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Undergrad Research Opportunities 12/12/16

1) Undergraduate Internship at Field Station in NE PA

The Lacawac Sanctuary is a non-profit biological field station, 545-acre nature preserve, and environmental education center located in NE Pennsylvania. Founded in 1966, the Lacawac Sanctuary has a long history of supporting ecological research, providing public access to preserved natural lands, and providing innovative environmental education programs. Due to its pristine, protected nature Lake Lacawac serves as “living laboratory,” thereby providing a baseline for ecological study.

The Lacawac Sanctuary and Biological Field Station seeks an undergraduate intern for Summer 2017. The student will work with the Director of Research and Education on various Pocono lake monitoring projects and assist with outreach activities. They will spend considerable time conducting field work, completing laboratory analysis, and communicating science with the public via public programs.

A modest stipend and free housing is available at the Lacawac Sanctuary for the duration of the internship. A commitment of 20-30 hours per week is expected. Previous research experience is not required, but the strongest applicants will have experience and interest conducing environmental field and lab work, handling data, and communicating science with the public.

Submit letter of interest, CV, unofficial transcripts, application packet, and at least one letter of recommendation to Dr. Sarah Princiotta ( More information and application packet can be found at Review of applications will begin on February 28, 2017.


2) REU in STEM Education at North Dakota State University

We are excited to announce the 5th year of our summer REU in discipline-based education at North Dakota State University. Our program is an excellent opportunity for students interested in learning and teaching of STEM at the undergraduate level. Over a 10-week period during the summer, students are immersed in a cohort of undergraduate scholars to get hands-on research experience in discipline-based education research. Students are housed on- campus and earn a $5000 stipend.

Students may have the opportunity to present their research at a national conference with travel support from our REU. Additional travel funding is available for travel to and from Fargo for those in financial need.

Our program begins May 30, 2017 and runs through August 5, 2017.

Applications due January 27, 2017.

For more information, including descriptions of potential research projects, please visit OR email Jennifer Momsen ( & Warren Christensen (


3) Summer field jobs in Yosemite National Park and the West

The Western Forest Initiative is hiring three field technicians for summer of 2017.

Forest Demography and Fire Effects: These positions will primarily involve the establishment of spatially-explicit forest plots in Yosemite National Park. The crew will navigate to areas within or near the footprint of the Rim Fire of 2013 (wilderness and non-wilderness) and then identify, measure, and map trees and snags in ¼ ha plots. The crew will receive training in mapping and demography in the Yosemite Forest Dynamics Plot and will work with investigators from Utah State University, the University of Washington, and the University of Montana on this Joint Fire Science Program funded project.

Duration: Late-May through mid-August, with the possibility for some staff to extend the season. The work schedule is four, ten-hour days per week. Because we don’t work under inclement conditions, the crew will need to be flexible.

Salary: $12.50 per hour. Campground accommodations are provided. Personal vehicle use reimbursed at $0.485/mile.

Qualifications: Previous experience taking vegetation research data, working safely in challenging environments, and following complex data collection protocols is required. Candidates should demonstrate the ability to solve problems, to work both independently and in teams of two or three, and to work with students and volunteers. Work will involve moving through rough terrain carrying delicate and expensive equipment, as well as carrying up to 15 kg of additional gear. Knowledge of western flora, tree pathogens, and forest insects is helpful, as is solid experience with outdoor living. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license and good driving history. Applicants need a Wilderness First Aid certification (Wilderness First Responder preferred) valid for the season.

Apply: Please assemble the following into a single PDF file and email it to – 1) a one-page cover letter describing your reasons for applying, specific dates of availability (including any planned mid-summer absences, or a statement that you plan none), and confirmation of your first aid certification, 2) a resume, no longer than two pages, 3) unofficial transcripts, and 4) names, phone numbers and email addresses of three references.

Application deadline: January 31, 2017. Usually, we have made our staffing decisions by early February. Exceptional candidates will be selected earlier.

Additional information and background at:,, and the Facebook Group “Yosemite Forest Dynamics Plot”


4) Community-based reforestation in Kianjavato, Madagascar

Do you want to help save the world’s rain forests? What about lemurs – do you like lemurs? Would you like to do something about climate change?  If, yes, please join the volunteer program with Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

(OHDZA) and the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP)!  We’re looking for highly motivated volunteers to join our on-going reforestation program in southeastern Madagascar.  This area is home to nine lemur species, several of which are critically endangered.  Habitat loss threatens the remaining yet unprotected forest fragments, but you can help.  We work with local communities to reconnect and expand natural habitats over the mountainous terrain around Kianjavato while sustainably benefiting the 12,000 area residents. This unique partnership has planted nearly 1,000,000 trees thereby helping the lemurs, their forest homes, and their human neighbors.

You’ll have a dynamic daily work routine; you may be working at the primary field station or at the multiple tree nurseries; you could be collecting seeds within an established forest; or at a field site preparing for a community planting event.  Duties may include sorting compost, placing seedlings into growing bags, organizing the tree inventory, transplanting trees with the local community groups or school children.  The ultimate goal of the reforestation program is to plant one million trees as a means to establish corridors between forest fragments and restore ecosystem services.  In order reach this substantial goal, there is a need for streamlining the reforestation effort – from seed collection, germination, and transplantation – and this is where the volunteers can make a significant and lasting contribution to the project.

The schedule for the reforestation volunteer may vary, but will operate during daylight hours, Monday through Friday, with members of the reforestation team and nursery staff arriving at the job site around 7:00am.  You will typically work with three other volunteers and a team of knowledgeable Malagasy field guides.

The reforestation team consists of rotating OHDZA employees, Malagasy MBP field assistants and graduate students, along with numerous nursery managers and assistants from the local community.

Adequate physical fitness is required.  We prefer volunteers with at least a BA or BSc in the biological or environmental sciences, tropical restoration and forest management experience is a plus.  Some independent research experience will be an advantage, as will work or travel experience in tropical countries.  A willingness to work in isolated conditions, the ability to solve problems independently, and dedication to a positive and respectful working environment are required.

For a more details, please visit the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership at

Term of Appointment: Entry is required under a 90 day tourist visa, thus volunteers are limited to a 90 day stay.

Application Deadline: The positions will be filled by the first qualified applicants.

This in an on-going call for volunteers and we are currently looking for volunteers throughout 2017.

Applicants should send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and contact information for a few professional references to Dr. Ed Louis (mbp AT madagascarpartnership DOT org).


5) Are You Tomorrow’s Conservation Leader?

Montana Conservation Corps (MCC) is now enrolling Field & Youth Crew Leaders for the 2017 field season. Find yourself while getting lost in some of Montana’s most wild places. Serving as a Field or Youth Crew Leader with MCC will have a lasting impact not only on you, but also on the communities and landscapes that you serve. With MCC you’ll discover unexpected abilities within yourself, make lifelong friendships, and explore some of our country’s greatest wilderness areas.

Leaders earn a $626 biweekly living stipend while serving with MCC, and an AmeriCorps education award upon completion of the term of service. Learn more and apply here:


6) Quantitative Position with the Mandurah Dolphin Research Project in Australia

We are excited to announce a mixed quantitative and field-based research  assistant position to study bottlenose dolphins in Australia. The position is open  from January 9th to February 28th 2017 for the Mandurah Dolphin Research  Project in Western Australia (WA).

The Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit (MUCRU) commenced a research  project in January 2016 aimed at gaining a solid understanding of the bottlenose  dolphins using the Peel-Harvey Estuary (part of Ramsar Wetlands) and adjacent  coastal waters. The overall aims of the project are to characterize population size  and structure, habitat use and genetic connectivity of dolphins using the estuarine  and coastal areas.

We seek a dedicated and independent research assistant (volunteer) to run  capture-recapture computer simulations and statistical analyses. The research  questions will be focused on practical problems of estimating abundance and  demographic processes from photo-ID data, modelled after the ongoing field  studies conducted by the Mandurah Dolphin Research Project. The simulations are  expected to inform the survey design and analytical methodology of the overall  Project, and potentially contribute to scientific publications. In addition to  quantitative work, the assistant is expected to participate in boat-based dolphin  surveys with a team of biologists and field assistants.

The main duties include:

  • Simulations: write computer scripts to simulate dolphin movement patterns and capture-recapture data collection;
  • Batch analyses: write R scripts to analyze simulation datasets;
  • Data collection: spot dolphins, drive the boat, take photographs for photo-identification, record data;
  • Data processing: upload data, enter data, match fins, map sightings;
  • Literature: read and review capture-recapture literature to inform simulations and analyses;
  • General: maintain the boat and car, clean equipment.

Applicants are expected to have the following traits and qualifications:

  • can work independently;
  • intermediate or advanced proficiency in R (or another scientific computing language);
  • have prior experience debugging complicated computer code;
  • have the mathematical acumen to read, learn, discuss and implement basic statistical analyses.
  • have mental and physical stamina to endure long days on a boat under intense sunlight while collecting complex data according to a rigorous protocol;
  • have a mixed background in biology, ecology, statistics, and computer programming, including some combination of formal tertiary education (B.Sc.) and relevant internships/jobs.
  • additional preferred skills include boat handling, first aid, experience in photo-ID, experience in population ecology analyses (but not necessary).

The position would suit a student who is interested in a career in quantitative  ecology. Supervision will be by two PhD students specializing in different aspects of  capture-recapture. Ambitious and competent candidates may have the opportunity  to pursue their own research interests, e.g. for academic research credit, such as a  B.Sc. Honours project.

The boat-based data collection and data processing will be from the 9th of January  till the 28th of February 2017. Data collection (photo-identification and biopsy  sampling) will be conducted in inland waters to up to 12nm offshore. Data  collection is weather dependent and research assistants are expected to be  available full time during day light hours throughout the time they commit to the  project.

This is an unpaid position and assistants need to organise their own travel to and  from Mandurah, which is approximately 1 hr south of Perth in WA. The office space  will be in a research house where assistants are required to rent a room for a cost  of 150 AUD/week (inclusive of internet and bills) in shared accommodation. And  for your free time Mandurah has everything you can think of a holiday town to  offer (shops, cafes, bars, cinema, nature, hikes, camping, surfing, diving,  snorkelling, paddle boarding, kayaking, wildlife spotting, skydiving etc.) and  cosmopolitan Perth is only an hour away.

To apply for this position please send me a cover sheet specifying why you would  like to assist in this project, how you meet the qualifications, the time you are  applying for, your CV and names and contact details of two references to  <>


7) REU Opportunity Summer 2016: “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 a 10 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

The program includes:

  • $5250 stipend for 10 weeks
  • Housing in shared apartments and field station • Travel reimbursement of up to $600

For more information on the program, research projects or to apply please visit: Enquiries: