We are looking for undergraduates to join our team of interdisciplinary
researchers in northeast Iceland this coming summer. We study the ecology of
Lake Myvatn, and interns will be expected to assist in our ongoing LTREB
(Long-Term Research in Environmental Biology) project.
REU candidates must be current undergraduates (not graduating before fall
of 2017) with US citizenship.
SELECTION CRITERIA AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The research focuses on the population dynamics of midges in Myvatn and the
consequences they have for the aquatic and surrounding terrestrial food
webs. The work includes conducting lab and field experiments, and collecting
arthropod, zooplankton, sediment and plant samples. The research will be
divided approximately equally between aquatic and terrestrial systems.
Our interns take primary responsibility for the routine sampling that forms
the backbone of the long-term research, in addition to conducting
independent projects. Technical lab and (especially) field skills are
essential. However, we place primary importance on the ability of
prospective interns to work both independently and as part of a research
term. We will also consider the ability of applicants to function in the
somewhat remote conditions of rural Iceland.
If you are interested in joining our team, please apply with the following:
1. Cover letter
Your cover letter should outline your background and the reasons why you
would be a good candidate for this position. Include a discussion of why you
want this position and how it relates to your intellectual interests and
career goals. In particular, emphasize how your experiences and skills make
you a good match for the position. Highlight specific details from your
resume or other pertinent information that does not appear on your resume.
Include your citizenship, whether you have a valid driver¹s license, and
your current and future educational plans.
Include a current resume that details your education and work experiences.
Provide names and contact information for at least two references whom we
can contact to ask specific questions about your background and
qualifications for the position.
Submit your application as a single PDF (only 1 file), including cover
letter and resume. Email your PDF to Joe Phillips firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include your surname in the file (e.g., Smith_Iceland_Application.pdf). Put
“2017 Summer Research in Iceland” in the subject line of the email. After
initial screening of materials, finalists will be contacted for interviews.
For full consideration for summer 2017 internships, please submit your
application by 15 January, 2017.
REU positions include coverage of travel expenses to and from Iceland, food
and lodging, and a small stipend. Interns are expected to join the research
team in Iceland from the first week of June to late August. The timing of
the fieldwork is dictated by our needs for routine sampling and therefore is
inflexible. A critical part of the program is conducting your own research
project under our guidance. Past summer research interns have completed
their projects as senior research theses or have presented their work at
More information about our work and field experiences can be found at our
Joe Phillips (graduate student) – email@example.com
Amanda McCormick (graduate student) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Ives (professor) – email@example.com
Claudio Gratton (professor) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Organization: Gardens for Health
Location: Boston, MA USA
Preferred Start Date and Duration: Flexible (January – June, 2017)
Hours: Part-time to full-time. Note: we are flexible with academic schedules for students who are actively enrolled in a program of study.
How to apply: Send your resume, cover letter and a short writing sample to email@example.com.
Finance and Operations Intern – Position Overview
As our Finance and Operations Intern, you will have a front-row seat to the world of nonprofit operations and accounting. The candidate will be exposed to all aspects of the accounting cycle gaining valuable experience in the management of accounts payable and accounts receivable, reconciliation, reporting, budgeting, compliance, and more. This position will provide robust experience in the financial reporting processes for nonprofit organizations including familiarity with the SalesForce, Aplos and QuickBooks financial and donor management systems.
Gardens for Health is a relatively small and growing organization, and the Finance and Operations intern will work closely with our leadership team. We are dedicated to our mission and our work, and we expect all team members to share that dedication. The Finance and Operations Intern will report to the US Operations Associate and he or she will also work closely with our Rwanda-based Finance Manager and other US-based staff. The role will require flexibility, creativity, attention to detail, and an ability to prioritize among many tasks.
Design and Communications Intern – Position Overview
Gardens for Health is a relatively small and growing organization, and the Development and Communications Intern will work closely with our leadership team. We are dedicated to our mission and our work, and we expect all team members to share that dedication. The Design and Communications Intern will report to the US Senior Development and Communications Associate in addition to working closely with other US-based staff and the Rwanda-based Communications and Development Fellow. The role will require flexibility, creativity, attention to detail, and an ability to prioritize among many tasks.
Who We Are: Organizational Overview
Gardens for Health is a growing non-profit organization whose innovative approach is focused on improving childhood health outcomes by integrating agriculture into the clinical treatment of malnutrition. We currently partner with 18 Government Health Centers in Rwanda to provide families with the tools and resources to build a sustainable path out of malnutrition through targeted health and agriculture training. Our organization has scaled rapidly over the past four years. In 2012, we were a team of 18 people working in partnership with three health centers reaching just over 350 families annually. Today, we are a team of 125 reaching more than 2,100 families each year. With our growing impact, we have also been able to work more closely with the Rwandan government to inform policies and practices that integrate agriculture into the national healthcare system.
Our headquarters are based in Rwanda with an office in Boston, MA. Gardens for Health’s US office works closely with our team in Rwanda to support operations on the ground by raising the resources necessary to fund programs, expanding GHI’s global community, contributing to hiring processes and strategic planning, and providing logistical support. Because the US office is a small team dedicated to the success of Gardens for Health, we work collaboratively and expect that everyone will pitch in as needed on a variety of projects. Every member of our team, from Field Educators who deliver trainings to technical experts who inform program design to support staff in Rwanda and Boston who ensure operations runs smoothly work together toward a shared goal: to make growing and eating healthy food a part of the healthcare system in Rwanda and beyond.
If interested, please send your resume and cover letter to Gardens for Health at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us at +1 (857) 204-5263 with any questions.
Compost Research Internship
Hours: 5-15 Hours/Week
Timeline: Current-June 2017 – Flexible Start & Stop Times
Location: Boston Metro Area Preferred, Remote Considered
Compost Technical Services (CTS) is a leading consultancy in New England,
specializing in food scrap compost site planning and compost operator
education. In 2017, CTS’s owner James McSweeney will be completing a book
manuscript focused on the design and management of community scaled
composting operations. The topics covered in the book include planning and design for
small/medium scale and distributed composting infrastructure, with a focuson
food scrap recycling. All of the common composting methods are covered:
turned windrow, bin/bay systems, in-vessels, aerated static pile (asp), and
vermicomposting. Additional chapters cover composting with animals, compost
heat recovery, and small scale food scrap collection, as well as basic
composting science and compost site management.
The internship/independent study will be focused on researching the
technical aspects of composting, both in the literature and from primary sources. In
addition, interns with design/illustration skills may have opportunities to
support some of the systems design work for the book.
This is a unique opportunity to directly contribute to a greatly
Other learning opportunities will be available to the intern, including
site visits with composting clients, site planning, and design assistance.
CTS is seeking one or more research interns with the following background/
– Degree or current enrollment in a relevant area of study
(environmental studies/science/planning, engineering, design, biology,
– Familiarity with composting science and/or passion for composting and
– Research/critical thinking skills
– Strong writing/editing skills
At this time no compensation is available. Your contribution will be
recognized in the book and you will receive a copy of the book when it is
To apply, please send a letter of interest (LOI) and resume or CV to:
In the LOI, please describe:
– The core competencies that you would bring to the project
– What specific interests areas you have related to the research
– What your availability is (ideal timeframe, hours/week)
Internships will be available until filled. I will get back to you within
one week of receiving your LOI. Interns in the Boston area will be preferred,
but remote applicants who are passionate about the work will be considered.
Dr. Laureen Elgert‘s research focuses on the complex interface between knowledge, policy, practice and outcomes in environmental governance with an empirical focus on protected areas, sustainable commodity certification, farming systems and agriculture and sustainability indicators. She examines themes such as the politics of sustainability, environmental expertise and evidence-based policy, and, the trade-offs and synergies between local livelihoods and global environmental outcomes. Dr. Elgert is assistant professor of environmental studies and international development at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is trained in anthropology (BA, Trent University, Canada), public health (MSc, University of Alberta, Canada), and international development studies (PhD, London School of Economics and Political Science).
Hannah Uebele: What got you interested in this particular field and how did you get started?
Laureen Elgert: I started out in psychology because everybody did. It was the only thing that I knew existed in school, because I came from a family that did not go to university, I grew up in a very small town. So I went to psychology because it was the only thing I kind of knew of. Then I got there and I changed majors about 7 times and finally ended up in anthropology. I had been traveling a lot and it seemed to be not a regional study but a way I could harness my experience and my interests.
Uebele: What would you say to students wanting to get involved in your field of work now – what kind of path should they follow?
Elgert: Well interestingly enough I work in an engineering university. There’s a huge demand for STEM in international work, but what I’m trying to do with some colleagues at our school is make sure that those STEM students that are in demand abroad…(have) global awareness, competency, and humility. As North Americans we need to maintain a humility that I think doesn’t come naturally and so that’s what I think – getting the training in history, politics, critical thinking, is really really valuable alongside those technical skills and to look at the limitations of the STEM fields. Different situations call for different implementations. I think that STEM fields are great, but colleagues and I are really working with our engineering students to develop that sort of sensibility, the humility, the critical thinking, what we’re calling global competency. But not just in a way that you can speak another language or adapt to somebody’s customs, but a deeper competency in understanding your place in the world, relationships, politics, history. We need STEM people that have that because STEM is so vital right – STEM professionals build the world and critical scientists sit back and critique it, but we need to come together better. It still often doesn’t happen and it’s very difficult because its two completely different epistemologies, two worlds, two planets. But we need to work on bringing the critical discussion into the practical applications and to get really fundamentally changed responses to things. As we see, our approaches to global poverty, approaches to global disease, approaches to war are not working, so we need technical skills married with the social and political.
Uebele: Can you tell me about a moment in your life or a decision that you made in your life that was crucial in getting you to be where you are in your career today?
Elgert: So I did a master’s and I was working in public health research after. I got an email one day (from a former classmate) saying, ‘What are we all up to?’ and somebody responded and said, ‘I’m doing a master’s at London School of Economics.’ So I went to coffee with a friend of mine and I was like, ‘This friend of mine from undergrad is now doing a master’s at the London School of Economics isn’t that amazing?’ and she was like, ‘You could do that if you wanted.’ I said, ‘No way, no way I couldn’t do that.’ It’s just not where I saw myself, I just thought, ‘I don’t belong there.’ So she said, ‘I bet you 100 dollars you could do a master’s at LCE if you wanted,’ and I said ‘Well I don’t want another master’s’ and she says, ‘Well go do a PhD there then.’ She challenged me to apply, and I applied, and I got in and it was amazing. It was a total turn in my life that I did not see coming and it changed everything because I never saw myself as an academic, never saw myself as a professor and a researcher. So two things: don’t determine your future too soon you know? And when opportunites arise, you just take them, don’t overthink them, don’t think, ‘Oh I gotta write 10 thousand miles of pros and cons and analyze this to death,’ just take anything that comes along. Take any opportunity that comes along, and have good friends who tell you that you can do stuff when you don’t think you can. Don’t accept these sort of boxes that you’re excluded from. And if it doesn’t work out you can change. So it certainly wasn’t this linear sort of road leading to, ‘where I am today’. Where I am today, it’s a nice place I tell you, I’m happy I like what I do I’m interested in my work and that for me is success. But I was all over the place and I feel like in the end, working in the bank was as important to who I am, what I know, how I relate to people, and what I understand about the world, as going to LCE to do a PhD. I really do, its just all part of it. If something doesn’t work out, you can always leave, but I just think seizing opportunities is really important because you just don’t know how things are going to be. You can’t anticipate, you can’t predict because you take an opportunity and it leads to somewhere you never would’ve dreamed.
Uebele: Looking back is there anything that you would do differently that you would want students now to be aware of?
Elgert: No, and not to have regrets I think is so important. I wouldn’t do anything differently. It’s not that everything’s worked out perfectly or anything, I just feel like you can’t anticipate, so then why look back and wish you did something differently? Just always follow your heart, do follow your gut, follow your intuition.
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)! We¹re 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.
You¹ll 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
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
For a more details, please visit the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership
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).
The Western Forest Initiative is hiring three field technicians for summer
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 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
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 don¹t work under inclement conditions, the crew will need to be
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
email@example.com 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
Zarin Machanda is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology. She has worked with chimpanzees for the past 2 decades studying social interactions and development patterns. She is also the Director of Long-term Research at the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, a long-term study of wild chimpanzees in Uganda.
As a child growing up, Dr. Machanda would’ve told you that she wanted to be an astronaut veterinarian. While the job prospects of that career became a little more evident as she got older, Dr. Machanda was able to find her passion in studying chimpanzees and their behavior.
Hannah Uebele: How did you get started in this particular field?
Zarin Machanda: I always wanted to work with animals, so there was a part of me that just always wanted to work with wildlife. I remember looking up “primatologist” when I was really little and I thought, ‘Oh that sounds pretty cool.’ So I think a lot of students throughout my childhood and even into high school (thought) the only job you did if you wanted to work with animals was a veterinarian. It just wasn’t very obvious that there were other things, especially if you were a good student who really liked science, it just seemed like instead of going to med school, you go to vet school. And so at 18 that’s just what I assumed I was going to do. So I went to McGill and I majored in biology, and to get this kind of animal experience that you need to apply to vet school, I started volunteering at this sanctuary that had these chimps and that was kind of it. Even when I was applying for PhD programs, I still applied to vet schools because it was still, so it was still a tough choice, I still had to make that decision between the two. There was a part of it that was the opportunity to do a PhD (in Human Evolutionary Biology) studying wild chimps was such a rarity, such a unique experience, that it was hard to turn down. It was also sometime in college when I realized that there’s so much more than just this straight kind of fields that we think about, that actually there’s so many departments or programs that are actually at the intersection of multiple things. So college was the first time I even realized there was a field called biological anthropology. McGill did not have biological anthropology so I actually ended up doing degrees in biology and in anthropology. Then when I applied for grad school, we were a department of anthropology at Harvard, and then halfway through my time there we became our own department of human evolutionary biology. There aren’t that many departments that just focus on biological anthropology or human evolutionary biology so it was this kind of interesting program where I could really just immerse myself in that.
Uebele: Is there something special that a person needs to have to be successful in this field?
Machanda: There’s a lot of luck to it as well. I can’t pinpoint why, ‘Why did I get to do this and other people didn’t?’ There are lots of people who love animals and who want to help them. I think people who do what I do are a little bit different. I love animals but I love studying chimps. I don’t just love chimps, I love studying chimps and I think that’s the difference. I think if I just loved chimps and was very passionate about their survival then I would be a better conservationist. But I love studying them, so I think that’s partly what makes me a good researcher, because you can kind of remove yourself from that emotional tie to them. So I love the chimps that I study, but more importantly I love figuring out why they’re doing what they’re doing. I love going out and collecting data, I see something new every time I’m out there. It’s so much more than just having a passion for that animal, it’s about really wanting to understand.
Dr. Machanda explained how students need to be aware of this difference when figuring out which direction to go in their careers.
So you need to think about as a student, what is really driving your interest, and is it: do you love the study of it, do you love the academic side, or do you love the aspect of saving the species? I think that would give you a hint – one is maybe more conservation the other is more academic. There is a part of it that you have to be a pretty good student – I mean you have to like school, right? All of us are like these perpetual students who love learning, love being in this kind of atmosphere, don’t mind writing, so most people have some sort of fondness for school. I think you’d have a hard time being an academic without that kind of fondness. It’s not just an ability to do well school it’s about really liking what you’re learning. It’s about whether or not you can look at a body of information that’s maybe in a textbook and say, ‘Oh here’s what’s missing.’ So there’s kind of a way of thinking about the world that makes an academic successful.
Dr. Machanda then explained helpful steps students can take to help them get a better idea of where their interests lie.
And then just practically what you can do – you want to invest in your education certainly. For what I do in particular, it helps to have experience and so getting some sort of hands on either fieldwork or work with the animal is really important. If you want to be a fieldworker, animal fieldwork or ecological fieldwork, something important you want to do is before you commit to that PhD, go get some field experience, go do something. The other thing that I would say, most students who I’ve seen be successful grad students and have had an easier time in graduate school, have done senior theses. If you don’t know whether you like research, it’s hard to know whether you’re going to like doing a PhD or being an academic. So having some sort of experience with your own independent research project is a good metric not just for someone else to see how good you are, but for you to know how much you like this, which is more important actually. I wouldn’t make the commitment to go to graduate school if you didn’t really like this.
Uebele: Looking back, is there anything you would do differently that you would want students now to be aware of?
Machanda: I think it’s all part of the journey, I mean I certainly don’t regret working hard in college. Universities are such dynamic intellectually stimulating places and I think it’s easy for us to get very much overwhelmed by all of the things that are potentially available to us. But I think that there is a lot of value to taking advantage of the resources at your university. You can not only learn a lot about a particular interest, but you get exposed to different people doing work in different departments, and I think that’s an incredibly useful thing. I feel like when I was an undergrad, you felt like you didn’t have time, you were like stuck in your department, rather than expanding your knowledge. So I would definitely think about what’s happening at the university and you only have four years, so think about ‘What can I take advantage of?’
Uebele: Any final advice for students wanting to pursue a similar career?
Machanda: I would say I don’t think a career in academia is for everybody. If it’s for you, it’s a wonderful wonderful flexible option, but there’s a lot of hardship and struggle with that kind of career that we don’t often hear about. I would definitely keep my eyes and options open. I think it’s a wonderful thing to get a PhD if you love a subject, but to kind of realize that what it is, is a qualification for all sorts of opportunities after that, that are not just limited to academia. You have to be realistic about the fact that, ‘Yes I’m going to get a PhD because I absolutely love this topic, and I love this field, but the reality of it is that I might not end up being a professor.’ And that’s okay because if you’ve loved doing your PhD, hopefully that will take you into all sorts of different arenas. You can’t necessarily think of this PhD as this linear path to academia. You have to think about it like, ‘Okay my next 7 years are going to be this’ and then hopefully keep a very open mind about what that degree can do for you, which is a lot of things. It’s a lot of things, I mean it can take you all sorts of really cool directions if you’re willing to see that, and to see those opportunities.
How do bees use fragmented habitats? Dr. Harmon-Threatt in the Department
of Entomology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign seeks a Research
Assistant capable of both field and lab work to assist with addressing this
question. This 2-year position can begin as early as January 2016 but no
later than April 2017. Applicant must have a minimum of a BS in Biology,
Entomology or a related field. Experience with netting pollinators, bee identification,
GIS, R and field ecology are preferred but not required. Compensation will be
commensurate with experience. Unfortunately, we are limited to domestic
applicants due to funding.
For more information about the Harmon-Threatt Lab please visit
www.life.illinois.edu/harmon or email Alexandra Harmon-Threatt
Please submit a single PDF with a cover letter with relevant experience, CV
and contact for 3 references who can be reached if necessary by December 9th to
Seeking a highly organized, detail-oriented, energetic, and creative professional a team-player with at least 3 years of fundraising and event-planning & PR experience; facility in use of Microsoft Office; strong writing skills, excellent people skills, experience in managing volunteers and/or staff. This position is full-time, year-round.
If interested, please email resume and cover letter to Michelle Whelan, Executive Director: firstname.lastname@example.org.