Student Benefits: Hands-on research experience, development of a diverse set of field survey skills, understanding of how to set up and conduct a research project, and $2000/month stipend and on-site housing.
Location: Carrizo Plain National Monument, California (60 miles east of San Luis Obispo)
Position Description: Undergraduate students will gain research training and experience by participating in a long-term food web study in the Carrizo Plain National Monument. The Carrizo is the largest remnant of the San Joaquin grassland ecosystem and contains many endangered plants and animals. Interns will work on a team of 3-5 people and will conduct a variety of surveys, focusing especially on mark-recapture of endangered kangaroo rats. Visual line transects for reptiles, pitfall trapping for invertebrates, and spotlight surveys for predators and lagomorphs may also be conducted, and team members will help with vegetation sampling. The study also incorporates precipitation treatments to investigate climate change impacts on this ecosystem and its inhabitants. Students will develop an independent research project that dovetails with the project goals. The student will receive primary mentorship from project PI Dr. Laura Prugh (School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington; www.prughlab.com).
Work schedule: Approx. 40 hrs per week, variable throughout season
To Apply: Please email a cover letter, resume, unofficial copy of your transcripts, and contact information for 2-3 references as a single Word or PDF attachment to Rachel Endicott at email@example.com. Please apply by March 3th, 2017.
Who should apply: Students in their sophomore or junior years of college, with strong credentials and majoring in ecology, biology, conservation, or related discipline are encouraged to apply. Participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and currently enrolled as an undergraduate student. Students who have received their bachelor's degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates are not eligible to participate. A strong interest in natural history, conservation, and/or management and a high level of responsibility, organization, and motivation are required. PIT tagging experience, small mammal trapping experience, and familiarity with the plants and animals of California are also desirable. Must be flexible and live and work well with others in an isolated setting. Applicants must be able to maintain work quality and a positive attitude during challenging field conditions. Applicants must be in good physical condition and experienced with or able to tolerate hot and cold field conditions. Must be able to work long hours and be comfortable working at night. Prefer applicants with experience and strong interest in grassland or desert species.