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Undergrad Research Opportunities 04/24/2017

1) Summer Research Internship: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (Naples, FL)

Please share with current undergrads or recent graduates looking for opportunities to build experience while living and working in an amazing wetland sanctuary.

Overview: Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Position Summary: The Conservation Intern will gain valuable hands-on experience and professional skills in ecology and conservation. Working at the 13,000- acre Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in southwestern Florida, the intern will assist with ecological monitoring and research at Audubon’s Western Everglades Research Center. The position will be a combination of field work (25%) and office/laboratory activities (75%). This full-time three-month internship will run from mid-May through mid-August 2017 and will not exceed 40 hours per week, with occasional weekend work as needed. On-site housing is required and provided due to the relatively remote location of the Sanctuary and early field hours. Housing is a furnished one-level dormitory-style building. There are 4 private bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 joined kitchens, a living room and a screened porch. Wireless internet, water, electricity and local phone service are provided. Housing will be shared with interns and/or visiting researchers.

Essential Functions: Under the guidance of Audubon research staff, the intern will develop skills in a variety of ecological research and monitoring activities, including: monitoring wetland hydrology using groundwater wells (fitted with digital data loggers) and staff gauges and collecting weather data, monitoring wetland wildlife to guide conservation and restoration. Wildlife monitoring will include a combination of fish and aquatic macroinvertebrate sampling, herpetofauna surveys, small-mammal trapping (tentative project), and medium- and large-sized mammal monitoring using trail cameras; laboratory processing of aquatic fauna samples and trail camera images; data entry and data management associated with research and monitoring activities and ongoing citizen science programs; and Communicating science to technical and lay audiences, which may include assistance with preparation of research reports and other technical publications, writing newsletter articles, using social media and/or giving on-site public presentations.Interns are expected to assist with additional Sanctuary events and activities, as needed.

Qualifications and Experience: The candidate must: Be currently enrolled in or a recent graduate of an institution of higher learning, pursuing a degree in environmental science or related field (ecology coursework preferred); demonstrate strong attention to detail in field, laboratory, and office activities. Strong skills in MS Excel are required and experience with MS Access and ArcGIS are preferred; excel in interpersonal communication and at working independently and as part of a team; demonstrate the ability to exercise sound judgment and adaptability to changing work conditions; possess a valid driver’s license (experience with ATVs and 4WD vehicles is a plus); and be able to make a full 3-month summer 2017 commitment (dates are flexible). Physical requirements include: Ability to work long hours in the field in sub-tropical wetland environments, exposed to harsh South Florida environment (sun, biting insects, severe summer storms), sometimes alone and carrying field gear (up to 40 lbs.) for extended periods; and ability and willingness to work in murky waters and thick vegetation that serve as home for potentially dangerous wildlife such as alligators and venomous snakes.

2) Seasonal Bat Field Research Technician – Temple University

Summary of Position The Research Associate position is available in the Sewall Lab in the Department of Biology at Temple University.  Work will take place at Dr. Sewall’s field site at Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center (, northeast of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Research Associate will provide technical field support to the lab’s research efforts in conservation biology, and population and community ecology.  Primary research foci will be investigating the responses of bats to human disturbance, management efforts, and habitat change.  On-site fieldwork at Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center will be required. Performs other duties as assigned.

Essential Functions of Position – Conducting bat field research including but not limited to capture, handling, acoustic sampling, radiotelemetry, and measurement of plants and habitat characteristics – Assisting in field research projects involving undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers from Dr. Brent Sewall’s lab: – Maintaining written data sheets and spreadsheets for acoustic detectors, radiotelemetry, and mist-netting – Training interns and students in proper field techniques – Performing other duties as assigned

Requirements – Previous experience mist-netting and handling bats – Previous experience conducting ecology field research – Willingness to work late nights outdoors in rugged terrain – Must have a valid driver’s license – Must be physically able to carry 40 lbs. and set up triple-high mist nets (about 25 feet tall). – Able to interact in a consistently positive manner with academic and military personnel – Willingness to learn and abide by military field safety regulations – Have or be willing to obtain up-to-date rabies vaccination

Preferred experience – Ability to lead small teams of personnel in the field – Experience deploying triple-high mist-nets – Experience tracking wildlife using radiotelemetry – Experience deploying bat detectors or other wildlife recording devices – Training or background in mammalogy, ecology, or conservation biology

Terms of Employment – Start date: As soon as possible – End date: Up to six months – Pay rate: $14 to $18.50, dependent on training and experience – Hours: Approximately 40 hours / week, weather-dependent

How to Apply – Send a cover letter, resume, and list of three references via email to Dr. Lisa Powers at – Please put “Bat Field Tech Position” in the subject line of the email – Position will remain open until filled

3) Fieldwork opportunity in the Cayman Islands

Little Cayman, 2017 Jen Moss (Ph.D. candidate at Mississippi State University) is seeking enthusiastic volunteers to assist with long-term monitoring and research efforts on the Sister Islands Rock Iguana (SIRI) on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Iguana handling experience is valuable, but not necessary. Fieldwork will be conducted throughout the months of May, June, August, and September 2017, aligning with SIRI’s nesting and hatchling emergence seasons. Activities include but are not limited to nesting surveys, tagging iguanas, recapturing animals to study growth and movement, and radio tracking with the aid of conservation drones. Accommodation and food are provided throughout the volunteer period to assist with costs. This is a great opportunity to get hands-on field experience and contribute to conservation research on this critically endangered and charismatic taxon.

4) UCSB REU: Sandy beach ecology

A Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) summer fellowship is open for one student at the Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara. Duration is 12 weeks, June 3-Aug 29, although these dates can be somewhat flexible to accommodate academic schedules. We invite applications from qualified, highly motivated undergraduate students from U.S. colleges/universities to participate in a 12-week lab and field based summer research experience. U.S. citizenship is required. The student will be involved with an NSF-funded project on the transport of drifting kelp from coastal kelp forests to sandy beaches where it washes up as wrack. The main objective of the project is evaluate how variation in kelp wrack input affects patterns and processes in beach ecosystems and to develop a quantitative understanding of trophic connectivity through physical transport and input of drift kelp from kelp forests to sandy beaches. The student will learn ecological and/or physical oceanographic methods to explore this topic, and will be required to write a report, in the format of a scientific paper, and give a presentation on their project at the end of the summer.  Travel costs to and from UCSB will be covered, and the student will be provided with a weekly stipend for living expenses.  This is a full-time commitment and any work or educational activities outside the program must be approved.

Eligibility You are eligible if you are an undergraduate student who has completed at least two years of study towards a bachelor’s degree in a related topic (including biology, ecology, or physics), and you will still be an undergraduate in the fall after the summer program.  Students from underrepresented groups and institutions with limited research opportunities are especially encouraged to apply. Experience with scientific diving is desirable but not required. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and its possessions. The University of California is an equal opportunity employer and educator.

Application Interested applicants should send a statement of interest, resume, unofficial transcript, one letter of recommendation, and contact information for one additional reference. The statement of interest should be less than 500 words and include the following information: (i) professional goals, (ii) interest in position, and (iii) relevant experience.  Send application materials, preferably in one PDF file, to Jenny Dugan ( Please include your name and REU application in file names and subject line. You may also send all application materials in hard copy by non-electronic mail service to: Jenny Dugan, Marine Science Institute, UCSB, Santa Barbara CA 93601-6150. The letter of recommendation should be sent directly from the recommender (please include the applicants name in the subject line for emails).  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Applications will be accepted through April 21, 2017.

5) JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Summer Forestry Field Technician

A position is available for a field technician through Utah State University to help collect data on the landscape/stand factors that affect Engelmann spruce regeneration following epidemic spruce beetle outbreaks. Work will be conducted at two sites in Utah: one on the Markagunt Plateau in southern Utah and one in the Uinta Mountains in northern Utah. Work includes field data collection at the two sites, and potential processing in the lab/data entry. Field work will be conducted in some of the most beautiful natural areas in Utah. For example, the southern field site is close to multiple national parks/monuments (e.g. Cedar Breaks National Monument, Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park). SPECIFIC DUTIES: The field technician will be responsible for learning and implementing the research protocol; locating study sites using maps and GPS, identifying tree species, taking precise stand/landscape measurements (including but not limited to DBH, slope, aspect, canopy cover, species diversity, etc), and recording data legibly. WORKING CONDITIONS/SCHEDULE: Field work includes long hours under strenuous field conditions including steep slopes, dense vegetation and variable weather (including cool mornings to hot and dry sunny afternoons, and torrential rain). Work will include extended periods of time in the field. Lodging near study sites will be provided, and camping may be required at more remote sites. Start Date: June 1, 2017 End Date: August 24, 2017 20-40 hours/week Wages: $9-$11/hour QUALIFICATIONS: Driver’s License. Ability to work in rugged terrain. Ability to work as a team and take orders. Organized, self-motivated, and attention to detail. Plant identification skills and college experience (or equivalent training) in a related field preferred. TO APPLY visit Career Aggie ( and search for job #94532 “Forestry Field Technician”. Questions: email

6) Short-Term Vegetation Survey Assistant

Dr. Robert Washington Allen and Dr. Jerry Olsen are planning to re-census Jerry’s original vegetation plots in the Indiana Dunes this summer.  They are inviting interested undergraduates who would like a field research experience to join them in this effort.  The time commitment can be either one or two weeks, beginning May 20, 2017.  Jerry and a second person will drive a vehicle from Knoxville to Indiana on May 20th and will conduct research there for two weeks.  Robert will arrive in another vehicle for the second week.

Students can camp or stay in a house where Robert and Jerry will lodge—undergrads must bring their own sleeping bag, towels etc.  Meals will be provided, but cooking responsibilities are shared among the project participants.

Experience will be gained in collecting field data and laser scanning to update historic Bio-Diversity changes.  Dr. Neil Pavlovic, a staff scientist at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, will participate in the project and will be present ½ time during the trip.

Please contact Dr. Washington-Allen ( or Dr. Olsen (865 771-1848) ASAP for more information.