predictive modeling and landscape management, including for sustainable agricultural production and climate-smart agriculture outcomes. More information on my group is available on my website (

Additional information about graduate admission requirements, possible supplemental fellowships, and material about the department may be found here: A non-engineering pathway for a Ph.D. is possible through the U of A’s Environmental Dynamics program ( Information about the university and its land grant mission may be found here: Furthermore, the university offers competitive Doctoral Academy and Distinguished Doctoral Fellowships, which are significant awards over and above the departmental stipend. Details on these opportunities are available here:

The University of Arkansas is in the middle of a significant period of growth in both its student numbers and in raising its profile in research and innovation. There are significant opportunities here for collaborations on-campus in water, soil, nanotech, and other laboratories. Fayetteville, Arkansas is a beautiful and culturally vibrant college town amidst the Ozark Mountain Range, and it is regularly highly ranked on surveys of the Best Places to Live. There are plentiful outdoor recreational activities, good restaurants, and proximity to the world-class art collection of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Please email me, Dr. Benjamin Runkle ([log in to unmask]), with a CV, GRE scores if available, TOEFL or equivalent if relevant, unofficial transcript, the names of two references, a sample of your scientific writing, and a description of your research interests. I am committed to EO/AA principles and a diverse workplace.

Benjamin R. K. Runkle, P.E.

Associate Professor, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701

ENGR 231

Phone: 479-575-2878

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Pronouns: he/him/his

Julie Cotton, M.S.
Academic Specialist, 
Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems
Dept. Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences

currently working from home:
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517-488-7841 m

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