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Graduate Research Assistant - Geography (Fall 2024)

Apply now Job no: 496915
Work type: Graduate Research Assistant
Location: Jacksonville (Main Campus)
Categories: Student Employment


Trail Science Institute

Position Summary:

A Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) under the supervision of the faculty and/or staff, may include assisting faculty and/or staff, as well as other academic support duties, and departmental operational needs, and other associated and clerical duties as assigned.

Positions will be filled based on individual applicant’s skills, qualification, and departmental needs.

If you choose to apply for employment as a graduate student at JSU, your transcripts and letters of recommendation will be reviewed by personnel from the units who have posted a graduate administrative assistantship position.


Graduate Research Assistants are expected to work 20 hours per week during a fall or spring semester, or a full summer term (May, June, and July).

$12.50 per hour with a max of 20 hours per week for a total of 16 weeks.

Student pay is disbursed biweekly and is based on the number of hours worked, students must clock in and clock out for each shift. Biweekly payroll over the course of the term.

In addition to an hourly rate, Graduate Research Assistantships carry a scholarship each semester up to the max award of $4,386.00. The scholarship award covers the general university fee and tuition. Students are responsible for additional fees such as international, program, and course fees. Students enrolled in specialty priced programs may owe a remaining balance after scholarship award.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • The duties for the GRA are to conduct a trail inventory and trail condition survey for the Alabama Trails Foundation (ATF). The individuals will be responsible for collecting GPS data for trail routing including notable inconsistencies, structural and/or environmental issues (i.e. trail erosion, litter, signage, and other trail features) on 13 sections of the Pinhoti Trail.
  • Individuals will work with a team, compiling notes and locations and reporting finding back to faculty and ATF personnel on a timely basis. The GA will assist with field data collection and GIS analysis.
  • Duties include traveling to a field site and working in various weather conditions. Training will be provided.
  • Specific task required include the ability to Work with Trimble GPS devices to collect data, process data with ArcGIS and transfer data to Alabama Trails Foundation, suggest methods to improve data collection, and return to problem sites and assess changes over time.
  • Essential competencies include experience ArcPRO or ArcGIS and the ability to work outdoors for extended time periods in various weather conditions.
  • Applicants should be able to multi-task, work independently, follow instruction, effectively communicate instructions to others, and manage multiple volunteer groups.

Graduate Assistantship Qualifications:

  • Must be classified as a degree-seeking graduate student at JSU.
  • Must be actively enrolled in a graduate degree program at JSU during the assistantship semester.
  • If a new student, must be admitted to a degree program.
  • Must be actively enrolled in required coursework towards the degree. The Graduate Assistantship will not pay for courses that are not in the degree program plan of study/checklist.

Note: If a student is classified as a graduate student and is required to take undergraduate courses for the graduate degree (foundation courses, undergraduate deficiency courses, etc.), the Graduate Assistantship will only pay for these courses if they are documented as required courses via memo from the student’s advisor to the Director of Graduate Studies.

  • Must hold the minimum required GPA for the student’s enrolled degree program.
  • During the assistantship semester, must be enrolled at JSU in six to nine (6-9) graduate semester hours in a fall or spring semester or six to nine (6-9) graduate semester hours in a full summer term. (Full summer term = May, June, and July). An exception to this requirement may be made by the Director of Graduate Studies, under the following circumstances:
    • If a student is classified as a graduate student and is required to take undergraduate courses for a graduate degree (foundation courses, undergraduate deficiency courses, etc.). The Graduate Assistantship will only pay for these courses if they are documented as required courses via memo from the student’s advisor to the Director of Graduate Studies.
    • If a student has made satisfactory progress toward obtaining the graduate degree and needs fewer than six (6) graduate semester hours available to complete the degree, the student may be considered for an assistantship.
    • If a student will hold a Graduate Teaching Assistantship during a summer term, the student may be allowed to enroll in fewer than six (6) graduate hours to be considered for the assistantship, as long as the courses are required for the degree.
  • Must not be holding another campus job.
  • A graduate assistant is prohibited from accepting, receiving, or being credited for other forms of tuition scholarships or waivers from the University. Scholarships from sources outside of the University and the JSU employee benefit of tuition assistance will both be permitted.
  • If the student has previously held a Graduate Assistantship position at JSU, the student must have fulfilled all duties and complied with all policies to be considered for another Graduate Assistantship.
  • It is preferred that a Graduate Teaching Assistant not teach and take a class during the same summer term. Any student wanting to teach and take a class in the same summer term must be granted permission by his/her advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies prior to enrolling in the course. Requests should be sent via e-mail.
  • It should be noted that the graduate assistantship tuition scholarship may affect the amount of federal financial aid for which students are eligible. The graduate assistant will be responsible for determining if there is any impact on eligibility of other financial aid programs.
  • Must complete FERPA training, Sexual Harassment training, and other training as required through JSU.
  • International graduate assistantships must be certified by the Director of the International House and Programs to perform duties and receive compensation.

Notice Regarding International Students:

  • All International Students must be in a valid immigration status. 
  • Please visit the International Programs website for additional information:
  • Due to Visa requirements international students must be enrolled as a full-time JSU student and possess each of the following:

a.  Passport from their respective country.

b.  F-1 Student Visa or J-1 Exchange Student Visa.

c.  U.S. Customs Form I-94.

d.  Official photo identification.

e.  Official Social Security Card imprinted with “Valid for Work Only” or similar statement.

Required Documents:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Unofficial Transcript

Clery Notice: In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, the Jacksonville State University Police provide information on crimes statistics, crime prevention, law enforcement, crime reporting, and other related issues for the past three calendar years. The JSU Annual Campus Security and Fire Report is available online at:

Equal Employment Opportunity: JSU is an Equal Employment, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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