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Mar 27 20

Summer 2020 Forest Ecology REU at the University of Idaho

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

Forest Ecology REU (Summer 2020) at University of Idaho

The Idaho Terrestrial Ecosystem Analysis and Modeling Lab ( at the University of Idaho is seeking two paid undergraduate Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) interns for the Summer 2020. The NSF REU opportunity provides 11 weeks of full-time (40 hrs/week) funding ($500 stipend/week) and a housing allowance.

The ITEAM lab uses field data and ecosystem models to study the impacts of climate change, policy decisions, and natural and human disturbances on forest ecosystem processes, with a current focus on disturbance-prone conifer forests in the Northern Rocky Mountains. We have two local field sites in the UIdaho experimental forest where we conduct automated and survey measurements of forest ecosystem growth, photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration in the context of thinning experiments. This summer, we’ve also planned rapid forest carbon inventories at subalpine lakes.

The REU student will develop and implement a unique and independent research project associated with the lab’s research.  There are many opportunities to develop an independent project with the mentoring of ITEAM members (PI, grad students, post-docs).

Description: Field (40%) and lab/project (60%) work at UIdaho and field sites. Weekly visits to 2 local field sites. Several multi-day field excursions to subalpine lakes in ID, MT, and CO. Interns will assist with sample processing and field data collection, including: carbon flux survey measurements, downloading automatic flux measurements, tree coring, root/soil sampling, and tree inventories.

Location: REU positions will be based out of the UIdaho campus in Moscow, ID. Lab work will take place on campus. Field projects are currently on-going near campus on Moscow Mountain, in the Northern Rockies in the Idaho Panhandle and NW Montana, and in the Colorado Rockies. The REU interns will have the opportunity to work weekly on all field and lab-based projects.

Requirements: Junior-standing undergraduate (as of Fall 2020) who can move to Moscow, ID for summer 2020; interest in forest ecology, field research, camping, hiking, and outdoor elements.
Ability to complete 11 consecutive weeks of work between May 1 and October 1, 2020.
While a vehicle is not a requirement for the position, it will be helpful for completing field work and allow the intern the ability to travel to local recreation opportunities more easily on days off.

Application:  Please submit the following by 3/13/20 to Kristina Bartowitz ( – 
1) cover letter (detailing interest in position, relevant experiences and skills), 2) resume, 3) academic transcripts (unofficial OK), and 4) two letters of recommendation

Mar 27 20

Summer Research Assistant positions in the Berry Crops Entomology Lab at MSU

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

Where: Isaacs Lab, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Duration: Early May to late August 2020. Possibility of extension into the fall.

Salary: Full time: 40 hours/week, $12.00/hour

Spend your summer studying insect pests and pollinators on berry farms throughout Michigan! Daily tasks include insect scouting/trapping at farms and research stations, fruit damage assessments, pollinator observations, data entry, insect rearing, and labeling and curating insect specimens. Travel to field sites is in a university vehicle (travel time is paid) and overnight stays at Michigan State University field research stations are possible (accommodations at the field station are covered). More info at:

Required Qualifications:

  • Interest in entomology, biology, agriculture, or related fields
  • Valid U.S. driver’s license
  • Ability to work outside for long periods of time
  • Attention to detail and protocols
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Desired Skills:

  • Field research and/or lab experience
  • Experience with data entry and analysis
  • Experience with insect collection and identification
  • Experience with plant and/or pollen identification
  • Lifting equipment up to 40 pounds
  • Ability to communicate with a wide variety of people, including scientists and growers

To apply: Send a full CV and a cover letter describing relevant research experience and primary interests. Include the names and email addresses of up to three references. Send as one PDF to Jackie Perkins ( by March 27, 2020.

Mar 27 20

Summer Field Technician in Grassland Insect Ecology

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

The USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Northern Plains Agriculture Research Laboratory in Sidney, MT is seeking an enthusiastic and hard-working individual to assist in grassland insect field research. Field work will be conducted both at ~9000 feet elevation in the Bighorn National Forest in northern Wyoming and on diverse native rangelands in eastern Montana and on the Little Missouri National Grassland in western North Dakota. Our research primarily focuses on grassland insect and rangeland ecology; specifically how interactions between grasshoppers and Mormon crickets affect grassland health and livestock grazing sustainability, how drought and weather variation affects grasshopper outbreaks and ecosystem processes, and how fire and livestock grazing can reduce grasshopper outbreaks. The diverse work duties will include sampling grasshoppers and other rangeland insects in large scale experiments, identifying and sampling rangeland plants, setting up and conducting small scale manipulative experiments in the field and greenhouse, behavioral observations, and lab work to sort and process samples collected. Overnight travel to Wyoming and eastern Montana is required, with government vehicles provided.

Salary: Full time, $12.21-$13.32 per hour (GS-2/GS-3) dependent on experience and education. The candidate will receive overtime pay when working more than 40 hours per week. Dorm-style, shared housing is available on location for ~$140 per month, including utilities, internet and basic cable TV.

Dates: June through the end of September, depending on a candidate’s availability.

Qualifications: The candidate should be able to walk rapidly over rangeland and work at high elevation sites, be physically fit, and able to spend long hours in difficult field conditions (hot weather, biting insects, mountain weather). Willingness to work long days and weekends when necessary is a must. Undergraduate course work in ecology, entomology, or range science, and previous field research experience is preferred, but not required. Must be a US citizen.

Application process: Please send cover letter describing relevant experience or coursework, resume (including major, relevant experience/coursework, technical skills, and prior employment), and names and contact information of two references (electronically) to Nicole Davidson ( Be sure to include available start and end dates.

Mar 27 20

Summer Internship Program at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

The Campbell lab at the University of California at Irvine (  is seeking a field research assistant to join our team in plant evolutionary ecology for summer 2020. The work will be based at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory ( in Colorado. The assistant will help with data collection of vegetative, physiological, and floral traits for long-term projects. These projects are aimed at testing whether plant populations can adapt quickly enough to environmental change to avoid extinction. The fieldwork can be strenuous and sometimes involves extensive hiking at high elevations and work during inclement weather. In addition to field and laboratory work, the assistant is expected to be an active participant in the research community. Applicants should have some college level coursework in ecology. Those with prior laboratory or fieldwork experience with plants are especially encouraged to apply. The full-time position is available from early June to the end of August, with exact start and end dates flexible. Compensation includes station fees and housing at RMBL, and a salary.

To apply, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and names and contact information for two references. Screening of applicants will begin March 11 and continue until the position is filled. Applications, or requests for more information, should be directed to Dr. Diane Campbell (

Mar 27 20

Summer Forestry Technicians at the University of Montana

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

Full-time forestry technicians are needed to aid in the collection of field data for research occurring in Montana and Idaho in summer 2020. The research is focused on long-term tree and stand growth responses to early silvicultural interventions. It will involve re-measurement of experimental plots established 30-40 years ago and distributed across a wide array of forest types over the National Forests of Montana and north Idaho.

Primary responsibilities will include re-locating experimental plots as well as collecting data on tree growth, forest regeneration, downed woody materials, and understory vegetation. Work vehicles will be provided for travel; when the work is not based out of Missoula it will generally involve camping at/near field sites. Motivated individuals who enjoy working with others, are interested in exploring remote forested areas in Montana and Idaho, and are ready to work under diverse field conditions (from cold and wet to hot and dry) are encouraged to apply.

Qualified applicants will:

  1. Have prior field experience in forestry, range, ecology, or other natural resource fields
  2. Have a strong work ethic and good interpersonal skills
  3. Be able to tolerate adverse field conditions including heat, cold, and rain
  4. Hold a valid driver’s license with a good driving record
  5. Be capable of working long days in the field, while maintaining quality control in field measurements and data recording

Preferred applicants will have first aid certification and experience in orienteering, map/photo interpretation, and GPS navigation.

Pay rate will be commensurate with qualifications and past experience ($13-$14/hr, 40 hr/week). Employment is expected to run from as early as late May through late August, with opportunities for continued part-time work on the University of Montana campus after September 1st.

Complete applications will include 1) a cover letter with information about your interests and qualifications, dates of availability, and current contact information, 2) a current resume, and 3) names and contact information (phone and email) of two professional references.

Questions and application materials can be sent directly to Dr David Affleck ( Review of applications will begin in mid-March and continue until the positions are filled.

Mar 27 20

Healthy Building Materials Consulting Internship at Integrated Eco Strategy

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez
Mar 27 20

REU Opportunity in Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology University of Georgia

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

The Wurzburger Lab is seeking an undergraduate with a strong interest in terrestrial ecosystem ecology for a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) position this summer. This is a 10-week program where a student would work on a project in forests of the southern Appalachian mountains studying the nitrogen cycle and disturbance (more details on the project below). The REU position is full time (40 hrs/week) and pays $7000 for the summer. The position will be based in Athens, GA but several 1-day and overnight field trips to the Coweeta Hydrologic Lab and neighboring forests will be required.

Interested students can apply by sending Dr. Nina Wurzburger ( the following documents by March 20th, 2020:
1) A cover letter stating their interest and qualifications
2) A CV or resume with contact information of 2 references

Project Description:
The REU student will assist with an ongoing project focused on disturbance recovery in forest ecosystems. Specifically, we are interested in the role of nitrogen fixed by Robinina pseudoacacia (black locust) and how it shapes recovery patterns in nutrient cycles and forest composition. The primary goal of the REU student will be to assist with greenhouse experiments and field studies designed to quantify rates of nitrogen fixation, and determine how fixed nitrogen affects competitive dynamics of tree species. The student will also be encouraged to develop an independent research project that fits within our broader project goals of understanding nitrogen fixation, including: soil microbial activities, N isotopes in soils and vegetation and relationships with mycorrhizal symbioses. For more information on lab research interests, see

Student Activities:
1) Training in field and greenhouse-based research including setting up research plots, measuring and identifying tree species, quantifying nitrogen fixation using multiple approaches.
2) Training in lab-based research including cleaning and drying nodule tissues, measuring mass, grinding tissues and preparing tin capsules for isotopic analysis and quantifying ethylene concentrations with a gas chromatograph.
3) Learning data analysis and interpretation with R, reading relevant literature, participating in lab group discussions and organizing a research presentation that summarizes the findings from this work.
4) Presenting research at REU symposium at Coweeta at the end of the summer.

Mar 27 20

Wetland Technician at Utah Geological Survey

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

Title: Wetland Technician
Work Location: Utah Geological Survey, Salt Lake City, UT
Pay Rate: $15/hour plus $43 per diem when traveling overnight and $25 per night for use of personal camping gear
Closing Date: March 22, 2020
Employment Period : Approximately June 8 to September 18

Position Description:  The Utah Geological Survey seeks to hire two seasonal Wetland Technicians to participate in wetland condition research. The incumbents will help collect data used to inform local and state land managers about wetland resources and advance knowledge about wetlands in the state. Surveys will be conducted in teams of two and will involve evaluating hydrologic, physical, and biotic components of wetland health during rapid site assessments. The Wetland Technician will be trained on identifying hydric soil and wetland hydrology indicators and on collecting water quality data with handheld meters and will then conduct this work independently with limited supervision. Workdays will typically consist of four 10+ hour days per week and will include frequent overnight stays in the field. The position is based out of Salt Lake City and housing is not provided. This position is a great opportunity to visit seldom-seen parts of Utah and to develop expertise in a variety of wetlands and aquatic systems in the state.


  1. Completion of at least three years of work towards a bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, geology, geography, environmental science, wetland science, or related field.
  2. At least one season of field experience or demonstrated ability to conduct work outdoors. 
  3. Ability to work independently with guidance and ability to collect data accurately and with attention to detail.
  4. Field experience or coursework in any of the following: wetland systems; soil profiles; hydric soil indicators; water quality sample collection.
  5. Willingness and ability to work long hours and unusual schedules (including overnights), travel extensively, drive a State of Utah vehicle, hike moderate distances through occasionally rough terrain, and tolerate exposure to both hot and cold conditions, rain, biting insects, and other field nuisances.

This position is classified as an Intern position and does not include benefits. To apply, submit resume, cover letter, and three references (with phone numbers) to Miles McCoy-Sulentic at the Utah Geological Survey, Please list on your resume any courses relevant to soils, wetlands, water quality, or aquatic systems that you have taken.

Mar 27 20

Forest Ecology Paid Field Assistantship

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

We are hiring an undergraduate (or recently graduated) student to work as a field assistant in a long-term experiment that explores how temperate forests respond to combinations of fire, wind storm, deer, and earthworm invasion. Our goal is to figure out how the forest’s overstory and understory has responded to multiple disturbances over the course of 20 years.

Those hired would gain research experience in a one-of-a-kind experiment, make contacts within the US Forest Service, work in beautiful locations, and learn about some of the most important drivers of change in temperate forests. Further, we are open to a student-led side project or future work within the UMN Forest Ecology Lab if that is of interest.

Pay is $12/hr and potentially higher, depending on funding. Botanical knowledge and enthusiasm for the outdoors are preferred.

If this is of interest or you have any questions, please send questions or a resume/CV to

Mar 27 20

Ecology Research Technician at the University of California Santa Barbara

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

Job title: Ecology Research Technician

Organization: University of California Santa Barbara

Pay: $2500/month

Duration: early April – June (spring) or September (spring and summer). Preference given to those able to work the full field season, but will consider qualified candidates who can only work spring.

Location: Based in Santa Barbara, CA with frequent multi-day travel (typically M-F) to field site at Tejon Ranch, Kern CO., CA. Some weekend work required; schedule and hours will vary depending weather, etc. Willingness to work a flexible schedule required.

Job Description: Seeking 1-2 self-motivated, academically curious research technicians to lead spring and summer fieldwork for a project investigating context-dependent effects of large herbivores (deer, elk, cattle) on plant communities and associated impacts on ecosystem function, using a large-scale herbivore exclosure experiment in the Tehachapi Mountains, southcentral California. We are conducting several concurrent studies in this system including 1) impacts on floral resource availability for insect pollinators, and 2) tick-borne disease dynamics. The ideal candidate(s) will possess the interest and ability to make informed, responsible judgement calls in the field, create/expand upon existing methods, and develop and conduct additional research questions to advance the scope and value of the overall project. Technicians will work together, with undergraduate and graduate students, full-time lab staff, and with short-term volunteers.

Technicians will be expected to conduct core tasks including:

  1. Identifying CA plants (annual grassland species), keying out unknown species, and conducting quadrat and point intercept surveys (**required knowledge – minimal training will be provided)
  2. Plant phenology monitoring
  3. Quantifying nectar concentration and pollen loads from select flowering plant species
  4. Plant-pollinator observations – interaction rates
  5. Meticulous data collection/data entry, and biweekly data proofing
  6. DOE- lab work (DNA extraction), basic statistical analyses

Technicians will also aid with the following:

  1. Driving a 4wd truck on unmaintained roads
  2. Driving between field sites and to/from UCSB campus (100+ miles)
  3. Maintaining experimental infrastructure (i.e. barbed wire fencing)
  4. Monitoring HOBO climate loggers
  5. Dragging for ticks
  6. Large herbivore dung count surveys
  7. Maintaining camera trap arrays for large wildlife
  8. Plant biomass collection
  9. Possible help with bird, small mammal, lizard surveys

Technicians should be comfortable lifting 40+lbs and working long hours outside in all types of weather; working both alone and on a team. Ideal qualifications and skills include:

-Completion of a degree in Biology, Ecology, Environmental Sciences, or a related field
-CA grassland plant ID and survey experience, and ability to use ID guides (ex. Jepson manual)
-minimum 1-year prior field and research experience
-valid driver’s license

This is a seasonal position, with no benefits, and an ideal start date in late March or early April. Food and lodging are not covered. Campsite when in the field is on rangeland–meaning, there are many cows nearby– with no electricity or potable water. Preference will be given to those interested in pursuing a career in ecology and research. Field site is on a working ranch: demonstrated strong interpersonal skills for communicating and working effectively with private landowners, fellow technicians, and program managers is preferred. Preference will be given to those able to work through summer. Experience driving off road in 4wd vehicles and able to do basic vehicle maintenance (i.e. change a tire) is desired.

Application Instructions:

All interested, qualified persons contact Devyn Orr at with a letter of interest, resume/CV, and contact information for two references. In your email, please state your availability for start/end dates. If you have questions regarding this position, please reach out.