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Undergrad Research Opportunities 03/06/2017

1) NSF REU position with Anderson lab (UGA) at RMBL

Jill Anderson and Susana Wadgymar at the University of Georgia are 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 2017.

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 (, 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 ~60,000 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 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: Applications are due by March 24th, 2017.


2) Field technician positions with Anderson lab (UGA) at RMBL

Jill Anderson’s lab at the University of Georgia is searching for two field research assistants from June-August 2017. The successful candidate will assist with ongoing field and laboratory studies for 8-10 weeks from June – August. The exact start and end dates are negotiable. We are offering $10/hour for a full time field assistant (40 hours/week) from June through August. We will cover housing costs and station fees at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and reimburse travel expenses up to $400, but the field assistant would be responsible for her/his food costs. Fieldwork will involve hiking to experimental gardens through rough terrain (1-3 miles one-way daily).

The application consists of a cover letter your qualifications, a CV/ résumé and contact information for two references, which should be submitted via email to Jill at Please include “application for field tech position” in the subject of your email. Applications are due by March 27th, 2017.


3) Field Research Technician (Spotted Skunk Ecology)

A Field Research Technician position is available to assist on an ongoing project evaluating habitat and resource selection of eastern spotted skunks in the Ozarks of northern Arkansas. In addition to capturing, radio-collaring, and monitoring skunks and collecting data on habitat structure, the technician will assist in a survey of the parasites and pathogens based on captured individuals, an examination of the dietary patterns of skunks based on scat analysis, and a camera trap survey.

Candidates must have a B.S. in wildlife science, biology, or a closely related discipline and field research experience. Strong work ethic, ability to work with a diversity of natural resource professionals, ability to work alone or in groups, and an interest in wildlife/habitat relationships are essential. The technician will work closely with, and under the supervision of, an MS student from MU School of Natural Resources who is already on site.

The 9-12 month non-benefits eligible position has an immediate start date. Salary is $23,000/year. The position will be based in Hector, Arkansas (about 90 miles north of Little Rock and about 6 hrs south of Columbia, MO where the technician will be officially employed). Work will generally require around 40hrs/wk and may require working at night in remote areas as well as occasional camping. Housing and a field vehicle will be provided. Review of applications begins immediately and continues until the position is filled. Submit via email a cover letter that includes a description of work experience and career goals, resume, and the names and contact information (phone and e-mail address) of 3 references to: Summer Higdon School of Natural Resources University of Missouri 302 Natural Resources Building Columbia, MO 65211 E-mail:


4) Summer Lab Technicians (Project Carbon)

Syracuse University: The Fridley Lab at Syracuse University is seeking two motivated undergraduate students to participate in ‘Project Carbon’, a laboratory investigation of the energy and nutrient budgets of plant species in a long-term climate change experiment. Activities will depend in part on the interests of the students but will likely involve greenhouse plant propagation, laboratory gas exchange measurements, plant tissue analyses of energy and nutrient content, and soil microbial measurements. Students will be provided with a $5000 stipend for living expenses over the 12-wk duration starting May 15. Relevant experience and ecology- or plant biology-related coursework is desirable but not required. For information on eligibility and how to apply go to: Applications will be accepted through April 1, 2017.


5) Shoals Marine Laboratory Hiring 2 Seasonal Seabird Technicians

Position Dates: May 8 – August 31, 2017 (end date may vary depending upon migration) Number of open positions: 2 Seabird Technicians Location: White and Seavey Islands, Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire Stipend: $1,500 per month, plus room & board provided on White Island Requirements: A degree in conservation biology or ecology, wildlife biology/management, environmental science or related disciplines. Experience working with birds (particularly waterbirds) is preferred. Position description: Two Seasonal Seabird Technicians will work with a Program Manager to study and manage a breeding colony of Common, Roseate and Arctic Terns at Isles of Shoals. Primary responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, banding and band re-sighting, diet studies, productivity monitoring, and predator management. The applicants should have experience in overseeing and participating in data collection and management, establishing a daily work schedule based on approved protocols, bird identification, and banding. Applicants must be in excellent physical condition (capable of climbing over rugged terrain and able to lift 50 lbs.), be comfortable living and working in close quarters for extended periods of time, and enjoy working independently and with others. The technicians will live in a historic and rustic lighthouse keeper’s cottage (solar electricity, composting toilets, no running water). Mainland shared housing in Portsmouth, NH will be provided on days off, which will be arranged under direction of the Program Manager. To apply: Email a cover letter and current resume (please include 3 references in your resume) to Dr. Liz Craig (Tern Program Manager):


6) Volunteer interns, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Description: The United States Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center is seeking three to four full-time volunteer interns to assist with monitoring least terns (Sternula antillarum) and common terns (Sterna hirundo) on Poplar Island, an Army Corps of Engineers habitat restoration project located in the Chesapeake Bay. Two interns will primarily be assisting a M.S. student with his research while the other interns will be assisting more generally with field data collection and office work. Interns assisting with the M.S. student will have the following duties: 1) assist with data collection in field at field sites through Maryland, 2) assist with building a surveillance system and troubleshooting as needed, 3) analyzing footage and processing temperature data in lab, and 4) collecting scientific research and proofreading manuscripts. The primary duties of the general interns will be: 1) assist research scientists with weekly nest monitoring efforts, 2) assist with banding least and common tern chicks for a mark-resight study, 3) using binoculars and birding scope, read unique alpha-numeric code (eg. A03) on plastic field readable banded chicks, 4) assist with colony counts for nesting herons and egrets, 5) conduct office work including data entry, proofing, etc., 6) assist with other duties on the island including habitat restoration, disease monitoring, UAV (drone) studies, etc., and 7) participate in data analysis and writing of subsequent manuscripts as appropriate.

Requirements: Minimum qualifications include: ·         Bachelor of Science degree (or in the process of obtaining) in wildlife biology, environmental science, or related field. ·         Experience identifying North American waterbirds and shorebirds preferred ·         Working knowledge of electrical wiring, carpentry, and power tools preferred ·         Strong attention to detail and safe work habits ·         Ability to work as a part of a team as well as independently ·         Effective communication skills ·         Data entry experience ·         Tolerance of hot, humid, or buggy work conditions ·         Ability to commute to field-site on a 16-25’ open cabin boat ·         Interest in having fun and learning along the way!

This is an unpaid three-month internship; however, internship for university credit can be supported. PWRC is located in Beltsville, MD and boat launch will be from Annapolis, MD. Interns assisting the M.S. student will be traveling to Baltimore and Ocean City, MD as well. Interns are responsible for their own housing and transportation to the boat launch (on field days) and office (on non- field days). The position will begin in May and end in August, with some flexibility on start/end dates. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and three references to Paul Marbán at Please write “Poplar Internship Application” and your name in the subject line and send all application materials as a single attachment using the following naming format: LastName_FirstName_Internship_Application.doc. Please specify your available start date and end dates, and any birding experience you might have. Last date to apply is March 10, 2017.


7) REU: Washington Cascades Plant Communities and Climate Change

The HilleRisLambers community ecology lab at the University of Washington is seeking applicants for an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in the summer of 2017.  The REU student will work with Drs. Janneke HilleRisLambers and Amy Angert (at University of British Columbia) to develop and implement an independent project focusing on how plant communities vary across large-scale macroclimatic and fine-scale microclimatic gradients, relevant to understanding impacts of climate change. Field work will occur in Washington at Mt. Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, and nearby National Forests; with lab work occurring at University of Washington (in Seattle).

The REU will run 12 weeks from June 5th – August 25th, with some flexibility in start and end dates possible. A stipend of $600/week is provided for the 12- week period of the internship. Lodging, travel and food are provided while conducting field work.

To apply and get more information about the position, please visit We will start reviewing applications on March 20th, and anticipate making hiring decisions by early to mid April. To be eligible, you must be a US Citizen or permanent resident currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, graduating no sooner than Fall of 2017. For more information about Dr. HilleRisLambers and Dr. Angert research groups, visit and


8) REU – Research Experience for Undergraduates: Grassland/Grasshopper Ecology in Western Montana

Gary Belovsky in the Dept. of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame is seeking applicants for an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) position in summer 2017 to study insect ecology.

The REU student will be part of a research team examining grasshopper ecology in western Montana, at the National Bison Range National Wildlife Refuge in Moiese, Montana.  Potential projects for the REU include examining grasshopper population dynamics or species interactions (competition, predation, etc).We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with a solid academic record, and a strong interest in field ecology.  The REU will be working as part of a team, which can include working outside for long periods in unpredictable weather and conditions, and which requires the ability to work independently as well as contribute to a positive group dynamic. The duration of the study is from June 1 to mid-August, although the dates are somewhat flexible. The REU student will earn a stipend of $4500.  Research supplies, lodging, and travel to/from Montana will be provided. Review of applications will begin after mid-March and continue until filled. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and must be enrolled as an undergraduate for Fall 2017. Students from underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines are particularly encouraged to apply.

To apply, please e-mail the following application materials to Jennifer Belovsky ( with the subject line “REU” no later than March 17, 2017: 1.  Statement/cover letter explaining the following:
•why you are interested in this position
•what are your future plans
•dates you are available to start and end this position
•confirm eligibility for the REU program
•your e-mail address and phone number
2.  Resume 3.  Names and contact information for two people who can serve as your references

For more information, please contact Jennifer Belovsky ( or visit the Belovsky labpage – –


9) REU position in desert stream ecology at ASU

We are seeking two summer undergraduate researchers to participate in a project investigating how variation of streamflow affects energy transfer through stream food webs. The goal of the Food Chain Length (FCL) project is to link the mechanisms of temporal variation in streamflow and intensity of disturbance regimes to FCL in aridland streams. Ongoing research conducted in streams across Arizona includes repeated measures of variation in food chain length, ecosystem metabolism, nitrate concentrations, and experimental nitrogen pulse manipulations. Additionally, we are investigating how flood pulses of water and nitrogen stimulate production in the riparian ecosystem by measuring changes in soil processes, primary producers, and consumers.

Students will contribute both to the field campaign and laboratory sample processing. Students will also collaborate closely with the principal investigator, graduate students, and technicians to develop an independent research project that will build on the ongoing research.Fieldwork will consist of traveling to rivers across the state of Arizona for aquatic biological surveys, water quality measurements, sensor maintenance, and requires spending long days in the desert during the Arizona summer, often carrying heavy equipment. Lab work will consist of processing samples for stable isotope analysis, invertebrate sorting, and soil microbial activity and nutrient assays.

Applicant requirements: Students must have demonstrated interest in ecology. The position lasts 12 weeks, preferably starting in early May, though exact dates are flexible and is based at Arizona State University. Application is restricted to currently enrolled undergraduates that graduate no sooner than fall 2017. All applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Desired qualifications: Previous experience with laboratory or field-based research; coursework in biology, ecology, chemistry, and math/statistics; enthusiasm about conducting both field and lab work, with occasional long days in the field or multi-day field trips; valid U.S. driver’s license. Women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

To apply: 1) letter summarizing research interests and experience, 2) list of relevant coursework, and 3) CV to Dr. Tamara Harms ( by March 21, 2017