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How to Apply

Please submit the following application materials as one .PDF document by copying and pasting this link into your web browser: 

https://myumi.ch/erwkx

The link will direct you to an MBox dropbox where you will submit your application materials. If you click on the orange ‘Apply Now’ button, your application materials will not be received.

  1. a cover letter addressing interest and qualifications for the position
  2. a resume or curriculum vita
  3. copy of the undergraduate and graduate transcript (unofficial is fine)
  4. teaching history (list course and department)
  5. any available teaching evaluations

Name the .PDF file as follows: last name.first name.course number. For example: Doe.John.Environ436.

Verify your own course schedule against the schedule for the course to which you are applying as a GSI. All GSIs are required to attend the lecture and discussion times as posted.

Course Description

Woody Plants is an intensive field- and lecture-based learning experience, in which you will learn to identify 140 trees, shrub and vine species that are important in Michigan environments. You will learn about their taxonomy, distribution, habitat associations, and biogeographic history and how to identify them in their leafless winter condition.

The lab component consists of weekly field trips in the Ann Arbor area, which include riparian and floodplain habitats, glacial lakes, moraines, bogs, fens and mesic forests.

The lectures cover elementary aspects of plant identification, taxonomy and ecology that can be used in any terrestrial ecosystem; broader themes include biogeographic history and the assembly of Michigan plant communities, both before and after major glaciations, ecological specialization, and impacts of global warming, invasive species and other anthropogenic environmental changes.

Responsibilities*

The GSI will be expected to attend lectures, and to help students integrate the conceptual material in the lecture with the field and lab experience. The GSIs will accompany students in the field (rain or shine) and teach them 15-20 plant species per week. The GSIs will have office hours, administer and grade quizzes, and help to administer and grade lab exams. The field trips with students are 5 hours per week (in one afternoon) and a field prep each Friday.

  • Two weekly field trips (5 hrs each) with students
  • One weekly trip for lab preparation
  • Attend lectures
  • Office hours (1 hr)
  • Coordinate and grade field and lab exams
  • Help to maintain the indoor lab

Required Qualifications*

  • Position requires transporting students to multiple field trips for the course, USA driving license required
  • CPR/First Aid Training (required for all lab and field courses) 
  • Competence with MS Word and Excel required
  • Graduate student with major in woody plant ecology, forest ecology, physiology, or landscape architecture
  • The successful candidate will need to have a good understanding of the Michigan flora (tree and shrub identification, natural history, ecology, taxonomy), excellent field identification skills, and an ability to convey enthusiasm for the material.
  • Applicant must be in good standing as a graduate student at the University of Michigan. If the language of instruction at undergraduate institution was not English, a student must be evaluated by the English Language Institute (ELI) for English proficiency and either pass the GSI-OET or have this test waived by the ELI before they can be eligible for a GSI appointment in LS&A.

Desired Qualifications*

Generally, GSIs have previously taken Woody Plants as students (and have done well), though having taken Woody Plants is not an absolute requirement.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about how to apply for the position please email alexacs@umich.edu

Decision Making Process

Faculty review applications for positions in their courses and indicate their unranked preferences. They are also asked to indicate whether they regard any applicants as unqualified and why.

Selection Process

Instructors have access to their position description and selection criteria along with the applications for their course(s). Instructors review their applications and rank the candidates for each position. In addition to ranking the qualified applicants, instructors may identify applicants as unqualified for the position.

GEO Contract Information

The University will not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression (whether actual or perceived), sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, medical conditions including those related to pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, arrest record, or any other factor where the item in question will not interfere with job performance and where the employee is otherwise qualified. The University of Michigan agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Information for the Office for Institutional Equity may be found at oie.umich.edu/ and for the University Ombuds at ombuds.umich.edu/


Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last minute openings for available positions. In the event that an employee does not receive their preferred assignment, they can request a written explanation or an in-person interview with the hiring agents(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.


This position, as posted, is subject to a collective bargaining agreement between the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 3550.


Standard Practice Guide 601.38, Required Disclosure of Felony Charges and/or Felony Convictions applies to all Graduate Student Assistants (GSAs). SPG 601.38 may be accessed online at spg.umich.edu/policy/601.38 , and its relation to your employment can be found in MOU 10 of your employment contract.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.