Project description: The study takes place in northern New Brunswick, as part of the ThiRST (THInning to Reduce Stress in Trees) experiment. This experiment tests different levels of rain exclusion and pre-commercial thinning on a young white spruce stand to better understand how silviculture can reduce drought stress in trees. The MSc student will use a remote-sensing approach to assess water stress in trees using a multispectral camera mounted on a drone. Drought indices derived from the camera will be compared with ground assessment of soil moisture and tree measurements of water potential taken the same day. By using off-the-shelf commercial UAV and sensors, this project will develop new, practical protocols to assess drought stress in forest stands in collaboration with the private industrial sector, thus helping develop new techniques to monitor forests under future warmer, drier climates.

Candidate profile: Completion of a bachelor’s degree in forestry, environment, biological sciences or other relevant field. Strong motivation and very good autonomy are desired. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin or disability. 

Financial support: Guaranteed minimum annual income of $24,000 (CDN) for two years.

Beginning of the MSc: January or May 2024. 

Contact: Send a cover letter, a transcript and a complete CV by email to Loïc D’Orangeville, Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick, at The position is open until filled, but applicants should submit materials prior to January 1, 2024, for full consideration.

This project will be carried out in collaboration with Dr. Nelson Thiffault (Natural Resources Canada) and Dr. Christopher Wong (UC Davis).