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Undergrad Research Opportunities 02/28/2017

1) REU Opportunity Summer 2017: “Research Experience for Undergraduates in Chihuahuan Desert Biodiversity”

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Department of Biological Sciences invites applicants for the NSF sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Chihuahuan Desert Biodiversity.  This is a10 week summer program.  The goal of this program is to provide undergraduate students with experience in hypothesis-driven collaborative research utilizing field based and/or laboratory methods and fully engage students in projects associated with the ecology and evolution influencing Chihuahuan Desert biodiversity.

The program provides: • High quality research experience in ecology and evolutionary biology in the field and/or lab • Research opportunities at the Indio Mountains Research Station (IMRS), a 40,000 acre facility controlled by UTEP • One-on-one and group mentoring from active research faculty in multidisciplinary fields • Training in bioethics and other relevant professional skills • $5250 stipend for 10 weeks • Housing in shared apartments and field station • Travel reimbursement of up to $600

Deadline March 6. For more information on the program, research projects or to apply please visit:

2) Research technician, Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER

The Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long-Term Ecological Research program seeks a Research Technician II to support field and laboratory research on the GA coast. Tasks include measuring plant and invertebrate populations, measuring water quality, monitoring sediment dynamics, downloading and maintaining climate and hydrological instruments, and data entry. Applicants should have a BS in an environmental field, some field experience, and some boating skills. For more information about the GCE LTER program go to

3) Ecology Field Research Interns

B4WARMED (Boreal Forest Warming at an Ecotone in Danger) is a manipulative experiment that warms plants and soil in the field to examine tree seedling response to warming with respect to physiology, phenology, growth, and survival.  For more information:

Position overview: We seek one independent and mature field assistant with a background in biology, ecology, environmental science, forestry, or a related field for a paid field research internship ($10/hr).  The positions start in late March and go until early November start dates are flexible. In general, an internship lasts about 4 months. Typical workdays are eight hours Monday through Friday, however tasks may require early morning, evening, or weekend work. A valid driver’s license is required. The intern will work and travel mostly independently and occasionally in a pair or small group. Maturity to work autonomously and for long hours is required.

Responsibilities: •            Work independently to collect biotic and abiotic data in field and lab settings in accordance with established protocols •          Measure seedling growth, germination, physiology, and phenology •            Measure soil characteristics and microbe activity •             Routine maintenance of field sites and research equipment. •     Data entry using Excel and Google Drive •   Travel frequently between sites •             Employ experimental drought treatment •       Aiding principle investigators and graduate students as needed.

Desired qualifications: 1) Eagerness to work hard in an outdoor setting. 2) Capacity to collect data following established protocols. 3) Familiarity with plant and tree species of northern Minnesota. 4) Willingness to work well and live with alone and with others in a remote area. 5) Demonstrated ability to work under changing weather conditions and with large swarms of insects. 6) Ability to adapt to a frequently changing schedule with frequent travel.

Field work will be split between research sites at the Cloquet Forestry Center in Cloquet, MN ( and the Hubachek Wilderness Research Center near Ely, MN.  Both research sites are in beautiful forested settings and provide access to the natural areas of northern Minnesota including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. An individual’s home base will be at either of these locations, though travel between sites will be required depending on project needs. University vehicles are used for such travel. On-site housing with furnishing and a kitchen will be available for $150/month.

Highest priority will be given to applications arriving by April 1.

Please send cover letter (including available working dates), one-page resume, and contact information for two references electronically to:

Artur Stefanski  University of Minnesota 1530 Cleveland Ave N. St Paul, MN 55108 USA

4) Research Technician Position

We seek an energetic, motivated research technician to participate in experiments on the ecology, physiology, and genomics of switchgrass. This is an exciting opportunity to participate in integrative research studying the genetic basis of ecological processes in an important native grass species. The position will be administered through the University of Texas at Austin ( and stationed with Philip Fay’s group at the USDA Grassland, Soil, and Water Lab in Temple, TX (

Please direct any questions about the position to Robert Heckman (

5) Two Research Assistant positions in entomology, Hong Kong

Two Research Assistant positions in entomology are available within the School of Biological Sciences and The Swire Institute of Marine Science at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). The position offers a two-year contract with competitive salary and benefits with an immediate starting date (or as soon as possible). The candidate must have a B.Sc. in entomology, ecology, biology, or related field. Any previous experience and/or specific interests for entomology will be highly valued for the position; in particular experience in sampling and/or specimen curation and identification for one or several of the following insect groups: Lepidoptera (moths), Lampyridae, and Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). Good spoken and writing English skills are necessary.

Project description Mangroves represent one of the most threatened habitat globally with a poorly characterized biodiversity. The project will focus on an extensive biodiversity survey of mangroves in Hong Kong with a focus on both marine and terrestrial organisms. The two positions advertised here focusing on the entomofauna are part of interdisciplinary project surveying the fauna and flora of local mangroves led by Dr. Stefano Cannicci, Prof. Gray A. Williams and Dr. Benoit Guénard.

Successful applicants will be responsible for setting up sampling sites, using various collecting methods (Malaise traps, baiting, beating, artificial nest traps…), sorting and curating the specimens collected, performing identification and data entry within the project’s database. Candidates should thus posses excellent organization skills and be able to work for long hours in the hot and humid environments experienced in subtropical habitats; as well as showing diligence to complete intense entomological surveys (hundreds of thousands of specimens are expected); with a particular focus on three taxonomic groups: Lepidoptera (moths), Lampyridae, and Hymenoptera (ants, bees and non- parasitoid wasps). The entomological material collected will constitute the basis for the development of a reference collection and database in Hong Kong.

Interested candidates should initially email a letter of interest with a resume with relevant experience and contact information for two reference contacts to Dr. Benoit Guénard ( Application should be received before March 15th 2017.

Information about the research conducted in the Insect Biodiversity and Biogeography lab, Hard Rock Ecology Lab and Mangrove Ecology and Evolution lab are available at the following addresses:

6) Summer Research Technician – Role of Birds in Lyme Disease, May 15 to August 29, 2017

Description: A paid opportunity is available to participate in research related to the role of birds and rodents in the ecology of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases The intern will gain knowledge and field experience while working on a long-term project studying the dynamics of infection in birds and mice on Block Island, RI. Responsibilities and learning opportunities include: bird mist netting, conducting bird point count surveys, small mammal trapping, collecting ticks from animals and the environment.

Requirements: Ability to identify common northeastern birds by sight and sound and previous experience doing bird point count surveys are required. Candidates must have completed, or be in the process of completing, a Bachelor’s degree in a biological science; must possess a valid driver’s license; and be able to hike outdoors while carrying equipment.

Logistics: The position will be based on Block Island, RI. Housing and transportation will be provided. Project PI: Maria Diuk-Wasser. If interested please send a resume, cover letter, and the names and emails of two references to

7) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Position In Stream Ecology and Biogeochemistry

Carbon dynamics of overlapping consumer hotspots in stream ecosystems.  A research experience for undergraduates is available at the University of Oklahoma for the summer of 2017 with Drs. Caryn Vaughn and Thomas Parr to study stream consumer contributions to carbon biogeochemistry. This REU is part of our NSF funded project “Shifting hotspots – How do consumer aggregations interact to influence resource heterogeneity and fluxes in streams?”

The successful candidate will join a team of researchers looking at the effects of overlapping fish and mussel consumer aggregations on nutrient recycling rates, flux, and stoichiometry, and their implications for ecosystem functions like primary production. The student will work as part of this team in a greenhouse facility on the OU campus in Norman, OK and in the field in Southeastern Oklahoma. The student will also develop an independent project leveraging existing field sites and resources to complement this ongoing research.

The ideal candidate should be broadly interested in pursuing a career in Ecology or a related field, eager to learn new skills, hard-working, and detail oriented. The student will start on June 1st, 2017 at OU in Norman, OK (earlier start dates are negotiable). We will provide a stipend of $500/wk for 12 weeks ($6,000/summer) and funding to attend and present the work at one conference.

Eligibility: Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Students who have received their bachelor’s degree or who are not currently enrolled as students at an institution are not eligible.

Students interested in this position should apply by March 31st 2017, but we will accept applications until a suitable candidate is identified. To apply, please send the following: 1. Resume or CV 2. A 1-2 page statement describing your interest in the position, career goals, and previous research experience. 3. Contact information for 2-3 references. 4. Unofficial copy of transcripts (including courses in progress).

Please send applications to: Thomas Parr ( Contact: Dr. Thomas Parr or Dr. Caryn Vaughn ( with any questions.

8) Seasonal Field Technician Positions Studying Vegetation and Pollinator Networks in Longleaf Pine Savanna

We seek to fill multiple field technician positions for a large-scale experiment testing how the restoration of longleaf pine ecosystem in the Southeastern United States impacts pollinator networks and the vegetation community. Primary job duties will include field, laboratory, and office tasks required for vegetation and pollinator sampling. The research for this field season has 2 major goals: 1) conducting a survey of diverse ground cover plant species across many experimental plots in the field and 2) collecting, processing, and identifying insect pollinators from blooming plants in order to construct plant- pollinator networks.

The ideal start date for this position would be in early June 2017, and it will last for approximately 6 months. Pay rate will be $10-12 per hour, commensurate with experience.  The technician will work at the Savannah River Site, live in a town near the site (Aiken or New Ellenton, SC, or Augusta, GA), and will join a team of Lars Brudvig, Rufus Isaacs, Jason Gibbs, and the lead technician (Sabrie Breland) based at The Savanna River Site. Housing is not provided, but low-cost options are available. Successful candidates will have, or be working towards, a bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, or a related discipline. Previous field research experience is required, previous entomological or botanical field experience is highly desired. The successful applicant must be able to endure hot, humid conditions and long hours in the field.

To apply, please email a resume and a letter including descriptions of past experience that highlight entomology/botany/ecology experience, why this position is interesting or important to you, dates of availability, and contact information with email addresses for three references to Sabrie Breland ( with subject line “Seasonal technician application”. Review of application materials will begin immediately; applications received after March 31 will not be considered.

9) Research Experience for Undergraduates in Stream Ecology – Michigan Tech, Summer 2017

The Marcarelli Aquatic Ecosystem Ecology Lab is searching for a motivated student in Ecology, Biology, or Environmental Science for a NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) position. The student will work closely with Dr. Marcarelli and her graduate students to study the balance between nitrogen fixation and denitrification in streams and rivers.  The REU student will design a research project, conduct field work, analyze samples and data, and synthesize findings related to the core questions of this project:

  1. How do nitrogen cycle processes co-exist in small streams, large rivers, and adjacent wetlands? 2. How does nutrient enrichment shift the balance among nitrogen cycle processes? 3. How does community composition of algae and microbes relate to rates of nitrogen cycle processes?

There will be opportunities to conduct field work in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, participate in undergraduate research workshops, and present research results to the Michigan Tech community and possibly at a national conference.

The candidate must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and enrolled as an undergraduate student in Fall 2017.  The REU is expected to last 10 weeks (start/end date negotiable but should occur between June 1 and August 31 2017) with a total stipend of $5,000 and an additional $1,000 to offset the cost of summer lodging, which is available on campus at Michigan Tech.

To apply, please submit a cover letter (include a statement of interest, future plans, confirmation of eligibility, and preferred start/end dates), an up-to-date CV or resume, a recent transcript (unofficial is fine), and names and contact information for two references to Dr. Amy Marcarelli ( Application review will begin immediately and continue until position is filled.

Visit our lab webpage for a more in-depth view of our research and to meet the members of our team.

10) Jobs: Summer Lab/Field Technician Positions (Ohio)

The Gardiner Lab in the Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University is looking to hire several lab/field technicians for the coming field season. We are a landscape ecology lab based in Wooster, OH but we primarily conduct our research in the urban ecosystem of Cleveland, OH. Our NSF-funded research focuses on designing sustainable urban green spaces that are both cost-effective and better for the environment.

As one of our undergraduate researchers, you will gain both field and lab experience.

In the field, you might help establish experimental plots, set up insect traps, collect plant or insect samples, or maintain plots. Back at the laboratory, you might prepare equipment for different field work experiments, sort through samples and look for spiders or beetles, pin insect specimens, or help rear native bee larvae. We work hard, rain or shine, to collect our samples and are looking for undergraduates who can work effectively in outdoor settings, maintain positive attitudes, and who are detail orientated. A valid driver’s license is required.

At the end of your summer at the Gardiner Lab you can expect to gain: -An increased knowledge of Ohio’s diverse insect and plant communities -Skills in collecting unique arthropods including spiders, long legged flies, and bees -A resume-building research experience and potential letters of recommendation for future jobs

Pay: $9.50/Hour (up to 38 hours/week) Location: Wooster, OH @ OARDC Timing: mid-May to mid-August, 2017 Email Chris Riley at for more information or to submit your completed application! Applications Due March 20th! For best consideration please submit prior to this deadline but we will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis after the due date.

11) Seasonal Technicians- Wetlands, Riparian Systems, Mapping, and Botany (3 – 4 positions), Utah

Title: Seasonal Technicians- Wetlands, Riparian Systems, Mapping, and Botany (3 – 4 positions) Work Location: Utah Geological Survey, Salt Lake City, UT Pay Rate: $12 – $14/hr; one technician with strong botany skills may be paid a higher rate Closing Date: March 12, 2017 Employment Period: End of May through end of September, with one or more technicians continuing past end date

Position Description:  The Utah Geological Survey is hiring seasonal technicians for a variety of aquatic projects, including: 1.     Conducting wetland field assessments to evaluate wetland health and refine an assessment protocol. Major tasks include taking water quality samples with a hand-held meter, describing soil profiles, and evaluating qualitative measures to describe wetland condition. An incumbent with suitable skills may also assist with collecting plant community data. Work will be with a two-person crew. 2.  Collecting basic data on springs and stream segments. Major tasks include using aerial imagery to identify target survey locations, navigating to both backcountry and front country locations, and collecting basic information on aquatic condition at springs and streams. Work will typically be carried out solo, but the incumbent will have access to an emergency beacon. 3.               Collecting stream geomorphology data. Major tasks include assessing cross-sections of a stream to identify bank stability, channel features, and riparian buffer. Work will be with a two-person crew. 4. Assisting with wetland mapping. Major tasks include conducting field reconnaissance to evaluate wetland boundaries and then mapping wetlands using field notes and aerial imagery in ArcGIS. 5.      Assisting with other duties as needed, such as data entry/data checking, map making using ArcMap, and drafting figures for scientific publication.

Likely all technicians will have the opportunity to participate in all of the above tasks, though technicians will be assigned a primary task based on their qualifications. Most of the field work will take place as day trips from our office in Salt Lake City, but some overnight travel may be necessary for some projects. Work days will typically consist of four 10+ hour days per week, but other schedules may sometimes be required. This position is a great opportunity to visit seldom-seen parts of Utah and to develop expertise in a variety of wetlands and aquatic systems across the state.

Required Qualifications: 1.           Completion of at least three years of education towards a bachelor’s degree in geology, ecology, biology, wetland science, botany, wildlife biology, or other related field. 2.     Ability to work independently with guidance and ability to collect data accurately and with attention to detail. 3.             Willingness and ability to work long hours and unusual schedules (including overnights), travel extensively, drive a State of Utah vehicle, hike moderate distances through occasionally rough terrain, and tolerate exposure to extreme heat, rain, biting insects, and other field nuisances.

Preference will be given to individuals with coursework or professional experience in at least one of the following areas (please mention in cover letter): 1.      ArcGIS (especially map making and digitizing from aerial imagery). 2.      National Wetland Inventory data and the Cowardin classification system. 4. Stream geomorphology concepts. 5.        Plant identification, especially wetland plants. 6.            Background in wetlands, streams, riparian areas, and/or aquatic systems. 7.         At least one season of field experience or demonstrated ability to conduct work outdoors. 8.            Collection practices for water quality data. 9.      Describing soil profiles and identifying hydric soil indicators. 10.               Photoshop/Illustrator      To apply, submit resume, cover letter, three references (with phone numbers), and available start date to Ryhan Sempler at the Utah Geological Survey, Applications will be accepted through March 12.

12) Job: Field technician surveying Eastern Massasaugas in Ohio

A full-time seasonal position is available to assist with surveys and habitat assessments for the Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) as part of an Ohio Division of Wildlife sponsored conservation program with The Ohio State University. Work will entail establishing artificial cover transects; searching for and capturing snakes; collecting demographic and morphometric data; collecting scale and blood samples; inserting passive integrated transponders (PIT); and recording locations using a GPS unit. Habitat assessments will include recording data on vegetation composition/structure and refugia. Work will take place mainly in Northeast Ohio and shared housing will be provided in rural Ashtabula County.

Duration: May 8 – August 11, 2017 Pay: $10.12-$11.50/hr

Attributes of a successful applicant include:

Willing and able to work long hours in inclement weather (heat, rain, etc.) with exposure to mosquitoes, biting flies, ticks, and noxious plants. Committed to maintaining a safe work environment. Dedication to accurate and thorough data collection. Ability to lift 50 lbs. and navigate rough terrain. Possess a valid driver’s license, insurance, and their own reliable transportation.

To apply, go to the OSU job board at: (Job ID 425750) Please submit the following: Cover letter indicating you meet the job requirements and your available start and end dates, if different than those posted. Resume that includes details of any previous experiences (paid or unpaid) relevant to the current position; Names, phone numbers, and email addresses of two references.

13) Field technician positions in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University is hiring two technicians to assist with vegetation plot sampling in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Supervisor: Mike Jenkins Approximate hours a week:  40 Duration of Position: Mid-May to August 2017 Compensation: $10.35/hour

Job Description: Field technicians will assist with vegetation data collection on vegetation monitoring plots in Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a graduate student whose research examines forest community response to the hemlock woolly adelgid. This job will require spending the summer in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Fieldwork will include woody vegetation identification and sampling in plots throughout the park, as well as collecting environmental data. The position will require hiking through rough terrain and frequent backcountry camping. Housing will be provided.

Qualifications: Woody plant identification skills required Experience with backcountry navigation using GPS, topographic maps and compass desired Previous field work experience preferred Backpacking experience desired Must possess a valid driver’s license Must be able to work outdoors in remote conditions, in rough terrain and under inclement weather conditions Must be in good physical fitness

Deadline to Apply: 3/15/2017 or until positions are filled

To apply: Send cover letter, résumé (including contact information for two references), unofficial transcript, and dates of availability to Meghan Mulroy ( or Mike Jenkins (

14) REU in plant invasions

The Wright lab at Duke University will be hiring an REU student to work on our project investigating the effects of the invasive grass, Microstegium vimineum, on native ecosystems.  The student will develop an independent project that is nested within a larger collaborative project between Duke, Indiana and the University of Florida.  Possible topics include investigating the effects of the invasive species on native plant biodiversity or arthropod communities across a range of invasion intensity.

The program will start on May 22nd and last 10 weeks and we will provide a stipend. If you are interested, please send your CV, a letter describing your interest in the project, and the names and contact information of 2 references to Justin Wright (

15) Native Bee Ecology Lab Hiring Seasonal Field Technician for Spring/Summer 2017

Position: Seasonal Field Technician in Ecology Project: Effects of floral resource dynamics on bumblebee colonies and populations Location: University of California Davis Employer: University of California Davis Dates: Mar 27 to Aug 4 Pay: $15.46 per hour (Lab Assistant 1)

Application Deadline: March 10th, 2017 (we encourage early submissions)

We are seeking: a highly motivated, detail-oriented individual to work as a full- time field technician from Mar 27 to August 4 at the University of California at Davis on an NSF-funded project exploring the effects of resource dynamics on bumble bee colony and population dynamics. This project is collaboratively run by Neal Williams (UC Davis) and Elizabeth Crone (Tufts University). The technician will be based in the Williams lab at UC Davis and will work closely with 3 other team members, including two postdoctoral researchers.

Project Background: In the past decade, there has been a groundswell of interest in the effects of landscape change on pollinator populations and communities, especially those of bees. This interest is fueled by concerns over pollinator declines and implications for plant pollination globally. Bumblebees are a particularly important group of social insect pollinators that are also of conservation concern. We are exploring how resource dynamics affect colony- level demography and foraging dynamics of Bombus vosnesenskii. To do this, we are carrying out a field experiment in which colonies are exposed to different resource conditions – some will be given supplemental food resources, while others will have access only to ambient resources in the local environment. We are tracking the weights of all experimental colonies across the season, and will also be collecting pollen samples from individual bees as they return to the nest. Up to 48 colonies will be placed across 12 field sites that are located up to 1.5 driving hours from the UC Davis campus. Most sites require no more than an hour of driving to access. A University vehicle will be available for the technician to use for fieldwork.

Qualifications: The field technician will participate in all aspects of data collection for this field experiment. Employee must be willing to drive multiple hours in a day to access field sites and to move between field sites. Responsibilities will include weighing live colonies and handling live bees. Previous experience conducting field research (through employment and/or education) is required. Individual must be capable of working outdoors in the summer heat and comfortable working with live bee colonies. Applicants must be willing to work independently and as a part of a team. Excellent organizational skills are a must. Candidate must possess a valid driver’s license and a good driving record. See official job posting for further details.

TO APPLY: Your official application, to include a cover letter and 1-2 page resume, should be submitted through UC Davis (Requisition # 03018517). Cover letter should convey specific relevant research experience and describe interest in the current project.  If you have questions about the position, please contact Rosemary Malfi (postdoc) by email: