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Undergrad Research Opportunities 02/20/2017

1) Michigan State University NSF Advanced Computational Research Experience for Students Summer 2017

One to three positions are available for the project: Predicting Biodiversity Hotspots and Coldspots in Space and Time

Mentors: Drs. Phoebe Zarnetske, Kyla Dahlin, Patricia Soranno, Kendra Cheruvelil, Andrew Finley, and Lifeng Luo.

A major challenge for scientists is to generate robust models that describe and predict biodiversity in space and time. With these models, we can identify hotspots (highs) and coldspots (lows) of biodiversity change, which are likely linked with shifts in ecosystem functions and services. Students will have the opportunity to study and forecast the effects of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, using a variety of computational tools and spatial analysis. Key aspects of the project include: analyzing “big data” from the NSF National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), learning remote sensing techniques, conducting statistical spatial analysis in R (including species distribution modeling), learning Python and QGIS, and learning to run models on the MSU High Performance Computing Cluster.

Prior coursework in biology, ecology, or environmental science is a plus but not required. Other ACRES REU opportunities are also available at Michigan State. To learn more about these opportunities, and to apply, visit: For other questions, contact Dr. Phoebe Zarnetske:

2) Vegetation Ecology Internship – San Francisco Bay Area National Parks


ORGANIZATION: National Park Service Inventory & Monitoring Program

LOCATION: Sausalito, CA.

POSTING DATE: February 16, 2017.



The National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program (I&M) collects, organizes, analyzes, and synthesizes natural resource data and information in the San Francisco Bay Area Network of National Parks. This internship will support the I&M Vegetation Ecology program. For more information about the San Francisco Bay Area I&M and the natural resources it monitors, please visit:  and


The San Francisco Bay Area Network is seeking two interns to assist with plant community monitoring and invasive plant early detection protocols. The interns will work primarily in Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore, but will also make visits to Pinnacles National Park, and John Muir National Historic Site.


Plant Community Monitoring Program: utilizing point intercept techniques to read vegetation plots; recording data; navigating using GPS; installing permanent plot markers; photography; entering field data in a Microsoft Access database and performing quality-control checks; assisting with production of plot location manuals, using GIS, Google Earth, and MS Word.

Invasive Plant Early Detection Program: assisting in surveys for invasive plants; collecting data using GPS units and/or tablets; uploading/downloading field data on a web-based and/or GIS database and performing quality-control; Creating survey tracklogs and other map products in GIS and Google Earth. Herbarium Work: Collecting, photographing, processing, scanning and pressing plant specimens for digital and physical herbarium accession.


Gain experience identifying plants of the Bay Area, one of the most botanically rich regions in the California Floristic Province, a global biodiversity hotspot. Learn vegetation sampling techniques that are industry standards in land management and research.  Become proficient in using GPS units to record field data. Gain experience with photography, plant scanning and image management. Enjoy the scenery, wildlife, and cultural resources of spectacular National Parks while engaging park stewards. Professional development and training days are available to pursue interests in other departments within the Park Service and Parks Conservancy. Dormitory housing provided at Fort Cronkhite, Rodeo Beach, Sausalito. Thirty Dollar ($30.00) per day stipend.


Completion of one or more of the following college courses or equivalent experience: Botany, Plant Taxonomy, Plant Ecology, Field Methods in Ecology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Biostatistics. Basic computer literacy, Microsoft Word and Excel. Experience with database operations, ArcGIS, R, Photoshop, a plus. A valid driver’s license and clean driving record.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS AND WORK ENVIRONMENT This is a mixed position with field and office time each week. Must enjoy working in an office setting and outside in various weather conditions and terrains while maintaining a good attitude. Occasionally, field work can include up to 8 miles of hiking/day, most often, 1-2 miles/day. Must be able to lift, carry and position objects weighing up to 40 pounds. Field work is both on and off-trail, and frequently involves bushwhacking through dense vegetation. Interns will frequently encounter poison oak, ticks, spiders, mosquitoes, and other wildlife. While we have a comprehensive safety program, and provide protective equipment, please do not apply if you have any hesitation about the physical requirements and work environment.


Desired Start Date:  April 2, 2017.

Six month term, April through September, 2017.

Work week is Monday – Friday.

To Apply: Email your resume, a cover letter, and three references to Eric Wrubel at Please indicate how you heard about the position.

3) REU position in pollination ecology of fragmented systems

The Harmon-Threatt lab at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is seeking an undergraduate student for a NSF funded REU studying bee diversity and movement in the Missouri glades. The glades have a high amount of natural fragmentation, which make it a unique area to study how the quality of landscape surrounding fragmented bee habitat influences resource availability and bee diversity. This project aims to understand what resources the landscape surrounding the glades provide and how these resources influence bee movement and community structure.

Throughout the 10-week program, the student will assist with lab and field work, while also developing an independent research project. Due to the unique landscape and high level of endemism of the Missouri glades, there are numerous independent questions students can address that will produce publishable results. Most work for this project will take place at UIUC but will include funded trips out to the glades in SE Missouri to conduct field work. The position includes a $5,000 stipend along with additional funding for housing.


  • United states citizens or permanent residents
  • Have a valid drivers license
  • Must be enrolled in an undergraduate program for fall of 2017. Students who have received their bachelor’s degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates are not eligible to participate.
  • A strong interest in bee, pollination, or plant ecology
  • Not have an allergy or serious aversion to bee stings
  • Some experience in entomology or field ecology is preferred but not required

Applications are due by March 10th and should be a single file consisting of:

Cover letter detailing any relevant experience, interest in the position, and future professional goals -CV/resume -Transcript (unofficial is ok) -Contact information for 3 references -Applications and any questions regarding the position should be sent to -For more information about the lab, please visit our website:

4) Research Internship in Carbon Dynamics on subtropical grazing lands

Internship at MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center (MAERC), a division of Archbold Biological Station, in south-central Florida in the Agro-Ecology Program.

Ideal for Students with Undergraduate Degrees Contemplating Graduate School. Includes independent research project. Provides Weekly stipend, Room, and Food stipend.  The successful intern will be supervised by Dr. Nuria Gomez- Casanovas (University of Illinois) and Dr. Elizabeth Boughton (MAERC). The intern will be exposed to research in biogeochemistry, grassland and wetland ecology, and disturbance ecology (grazing, fire, flooding). Primarily, the intern will work on a project investigating how cattle grazing and fire affect the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and grazed pastures.

This project is a collaborative effort between the University of Illinois (Drs. Evan H DeLucia, Carl J Bernacchi and Nuria Gomez-Casanovas), Cornell University (Dr. Jed Sparks) and MAERC (Drs. Elizabeth Boughton and Hilary Swain). The successful intern will be trained to use a variety of instruments to measure: net ecosystem CO2 exchange and soil greenhouse gas fluxes (N2O, CH4, CO2). Other fieldwork will include aboveground and belowground biomass, and soil collection. Long days and work on weekends may be required during intense data collection campaigns.

Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate experience with similar measurements or a strong background (coursework) in biogeochemistry, but all are encouraged to apply. Additionally, candidates with experiences that demonstrate proficiency working outdoors will be considered.

Internships offer an opportunity for providing novel insights into some of the most profound issues challenging our world: securing food in a sustainable way; and for learning how research works. Interns receive room, a meal allowance, and a weekly stipend of $100. They typically work 20 hours per week as research assistants and the remainder on an independent research project. The internship will run for 6 months but starting date is flexible.

The intern must be able to tolerate living on a remote cattle ranch and provide their own transportation for personal activities. MAERC is a division of Archbold Biological Station with eight permanent staff, located 11 miles away from the main field station. MAERC is operated as a commercial cattle ranch which serves as a research platform to investigate ecological and environmental challenges on working landscapes.

To apply for this internship, please provide the following: a cover letter stating research interests, a description of previous research experience, a resume or CV, a summary of grades, and two letters of recommendation before 9 March 2017. Please email applications to: Dr. Nuria Gomez-Casanovas,

5) NSF REU Position available for food web and climate change study

Dates: June through August/September

Student Benefits: Hands-on research experience, development of a diverse set of field survey skills, understanding of how to set up and conduct a research project, and $2000/month stipend and on-site housing.

Location: Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (60 miles east of San Luis Obispo).  Position Description: Undergraduate students will gain research training and experience by participating in a long-term food web study in the Carrizo Plain National Monument. The Carrizo is the largest remnant of the San Joaquin grassland ecosystem and contains many endangered plants and animals. Interns will work on a team of 3-5 people and will conduct a variety of surveys, focusing especially on mark-recapture of endangered kangaroo rats. Visual line transects for reptiles, pitfall trapping for invertebrates, and spotlight surveys for predators and lagomorphs may also be conducted, and team members will help with vegetation sampling. The study also incorporates precipitation treatments to investigate climate change impacts on this ecosystem and its inhabitants.

Students will develop an independent research project that dovetails with the project goals. The student will receive primary mentorship from project PI Dr. Laura Prugh (School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington;

Who should apply:  Students in their sophomore or junior years of college, with strong credentials and majoring in ecology, biology, conservation, or related discipline are encouraged to apply. Participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and currently enrolled as an undergraduate student.

Students who have received their bachelor’s degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates are not eligible to participate. A strong interest in natural history, conservation, and/or management and a high level of responsibility, organization, and motivation are required. PIT tagging experience, small mammal trapping experience, and familiarity with the plants and animals of California are also desirable. Must be flexible and live and work well with others in an isolated setting. Applicants must be able to maintain work quality and a positive attitude during challenging field conditions. Applicants must be in good physical condition and experienced with or able to tolerate hot and cold field conditions. Must be able to work long hours and be comfortable working at night. Prefer applicants with experience and strong interest in grassland or desert species. Work schedule: Approx. 40 hrs per week, variable throughout season. To Apply: Please email a cover letter, resume, unofficial copy of your transcripts, and contact information for 2-3 references as a single Word or PDF attachment to Rachel Endicott at Please apply by March 3th, 2017.

6) Undergrad internship – Pennsylvania Firefly Festival

Paid Internship  June-August 2017 (dates flexible).  Apply to Bruce Parkhurst copy to PAFF board

Research Internship   PAFF seeks undergraduate student for basic field research  on firefly habitats, Forest County PA (Allegheny National Forest area).  Ongoing research: collecting phenological data by day, GPS data at night, where fireflies are active. Additional requirements: participate in educational outreach events, peak firefly season (~2 weeks). Funded by grant from the Huplits Wildlife Fund (Sierra Club).

Qualifications     Basic field research experience. Ideal candidate: energetic with  inquisitive mind. Remote location: must have good health, physical stamina, love of outdoors & no reservations being in the forest at night. Own vehicle, camping experience (& gear) helpful.

Duration     8-10 week internship, June – Aug (PA Firefly season.) Flexibility on dates, but  must be on site continuously 6/12-7/1 for seasonal events/outreach.

Application  Send letter of interest to emails above (or mail PAFF by post).  Describe research interests, experience, & evidence of outstanding academic potential. Provide 3 references, 1 of which is your faculty or research advisor.

Salary Level  $2500 stipend

Small budget available for supplies & research work.

Housing included   Tent camping and/or rustic cabin available on festival  premises: Black Caddis Ranch, Kellettville. B&B overnights or temporary stay with local supporters possible on non-peak dates.

Letters of Interest due March 4. Submit info to both emails shown at top (or snailmail PAFF)

7) Summer Internship Opportunities with DataONE

We are pleased to announce six different project opportunities through the DataONE Summer Internship Program.  Applications are being accepted from now until March 17th 2017. Project opportunities are:

  • Project 1: Markdown-based Semantic Annotation of Workflow Scripts
  • Project 2: DataONE Messaging: Creating Marketing for DataONE Stakeholder Communities
  • Project 3: Prospective and Retrospective Provenance Queries Using YesWorkflow, RDF, and SPARQL
  • Project 4: Exploration of Search Logs, Metadata Quality and Data Discovery
  • Project 5: Improving DataONE’s Search Capabilities Through Controlled Vocabularies
  • Project 6: Development of an Open Source Units of Measure Knowledge Graph

The DataONE Summer Internship Program runs from May through July for a period of 9 weeks and is open to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postgraduates who have received their degree within the past five years. The internship project can be conducted remotely and offers a stipend of $5000.

For full information and to apply, visit  You will also find a link to