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Field Biology Program – Apply by Nov 17

by Maya J. Sze on October 29, 2021

Applications are now being accepted for UNDERC Summer 2022 Field Biology programs. UNDERC provides two opportunities to promote understanding of field biology and how field research is conducted through 10 weeks in the wilds. Our Track 1 opportunity is designed for students wanting to gain initial experience in field biology where they can gain an introduction to the concepts and methodology while conducting a collaborative research project with other students in the program. Our Track 2 opportunity is designed for undergraduates with prior research experience at UNDERC (including Track 1) or elsewhere that would like to conduct an independent research project under the mentorship of UNDERC scientists. Each student receives housing, travel between the Notre Dame campus and UNDERC, and a stipend ($5000).

The UNDERC facility is owned by Notre Dame and contains 8000 acres of pristine lakes, streams, wetlands, and forests with abundant wildlife. The natural setting and modern facilities provide an unparalleled opportunity for gaining experience in field biology. UNDERC is also the core site in the Great Lakes Region for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).Each summer, participants receive three-credits and a stipend. UNDERC provides tuition, housing, and transportation between the Notre Dame campus and the site. Acceptance is based on a statement of purpose as well as past academic performance. Preference is given to students pursuing a career in ecology or environmental science. Applicants are required to be present for the duration of course (18 May through 24 July).

Further information can be obtained at the UNDERC website (, or from UNDERC Assistant Directors Dr. Michael Cramer (, or Dr. David Flagel, (

Applications are available online ( Application deadline is 10 November 2021. Notification of acceptance will be provided by 9 December 2021. Special consideration will be given to Native American applicants.

UNDERC-Track 1: This opportunity is offered to individuals at any stage of their undergraduate education that have an interest in gaining training and research experience in field biology. You will receive a structured introduction to field biology through a mixture of classroom and field training at the UNDERC facility. Classroom training includes visits to the George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum and Cultural Center and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.  Classwork will also promote understanding of Native American attitudes towards the environment for non-Native American students. The summer is broken up into four learning modules including – vertebrate ecology, invertebrate ecology, aquatic ecology and forest ecology. This training will be leveraged by the class to conduct a summer-long collaborative research project.  

UNDERC-Track 2: This independent research opportunity is offered to undergraduates that have had at least one summer or semester of research experience. An UNDERC-affiliated scientist will mentor each student on the development of a research proposal, implementation of the project, analyses of the data collected and the writing up and presentation of the project at the end of the summer. Past projects have ranged from behavioral, population, community and ecosystem ecology to local Native American ecosystem use.

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