Undergrad Research Opportunities 03/16/2018
Hiring – undergrad summer researchers at the KBS LTER
The Kellogg Biological Station Long-term Ecological Research (http://bit.ly/kbslter) program investigates the ecology of agricultural landscapes. We have two summer Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) positions open. These positions are based at Michigan State University’s main campus in East Lansing, MI.
- Impact of production system on soybean microbiome with Drs. Greg Bonito and Frances Trail: This REU project is based on Michigan State University’s main campus in East Lansing, MI. There, the student will work on a project aimed at characterizing leaf, stem and root microbiomes of crops in a wheat- maize-soy rotation under three production systems: conventional, organic, and no-till. The overall project goal is to understand the impact of production systems, plant species, and chemical inputs on the assembly and function of the plant and soil microbiome. Deadline for applications: March 15, 2018. For more information on the position and how to apply, read the project description at http://bit.ly/kbslterREUmicrobiome.
- Remote Sensing Irrigation with Multi-Platform Imagery, Cloud Computing, and Machine Learning with Drs. Anthony Kendall and David Hyndman: This REU project is based on Michigan State University’s main campus in East Lansing, MI. There, the student will work on a project consisting of three primary components: 1) working with remote sensing data from different platforms within cloud-based tools such as Google Earth Engine, 2) developing a robust training and validation dataset for machine learning algorithms, and 3) helping to improve those algorithms and incorporate advances from the fields of deep learning and artificial intelligence. Deadline for applications: March 15, 2018. For more information on the position and how to apply, read the project description at http://bit.ly/kbslterREUirrigation.
Job: Summer Research Assistant on Frogs in Pennsylvania
Amphibian ecology research assistants needed
We are looking to hire research assistants to work on a project investigating the effects of climate change, stress and disease on amphibian populations. The positions will involve conducting field surveys and/or assisting with animal husbandry. Applicants must be available to work from May-August 2018, and the positions may be extended. Preference will be given to applicants pursuing or possessing undergraduate degrees in biology or related fields.
Field and mesocosm and animal husbandry assistant in Linesville, PA: We are looking to hire 3 assistants to help with both field surveys of amphibians and maintenance of amphibians colonies in Linesville, PA at the University of Pittsburgh’s field station, the Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology. The animal husbandry will involve maintaining and monitoring a large-scale mesocosm experiment, including taking measurements, checking water levels/quality, and transporting metamorphosing animals, as well as maintaining animals in a field laboratory. The field research will involve amphibian surveys both at night and during the day at multiple sites per month. Previous experience in husbandry and field research is desirable. A valid drivers license is required. Positions are paid hourly and housing in Linesville, PA is provided.
To apply, please send a cover letter, resume or CV, and contact details for two references to Dr. Laura Brannelly email@example.com by March 16th, 2018. Please indicate for which position you are applying.
If interested in the broader research of the group, please visit our website at
summer Research Experience for Undergraduates, Arizona
Research Experience for Undergraduates opportunity Arizona Summer 2018
A summer undergraduate researcher position is available to join a team based in Arizona studying the effects of floods and droughts on food chain length and ecosystem processes in desert streams. The undergraduate researcher will contribute to field work including measuring whole-stream metabolism, maintaining continuous observations of stream nitrate and organic matter collected by sensors, and quantifying food chain length by sampling stream food webs. The student will also learn to identify stream invertebrates and their trophic role in food webs. See harmslab.org & sabo.lab.asu.edu for further information about the research.
Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in ecology and enthusiasm about both field and lab-based work, including multi-day field trips under hot, desert conditions. Coursework in biology, ecology, chemistry and math or statistics is needed to successfully contribute to the research.
Applications from students expressing interest in conducting an independent research project will receive priority, as will those with previous research experience, particularly with techniques relevant to aquatic ecology.
To apply for the position, please send a single pdf document to Dr. Tamara Harms (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 16, 2018 including: 1) letter summarizing research interests and experience, 2) list of relevant coursework, and 3) CV. The student will be paid a stipend for the position, which runs May/June-Aug/Sept.
NSF REU position – plant evolutionary ecology – Rocky Mountain Biological Station
Jill Anderson at the University of Georgia is searching for an enthusiastic undergraduate with a strong interest in evolutionary ecology for field research in an NSF REU position (National Science Foundation, Research Experience for Undergraduates) from June- August 2018. We study the ecological and evolutionary consequences of climate change for natural plant populations. We focus on research on Drummond’s rockcress (Boechera stricta in the plant family Brassicaceae), a mustard plant native to the Rocky Mountains.
Our studies take place around the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab (http://www.rmbl.org/), which is located in Gothic, Colorado near the wildflower capital of Colorado (Crested Butte). We quantify plant fitness and traits to ask whether climate change could disrupt long-standing patterns of local adaptation, and to test whether phenotypic plasticity will enable populations to persist in the short-term. We perform large-scale reciprocal transplant experiments to examine patterns of adaptive evolution and natural selection in contemporary landscapes. Since fall 2013, we have planted >150,000 seeds and seedlings into five experimental gardens ranging in elevation from 2500 m to 3340 m (8202 feet to 11000 feet). Our summer research involves intensive monitoring of these experimental plants to record data on germination success, survival, growth, reproductive success, as well as life history and morphological traits. We conduct most of our work in the field, with a small proportion of indoor lab work.
The successful candidate will assist with ongoing fieldwork. In addition, there are many opportunities for students to develop independent projects associated with our overall objectives, including studies on: 1) population divergence in ecologically-relevant traits, especially drought, UV tolerance, and herbivore resistance; 2) phenotypic plasticity at multiple spatial scales; 3) population density and species composition of the herbivore community that attacks Drummond’s rockcress; 4) flower color polymorphism; and 5) the importance of maternal effects in biological responses to climate change.
We are offering a stipend of $500/week for a full time REU student (40 hours/week) for 10 weeks. The exact start and end dates are flexible. We will cover room and board at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and reimburse travel expenses up to $500.
Fieldwork will involve hiking to experimental gardens through rough terrain (1-3 miles one- way daily).
The University of Georgia is committed to maintaining a fair and respectful environment for living, work, and study. To that end, all qualified applicants from individuals with a strong interest in evolutionary biology will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or age. The application consists of a cover letter listing your qualifications, a CV/ résumé and contact information for two references, all of which can be emailed to Dr. Jill Anderson at: email@example.com Applications are due by March 16th, 2018.
Feel free to contact Dr. Anderson if you have any questions about the position. Additional information about our work can be found at:
summer undergraduate technician University of Alaska Fairbanks
Summer Undergraduate Technician
A summer undergraduate technician position is available to join a team studying resilience of boreal forest ecosystems to fire and permafrost thaw at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The technician will contribute to field work including installing and maintaining a network of sensors measuring oxygen, nitrate, and organic matter in streams. Field work will also include tracer experiments measuring nutrient uptake and gas exchange in streams. The student will learn laboratory-based methods for analytical chemistry and will contribute to visualization and analysis of biogeochemical data from streams. The student will have the opportunity to conduct an independent research project.
Applicants should have demonstrated interests in ecology and enthusiasm about both field and lab-based work. Coursework in ecology, chemistry, environmental science, and math or statistics is required to successfully contribute to the research. Applications from students with previous research experience, particularly with techniques or instrumentation relevant to aquatic ecology, as well as experience working within a collaborative group will receive priority.
To apply for the position, please send a single pdf document to Dr. Tamara Harms (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 20, 2018 including: 1) letter summarizing research interests and experience, 2) list of relevant coursework, and 3) CV. The student will be paid a stipend for the position, which runs May/June-Aug/Sept.
LUMCON Summer 2018 REU Site Program Applications Due March 20th
LUMCON’s 2018 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program:
Interdisciplinary Research Experiences in Changing Coastal Environments
The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) (www.lumcon.edu) invites highly motivated undergraduates to apply for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) positions in our NSF-sponsored summer 2018 REU program in Interdisciplinary Research Experiences in Changing Coastal Environments.
REU participants will spend ten weeks (June 4th – August 10th) at LUMCON conducting independent research projects with guidance from scientific mentors / mentor teams and participate in a series of career and skill- building workshops and activities while interacting with peers participating in other aspects of LUMCON’s summer programs. Each student is paired with a scientific mentor(s) based on mutual research interests. The REU program is designed to give students a meaningful, hands-on research experience that takes advantage of state-of-the-art methods and technologies available at LUMCON. This summer, mentors are interested in supporting interns to conduct research in a number of topic areas, including: biogeochemistry, behavioral ecology, microbial ecology, invertebrate diversity and ecology, aquaculture and fish physiology, ecosystem ecology, coastal geology and hydrology, wetland science, and oil spill impacts. More information on the program and details on potential mentors and projects can be found at http://lumcon.edu/REU.
Candidates must be available for the entire ten week period. Successful applicants will receive a $500/week stipend; room and board at the Marine Center in Cocodrie, LA; funds to support transportation to and from LUMCON; and funds to support their research.
The ideal candidate should be interested in pursuing a career in coastal and/or marine science, creative, hard-working, detail orientated, dedicated, and comfortable working as part of research team. Experience with field or laboratory research is a plus but not necessary. To be eligible you must be returning to an undergraduate degree program in the fall (e.g., if you will graduate in May or June, you are NOT eligible). Students from underrepresented groups in sciences, from small colleges, and first generation college students are encouraged to apply.
Application deadline: March 20th 2017.
Instructions for completing application packages which include (an online application form, copies of unofficial transcripts, contact information for two academic references, CV/resume, and a one page statement that describes your interest in the REU position, academic goals, and any previous research
experience) can be found at http://lumcon.edu/REU.
Questions about the program and/or application process should be addressed to LUMCON’s REU Site Program Director, Dr. Brian Roberts, at email@example.com.
Summer Research and Land Mgt. Internship Opportunity in Southern NY
College Internship in Suburban Ecology
Mianus River Gorge
Program Description: Mianus River Gorge, a conservation organization and 900-acre nature preserve in southern New York, offers 8 week summer internships for college students interested in the conservation of natural areas in urbanizing landscapes.
— Each intern will work alongside Gorge staff and graduate students on a variety of projects including wildlife monitoring, non-native species management, and GIS applications.
— Interns will work with and supervise high school students in our authentic research program (Wildlife Technician Program).
— We work with our interns to provide a learning experience that fits their interests and long-term educational goals.
— Stipend: $25/day or combination of school credit and stipend (depending on university requirements).
— Internships last for a period of 8 weeks. 10-week internships may be available in 2018. Internships typically run from June to July, but some flexibility is possible.
— We usually need to give preference to local students or those that can commute daily to Bedford, NY, as summer housing is not always guaranteed.
Projects for 2018 include:
o Monitoring coyotes, black bear, and other wildlife in Westchester, NYC, and Fairfield
o Vegetation sampling, monitoring, and restoration
o Initiating design and construction of a new educational trail
o Invasive species control and other land management work
o Data management, GIS work, and analysis on several long-term projects
- All undergraduate students are eligible to apply. We do not require applicants to major in a particular discipline; however, exposure to the fields of ecology, environmental science, or geography is encouraged. We do accept interns that have graduated the academic year just prior to the internship.
- Interns must be self-motivated and work well in group settings.
- Applicants should be prepared for strenuous work outdoors (e.g., field research and land management projects) as well as performing indoor work (e.g., data entry and GIS projects).
- This year the internship will run from June 4 to July 27 — applicants need to be available during this period.
More info and application forms are below:
Questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 914.234.3455
Seeking field assistant for summer 2018
Field assistant for summer 2018
Overview: Two research groups at Duke University are seeking a shared research assistant for fieldwork in plant and insect ecology and evolution.
This is a unique experience for students enthusiastic about plant ecology to gain experience working on two different projects in one summer! The projects are non-overlapping in time; there is opportunity for leisure time between project dates, or if the technician desires to stay at the field station for the duration of the summer, start dates for project 2 are flexible.
Location: Our research is conducted at and around the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, located in southwestern Colorado (www.rmbl.org). We will provide all transportation to and from the field station and from the station to research sites.
Dates: June 18 – June 29 (project 1) and July 16 – August 10 (project 2; somewhat flexible) 2018
For a PDF version of the project descriptions, please visit:
Project 1 Summary: The time of the year when a plant begins to grow, produces flowers, and loses its leaves is important for successful reproduction, survival, and potentially future growth. Plants rely on environmental cues, such as temperature and the amount of sunlight, to time these life cycle events. Therefore, the time when a plant begins to flower can be very sensitive to climate change. For example, snow has been melting earlier in the season in sub alpine regions than the recent past as a result of warming temperatures. Since the time of flowering for some plants occurs shortly after snow melt, they track these warm temperatures and emerge or flower earlier in the season. Interestingly, not all plants respond similarly to the same environmental signals; some flowering species do not flower any earlier. As each plant species responds differently to earlier snow melt, species that didn’t flower together in the past have the potential to overlap now. If plant species grow and flower at the same time, they could compete for resources (water, nutrients, soil). Our research examines the link between climate change, the timing of life cycle events in plants, and how they compete for resources. We propose to manipulate flowering phenology of plants in resource competition experiment. We will observe how competition for soil and light resources between two co-flowering species changes under early snow melt conditions. The results from this research have the potential to help us predict how climate change may affect species interactions in the future. For more information, visit:
Project 2 Summary: In the Mitchell-Olds lab at Duke University (https://sites.duke.edu/tmolab/), we study plant evolution, ecology, and genetics. We are broadly interested in understanding how the diverse traits present in natural plant populations have arisen via natural selection, and what the consequences of trait variation are for ecological interactions.
Much of our research is centered around understanding how chemical anti-herbivore defenses have evolved in the wildflower species Boechera stricta. We have ongoing experiments monitoring how interacting selective pressures of herbivore consumption and drought stress influence the evolution of defensive chemicals, and for discovering the genetic basis of plant chemistry as well as other complex traits (e.g. flowering time, mutualistic plant-insect associations, plant architecture, fitness). Our technician would help with data collection and experimental maintenance on both of these projects (see “Expectations” below).
Expectations: The field assistant will be asked to aid in data collection, entry, and analysis for both projects. This includes assisting in demographic data collection on perennial plants, assessing phenology of plants in pre-existing plots (project 1) and measuring plant survival, growth, flowering, reproduction, and herbivore damage, as well as taking environmental measurements such as soil moisture (project 2). Fieldwork can be strenuous and often involves long days in the sun and hiking. Applicants with previous experience doing fieldwork are encouraged to apply, but no prior experience is required and we will happily train first-timers with a strong interest in ecology.
In addition to helping with fieldwork five days per week, the technician will be expected to be an active participant in the research community, which includes attending weekly seminars at RMBL, attending in a weekly lab meeting, and participating in discussions about scientific articles and ongoing research projects in the lab.
Compensation: This is an unpaid position, although housing and travel expenses will be provided. Transportation from RMBL to all field sites will be provided (car or hiking). The technician will be required to pay for their own food expenses, but all other costs (housing and station fees) will be covered.
Internship: Four DataONE Summer Internship Opportunities
We are excited to announce four great internship opportunities as part of our annual DataONE Summer Internship Program.
- Sharing Reproducible Research through DataONE and WholeTale
- Supporting Synthesis Science with DataONE
- Communications & Outreach: Development of a Primer for Early-Career Researchers
- Extending Libmagic for Identification of Science Resources
Undergraduates, graduates and recent postgraduates are invited to apply to work with DataONE for nine weeks between May and July 2018. Full details of the program, eligibility requirements and project descriptions can be found at www.dataone.org/internships. Applications are due by March 23rd 2018.
Summer research position examining Asian long-horned beetle impacts on New England forests
The University of Vermont, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources is seeking an undergraduate research assistant to assist on a field study examining the impacts of Asian long-horned beetle on mixed hardwood forests in central Massachusetts. The students will work with a multidisciplinary team of graduate students and scientists from the University of Vermont, U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station, and Harvard Forest.
Applicant requirements: Applicants should have a background in forestry, natural resources, environmental science, ecology or biology. A working knowledge of tree identification and common forest measurements is strongly desired. Applicants must be willing and able to work efficiently in remote forested settings as part of a research team. Applicants must also be able to hike through varied terrain to reach study areas and be willing to work long hours outdoors.
Responsibilities: Work will involve extensive field work, including the collection of vegetation and woody debris data. The position begins early June 2018 and ends mid/late August and will be based out of the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA. Housing expenses will be provided. Hourly wage will vary from $11-$12 depending on work experience.
Interested candidates should e-mail a letter describing their background, qualifications and interests along with a resumé to Emma Sass (Emma.Sass@uvm.edu) by March 23, 2018.