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Smithsonian MarineGEO: Data & Information Technology Coordinator

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 15:23
Opportunity Type: Jobs

The Smithsonian Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO) seeks a talented, motivated, and collaborative person to help implement and expand a network-wide data/information system to support its scientific mission of conducting coordinated, global research on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. This position serves as the data and information technology coordinator, a key role for the MarineGEO network of partners dispersed nationally and internationally. The coordinator serves a central function of facilitating research and data-driven discovery across the network by stewarding data management, system administration, and data collaboration.


  •  Data Management: Design, develop, and implement a data management strategy and software to collect, process, analyze, disseminate, and archive all MarineGEO data. Develop and deploy web-based and local software applications for data integration, management, analysis, and visualization.
  • System Administration: Using best practices, provide recommendations for and implement data management solutions, data standards, and data architectures needed for data acquisition, access, use, and storage. Ensure compliance with applicable data policies and standards.
  • Collaboration: Work with, train, and serve as a liaison to users and partner organizations to ensure proper data entry, use, analysis, and interoperability while meeting user system requirements.

Desired Skills:

  • Demonstrated expertise in computer programming and in designing, building, and using client-server, relational, object-oriented, and/or triplestore database systems and applications.
  • Ability and experience in web development, web applications, web-database back- and front-end interfaces (e.g., uploading data, customized queries, data visualization).
  • Knowledge and experience in standards and conventions for data management, administration, and systems life-cycle management.
  • Excellent verbal, written, and scientific communication skills.
  • Facility in working as part of a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary team.
  • Knowledge in one or more of the following areas: ecology, environmental sciences, marine sciences, genetics, or taxonomy.
  • Experience coding for data acquisition, manipulation, summary, and presentation using common languages and standards such as: C, Java, Python, Perl, R, HTML, XML, PHP, etc.
  • Comfort working with multiple data formats, including XML, JSON, spreadsheets, video, audio, photo, and text.
  • Experience working with data from biodiversity- and environment-related research fields.


  • Master’s degree in computer, natural, or physical sciences, plus two years relevant experience; or Bachelor’s degree in one of those fields with at least five years relevant work experience.
  • Able to obtain and maintain a U.S. Passport for travel purposes.

Position Details:

  • This is not a Federal Position, but has similar requirements and benefits.
  • The Smithsonian embraces diversity and equal employment opportunity.
  • Location: Edgewater, Md. or Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian does not pay relocation expenses.
  • Occasional travel may be necessary.
  • Salary range: $54,000-80,000, commensurate with experience.

To Apply: Please send a single PDF file to using the subject line “Application: Data IT Coordinator” in the email. The PDF should include: a cover letter briefly stating interest and highlighting relevant experience, a CV, and a list of three references with title and contact information. The CV should include any public examples of previous software work. Application review will begin May 1 and continue until the position is filled or May 31, whichever is sooner.

Expiration Date: Thu, 2017-07-20Links: Smithsonian MarineGEOOriginal Job Posting

Searching for synergies: The future of long-term, large scale ecological research

Fri, 04/14/2017 - 20:14

An LTER-NEON Synergies workshop, held March 29-31, explored the potential for strengthening and deepening the relationship between these two major research organizations and expanding ties to other networks such as the Critical Zone Observatory (CZO), Long Term Agricultural Research (LTAR) and Global Lake Ecological Observatory (GLEON) networks. The Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network and National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) have complementary approaches to long-term, large scale ecological research and improving coordination offers great potential for shared learning.

“Understanding the causes and consequences of ecological change is one of the most important challenges confronting the scientific community,” said Tim Kratz, National Science Foundation Program Officer for Macrosystems Biology and Early NEON Science. “This workshop to explore synergies between NEON and LTER helped clarify areas where these two powerful approaches can be brought together to make significant progress to meet this challenge.”

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Potential synergies of the LTER and NEON Networks. Credit: Peter Groffman.

Twenty-four workshop participants—including senior organizational leadership and a wide assortment of data users—met at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) to discuss how the different lenses each network employs could provide perspective for the other. “Workshop participants were able to highlight exciting synergies between LTER and NEON that will develop over the next 30 years,” said workshop organizer Peter Groffman, who chairs the LTER Science Council. “Perhaps the key synergy is that NEON is going to provide important new information on how ecosystems are changing and LTER will continue to provide understanding of the mechanisms underlying that change.”

As participants in the LTER-NEON Synergies workshop introduced themselves and their connections to LTER and NEON, it was striking how many individuals had launched their careers through undergraduate or graduate research experiences at LTER sites—manipulating plant diversity at Cedar Creek, sorting litter at Harvard Forest, harvesting biomass at Toolik Lake, and so on. The intimate knowledge of site and system represented by those experiences is central to the work of the LTERs, where teams of site-based scientists guide experiments and data collection based on Network-wide research themes, such as primary production, movement of organic matter, movement of inorganic matter, population dynamics and trophic interactions, and disturbance.

NEON, on the other hand, offers a suite of measurements across many sites with standardized data collection from sensors located on towers, in the soil, and in aquatic systems, sampling of select organisms, including small mammals, insects, fish, plants, invertebrates, and microbial communities, and remote-sensing data collected by airborne observatories. The top-down approach implemented by NEON produces a large body of highly comparable data, but offers less flexibility for addressing site-specific questions. With up to 14 co-located LTER and NEON sites, there are obvious opportunities for data sharing and interpretation, but the discussion went deeper to address approaches for

  1. applying LTER’s understanding of land use history, landscape organization, scales of ecological organization, and disturbance regimes, for example, to help interpret NEON data and sampling designs, and
  2. using NEON data, with its finer temporal resolution, new organisms, and disease focus, to help interpret and expand the scope of LTER core research areas.

Participants outlined a journal article describing concrete approaches and describing examples of these types of synergy. “This was a fun and challenging workshop bringing together diverse perspectives on how the LTER and NEON scientific networks can synergize,” said Cove Sturtevant, NEON Staff Scientist. “We made a lot of progress toward a blueprint that I think can accelerate the use of NEON data in impactful science as the Observatory reaches full operability.”

The workshop also examined the role of conceptual and quantitative models in guiding a new era of continental scale ecological research. The discussion focused on how LTER and NEON offer opportunities to think about the nature of prediction and uncertainty. The wealth of long-term data from LTER sites in almost all NEON domains could, for example, help NEON scientists to interpret the variability and extremes that they observe as sites begin to accumulate new data streams.

Researchers discussed a variety of approaches to modeling and prediction, including conceptual frameworks, scenarios, and model intercomparison/data assimilation. A follow-up workshop is being planned to dig deeper into the potential for syntheses of LTER and NEON models and data as well as for involving other networks.

Participants at the workshop included a core organizing committee—drawn from LTER and NEON leadership, with representation from many co-located research sites—and also a wide range of junior researchers and data users. Recognizing the importance of engaging the next generation of ecological leaders, organizers invited applications from throughout the ecological research community. Over 60 researchers applied for one of the 11 slots.

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Regional Conservation Communication Manager - Harvard Forest LTER

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 16:42
Opportunity Type: JobsPOSITION SUMMARY

Wildlands and Woodlands, a New England-wide conservation initiative of the Harvard Forest and Highstead, seeks a talented communication professional with a background in conservation or other environmental field. The Regional Conservation Communication Manager will work as part of a team to develop and implement communication strategies that inform and inspire conservationists, policymakers, foresters, scientists, funders, and public audiences to work together to protect New England’s forests and farms and to promote livable cities and towns that are sustained by thriving natural infrastructure.


Supervised by the Harvard Forest Director of Outreach & Development, this person is responsible for print and digital media production, events management, and communications planning and implementation as part of a strategic working group. Projects will include publication roll-outs to the media, policymakers, conservation professionals, and the public; and amplification of Wildlands and Woodlands products and ideas (including policy documents, conservation finance reports, scientific papers, and conservation stories and events) across print and digital platforms, leveraging a wide range of organizational partners. This work must be balanced with daily tasks of editing, proofreading, updating websites, managing contact lists, and posting on social media platforms.


Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor's or Master's degree in communication-related or environmental field.
  • 3-5 years of related professional experience.

Additional Requirements

  • Demonstrated success in generating effective, issue-based print and digital communication products that target multiple audiences including the media and/or decision makers.
  • Superb writing, editing, and proofreading skills.
  • Experience collaborating on communication strategy and brand development.
  • Experience with event management and publicity.
  • Experience overseeing consultants in design, video production, web development, etc.
  • Highly motivated personality with an ability to manage multiple deadlines and maintain strong attention to detail and quality.
  • Interest in working collaboratively as part of a team while also advancing projects independently; ability to consider multiple perspectives with diplomacy and a sense of humor.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), basic website content development (via Drupal or other content management system), and social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).
  • Ability to deliver public presentations and tours, which may be in outdoor environments.
  • Ability and willingness to work occasional evening and weekends and do some regional travel.
  • Valid US driver’s license for at least 2 years and a clean driving record.

Preferred Experience

  • Familiarity with the New England landscape and a commitment to its conservation.
  • Facility with desktop publishing software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign.
  • Experience with one or more of the following:
  • Data visualization
  • Video or podcast production
  • Website development and/or graphic design
  • Surveys, program evaluation, or impacts assessment
  • Fundraising, grant-writing, and donor relations
  • Focus group management / stakeholder engagement
  • Compensation

    • Full-time 1 year term position. Grant funded position with likelihood of continuation based upon performance and funding.
    • Excellent benefits.
    • Position based at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts.
    • Anticipated starting salary of $58,000.

    Application Apply on line at Requisition 42024BR. Please submit one PDF document containing your cover letter, resume, names and contact information for 3 relevant references, short appropriate writing sample and link to an example of a web or print product you have produced. Anticipated starting time April-May 2017.

    About the Harvard Forest: The Forest, a department of Harvard University with 40 year-round staff, is located 30 min from Amherst, 45 min from Worcester. Scientists, students, and collaborators at the Forest explore topics ranging from conservation and environmental change to land-use history and the ways in which physical, biological and human systems interact to change our earth.

Expiration Date: Mon, 2017-05-01

Education Coordinator, Sustainability Research Network, ASU

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 14:43
Opportunity Type: JobsEducation Program Coordinator, Senior

Urban Resilience to Extremes (UREx) Sustainability Research Network (SRN)

The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University invites applications for a full-time Education Program Coordinator Senior, Urban Resilience to Extremes (UREx) Sustainability Research Network (SRN).

To review the posting and apply to this position, please visit: and click on Applicant under Staff Positions. Search openings for Requisition ID number 30291BR. Arizona State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, age or veteran status in the University’s services, educational programs, and activities, including, but not limited to, admission to and employment by the University.

Expiration Date: Tue, 2017-06-13

Two new ocean sites announced

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 21:44

The National Science Foundation has announced two new oceanic LTER sites, both based in regions with highly productive fisheries.

The Northern Gulf of Alaska (NGA) site, led by Russell Hopcroft at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will focus on emergent properties of ecosystems, particularly three hypotheses:

  1. Changes in the hydrologic cycle affect spring bloom production through changes in cloud cover, the stratification/mixing balance, macro- and micronutrient supplies, and transport pathways.
  2. Hot-spots of high summer primary and secondary production result from interactions between the fresher Alaska Coastal Current and more saline offshore waters as promoted by shelf morphology and regional winds; hot spot timing and magnitude will be influenced by changes in the hydrologic cycle.
  3. Nutritional and life history patterns of NGA consumers minimize trophic mismatch, buffering spatial and temporal variability in lower trophic level production and leading to resilience in the face of long-term climate change.

The research plan of the Northeastern U.S. Shelf (NES) LTER, led by Heidi Sosik at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is guided by an overarching science question: How is long-term environmental change impacting the pelagic NES ecosystem and, in particular, affecting the relationship between compositional (e.g., species diversity and size structure) and aggregate (e.g., rates of primary production, and transfer of energy to important forage fish species) variability?

Capitalizing on high levels of seasonal and interannual variability in the NES, the research will study short-term responses to change in the environment to a) characterize low and high export food webs, b) understand the linkages and transfer of energy from the phytoplankton to pelagic fish, and c) identify the mechanisms that underlie shifts between high and low export communities.

Audience: Decision MakersMedia ProfessionalsResearchers

Archbold Biological Station:  Assistant Data Manager

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 15:21
Opportunity Type: JobsArchbold Biological Station
 Assistant Data Manager

This is a full-time position that offers health and dental benefits, retirement plan with matching employer contributions after one year, paid vacation and sick leave, and 10 paid holidays per year. To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references, to

Deadline to apply is March 10th, 2017. EOE/AA Employer

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Day to day responsibilities include monitoring and trouble-shooting of data flow from raw file entry point of abiotic and biotic data to relational databases, real-time streaming onto an SQL Server, and automated subset data transfers to offsite end users
  • Provide support for all data management tasks
  • Occasional support for field technicians
  • Microsoft Access database creation and maintenance, including form design
  • SQL Server database maintenance, query writing and view creation
  • Assist researchers at Station and MAERC Ranch in data management
Minimum Job Qualifications
  • Associate's degree in Computer Science or related field, or relevant coursework or equivalent work experience preferred
  • Experience with Microsoft Access, Word and Excel is required
  • Experience with Microsoft SQL Server, VBA coding, MS Access form design and macro creation preferred
  • Familiarity with SQL Server scheduled jobs, queries and views, as well as general database maintenance is recommended
  • Experience with MS DOS batch files, ColdFusion, LoggerNet, RTMC, R, CoraScript helpful but not required
  • Ability to troubleshoot network data flow connections, database errors, VBA code
  • Ability to work with research staff and outside agencies
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to work independently and prioritize tasks
  • Good written communication/documentation skills
Working Conditions and Physical Demands

The demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Occasional physical activities including lifting, pushing and pulling items up to 50 pounds; reaching, stooping, bending, kneeling, climbing, crouching and prolonged periods of sitting.
  • Ability to work various shifts during occasional emergency situations, including evenings and weekends, with little or no notice.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references, to

Expiration Date: Fri, 2017-03-10

Urban Resilience to Extremes REU

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 14:57
Opportunity Type: UndergraduateUndergraduate Research Experience Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network Summer 2017

The Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) is pleased to announce six opportunities for undergraduate students to participate this summer in interdisciplinary research associated with urban infrastructure resilience and community vulnerability in the face of extreme weather-related events. UREx SRN aims to generate knowledge and promote actions that will ensure urban resiliency.

UREx SRN is interested in students who have their sights set on graduate school and careers in related scientific research and outcomes. The REU opportunity will provide selected students hands-on experience in data research, analysis, stakeholder engagement and active collaboration with the UREx SRN team.

Compensation: Each REU student will receive a competitive funding package up to US$4,500 for research stipends, supplies and travel (if applicable).

Application deadline: Friday, March 24th @ 5:00 PM AZ-MST. Complete program information and application instructions can be found on the UREx SRN website under Opportunities.

Opportunity 1: Miami, FL
Flood mitigation and ecosystem restoration strategies that enhance human-ecosystem connectivity and health in coastal urban systems

Opportunity 2: Phoenix, AZ
The relationship of urban design and microclimate in influencing behavior to mitigate heat exposure on public transit stops in Phoenix Metro Area

Opportunity 3: Phoenix, AZ
Does vacant land in UREx SRN cities contribute to resilience or vulnerability?

Opportunity 4: Phoenix, AZ
Cost-effectiveness of municipal climate change adaptation strategies

Opportunity 5: Phoenix, AZ
Financing options for green infrastructure projects in San Juan, Puerto Rico: Transitions and implementation for urban resilience to extreme weather events

Opportunity 6: Portland, OR
Understanding the Capacity of Green Infrastructure to Mediate Extreme Heat Events in the Pacific Northwest

What type of undergraduate students are we looking for? We would like students with the following traits:

  • a passion for research
  • a desire to engage in a life-changing research experience
  • a strong and creative work ethic
  • a willingness to challenge yourself, while having fun, and being committed to collaborative learning
  • a strong interest in sustainability, climate change, urbanism, infrastructure and community
  • a desire to learn more about all aspects of research
  • a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone, learn about yourself, and challenge your world views
Expiration Date: Fri, 2017-03-31

PhD Opportunity: Antarctic Lakes

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 13:22
Opportunity Type: Graduate student

The Priscu Research Group is seeking a motivated Ph.D. student to work on the aquatic systems in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica as part of the McMurdo LTER project

This six-year interdisciplinary project extends 24 years of previous data collection on the permanently ice-covered lakes of the region and will focus on biogeochemical responses to changes in landscape connectivity and climate. The successful applicant will be expected to interact with technicians, graduate students and PI’s in Antarctic fieldwork. The successful applicant must also pass the medical and dental exams required by NSF for Antarctic deployment. A Master’s degree in ecosystem modeling, aquatic biogeochemistry, or microbial ecology is desirable. 

Interested students should contact Amy Chiuchiolo, Montana State University, Bozeman ( and include a brief statement of interest. 

For more information about the Priscu Research Group, see:


Expiration Date: Mon, 2017-05-15


Thu, 01/26/2017 - 19:43

From February 26-March 3, The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) will hold its annual meeting in Honolulu, Hawai`i. The LTER Network sites will be present oral and poster presentations on a wide range of topics. In addition, LTER investigators may be especially interested in a special session on Thursday, Ecological Resilience, Non-linear Community Dynamics and Reversibility of State Shifts in Aquatic Ecosystems, organized by Russell J. Schmitt and Thomas Adam of Moorea Coral Reef LTER and Karen McGlathery of Virginia Coast Reserve LTER along with David Seekell, Umea University.

LTER-related presentations have been organized below by day and time. Please excuse any omissions or misattributions. We will continue to add and adjust this list up until the start of the conference: please contact with corrections.  






Monday, February 27: Oral Presentations

10:00 304 A/B CCE Abiotic Alteration of a Common Biochemical Confers Some of the Structural Complexity Observed in Refractory Dissolved Organic Matter


313 A


Trait-Based Approach to Food-Web Interactions Across Environmental Gradients


302 A/B


Effects of Algal Biofilm Patchiness on Boundary Layer Hydrodynamics

Tuesday, February 28: Oral Presentations

10:45 313 A CCE Protistan Plankton Diversity and Species-Specific Contribution to Oceanic Carbon Export in the California Current Ecosystem Revealed by DNA Metabarcoding


306 A


Shifting Long-Term Biogeochemical Baselines: Enhanced Marine Connectivity Increases Nutrient Availability in Coastal Wetland Ecosystems

12:30 323A GCE

Chlorophyll Retrieval Algorithms and Effects of Highly Variable TSS and CDOM Using a Large Spectral Library of Inland and Coastal Observations

16:45 323 B CCE Diel Changes in Mesozooplankton Vertical Microstructure and Implications for Predation and Carbon Cycling: Views from a Zooglider 17:15 323 B CCE Euphasid Spatial Distribution across a Steep Bathymetric Feature and Implications for Whale Predation

Wednesday, March 1: Oral Presentations


306 B


Challenges of Connectivity Within Urban Landscapes: Examples from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study


313 A


Leveraging Contextual Data to Improve Machine-Learning Classifications of Marine Zooplankton

Wednesday, March 1: Poster Presentations


Poster/Exhibit Hall


Trophic Ecology Variability and Relationship to Recruitment of Larval Northern Anchovy over the Past 50 Years

Thursday, March 2: Sessions


323 A, Poster/Exhibit Hall


Ecological Resilience, Non-linear Community Dynamics and Reversibility of State Shifts in Aquatic Ecosystems

Thursday, March 2: Oral Presentations


323 C


Drugs in Bugs: PPCPS (Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products) Detected in Stream Food Webs Across an Urban Rural Gradient


323 A


Decoding Resilience in the Oregon Cascades: An Analysis of Historical Trends of Streamflow Variability


306 A


Unravelling Drivers of Methane Emissions in a Subtropical Freshwater Reservoir


323 A


Coral Reef Oases in Space and Time


323 A


An Experimental Approach to Assessing Tipping Points on Coral Reefs

14:45 323 B PIE Bay Edge Erosion Provides a Critical Source of Sedimanets Maintaining Elevation and Blue Carbon Storage of Salt Marsh Platform


323 C


Wave-Current Interactions and their Effect on Sediment Suspension within a Zostera Marina Seagrass Bed


306 B


Seagrass Restoration Stimulates Nitrogen Cycling

Thursday, March 2: Poster Presentations

11:00 Poster/Exhibit Hall GCE The Influence of Hydrology on Dissolved Organic Matter Composition and Degradation in the Altamaha River and Estuary


Poster/Exhibit Hall


Comparing Modern Carbon Burial in Aquatic Ecosystems


Poster/Exhibit Hall


Experimental Test of Alternative Stable States on a Coral Reef

Friday, March 3: Special Sessions of interest to LTER


308 A/B, Poster/Exhibit Hall


Long-Term Perspectives on Aquatic Research


313 A, Poster/Exhibit Hall


Ecological Impacts of El Niño 2015-16

Friday, March 3: Oral Presentations


308 A/B


Long Term Ecological Research and Reproducibility: Lessons From Whole Lake Experiments


308 A/B


Long-Term Rainfall Cycles Control Lake Plankton Dynamics, Diversity And Metabolism in a Low Latitude Lake: An Analog for Future High Latitude Lakes


313 A


Stable Isotope-Based Nitrogen Budget for the California Current Ecosystem Domain During the 2014 Blob and 2015-2016 El Niño: From Source Nutrients to Food Webs


313 A


El Niño Impact on Microplankton Community Structure in the Southern California Current


313 A


Formation and Propogation of a Novel Coccolithophore Bloom in the Santa Barbara Channel


313 A


El Niño Coupled with Anomalous Ocean Warming Challenge Sentinel Status of Giant Kelp as an Indicator of Climate Change

Friday, March 3: Poster Presentations

11:00 Poster/Exhibit Hall CCE Shelf Sources of Iron in the Southern California Current System


Poster/Exhibit Hall


Impact of Nutrient Enrichment on Coral Bleaching, Mortality and Recovery During the 2015-16 El Niño


Poster/Exhibit Hall


Response of the California Current Pelagic Ecosystem to El Niño 2015-2016


Poster/Exhibit Hall


Comparing Bacterial Abundance in the California Current Ecosystem Region Across El Niño, Blob, and Normal Years


Poster/Exhibit Hall


Impacts of El Niño on Export Production in the California Current Ecosystem


Poster/Exhibit Hall


Investigating Effects of Anomalous Oceanographic Conditions on Pelagic Food Web Dynamics in the California Current Using Stable Isotope Analyses


Poster/Exhibit Hall


The Abundance and Distribution of Nanoplastics in the California Current and the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, Imaged with a Novel Method

15:30 Poster/Exhibit Hall CCE Taxon-Specific Phytoplankton Mortality Due to Microzooplankton Grazing in the Southern California Current During the 2014 Blob and 2016 El Niño

2017 REU opportunities

Wed, 01/25/2017 - 11:28

NSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites Program. The REU program allows for active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. So if you are an undergraduate student interested in gaining meaningful research experience, consider applying for a summer REU opportunity.

In addition to the REU program, students also have the opportunity to gain research experience through the Partnerships for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Fellowship. SPUR Fellowships are sponsored by SEEDS, a program of the Ecological Society of America, with the goal of broadening participation in ecology. The award supports the undergraduate student in designing and conducting an ecology research project of interest. SEEDS has established partnerships with field stations and mentors to offer exciting summer opportunities that will be tailored to meet student interests, career objectives, and growth as a scientist. For most opportunities, no prior research experiences is necessary. 

Below is a list of summer research opportunities associated with the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network.

Upper left: Niwot Ridge LTER REU student; Lower left: Harvard Forest LTER undergraduate summer research program; Right: 2015 Sevilleta LTER Research Experience for Undergraduates Program


Summer 2017 REU Opportunities


Sustainable Urban Water Transdisciplinary Research Program for Undergraduates

The Urban Water Innovation Network (UWIN) is pleased to offer its second Undergraduate Research Program (URP) for the summer of 2017. Students with different research interests in urban water sustainability - social sciences, natural sciences, engineering - will be placed with a team of mentors at institutions in urban areas across the nation. See:

Students will join the Urban Water Innovation Network community in 2017 to: 

  • Be a part of an exciting research community, working closely with mentor scientists
  • Design and complete a research project using state-of-the-art facilities
  • Explore urban water sustainability and transdisciplinary research
  • Exchange ideas with a diverse group of students and scientists

The program fosters reflection and builds self confidence and skills. To complement their mentored research, students interact in person and/or virtually, give and receive feedback and support, and participate in a rich assortment of enrichment activities, workshops and seminars in research and urban water sustainability.

Dates: May 31 to August 2, 2017 (9 weeks)

Eligibility:  Undergraduate freshmen, sophomores, juniors or first semester seniors. Must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or its possessions.

Support: $4,500 stipend, room and board on-campus or in nearby housing, travel allowance up to $900.

The program starts and ends at Colorado State University in Fort Collins CO.

To apply: See our website at: Online application only.

Applications must be submitted by February 10, 2017.

Projects for 2017:

  • Variation in Vegetation’s Influence on Urban Climate (University of California Riverside, Oregon State University, University of Arizona, UMBC)
  • Evaluating Options for Management of Urban Flood Hazards (UMBC, University of Arizona, University of Georgia)
  • Microclimates and Human Activity Patterns Near Urban Surface Water: A Case Study of Tempe Town Lake, Arizona (Arizona State University)
  • Water Resouces and Heat Emergencies (Arizona State University)
  • Natural Solutions for Urban Watershed Sustainability (Brooklyn College CUNY)
  • Visualizing Urban Water Sustainability Indicators within a Video Game for Collecting Water Management Ideas from Gamers (Colorado State University)
  • Non-Darcian Flow Regimes in the Biscayne Aquifer of Southeast Florida (Florida International University)
  • Water Affordability Case Studies (Michigan State University)
  • Transitions to Socially Equitable and Environmentally Just Sustainable Urban Water Systems (Northeastern University)
  • Characterizing the Urban Energy Water Nexus through Modeling and Data Analysis (Princeton University)
  • System-of-Systems Analysis of Water Infrastructure Resilience under Climate Change Impacts (Texas A&M University)

UWIN Flyer


Translational Ecology: Independent Research in Ecology for Undergraduates

2016 REU students

The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is pleased to offer their Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program for the 30th year in 2017. Ten undergraduate students will join the Cary Institute research community in 2017 to:

  • Be a part of an exciting research community, working closely with leading ecologists
  • Design and complete a research project using state-of-the-art facilities
  • Exchange ideas with a diverse group of students and scientists
  • Learn how to translate ecology for policy, management and the public
  • Publish results in our online Cary Institute Undergraduate Research Report
  • Explore how ecological research impacts society

The program emphasizes the community nature of the scientific enterprise, fosters reflection and builds self confidence and skills. To complement their mentored research, students have many chances to interact, give and receive feedback and support, and participate in a rich assortment of enrichment activities, workshops and field trips around the theme of translational ecology.

Dates: May 22 to August 11, 2017 (12 weeks)

Eligibility: Undergraduate freshmen, sophomores, juniors or first semester seniors. Must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or its possessions.

Stipend: $6,300 stipend, plus a $900 food allowance and free housing in Bacon Flats Lodge.

Other support:  Assistance is available for travel to and from the program as well. 

To apply: See our website at: 

Online application only Applications must be submitted by February 3, 2017.

Projects for 2017:

  • Eavesdropping behavior and social information use in songbirds
  • The scavenger community in a temperate northeastern forest
  • Nutrient retention in forest soils
  • Long-term consequences of high deer abundance on forest community structure and nutrient dynamics
  • Ecosystem regulation of mosquitoes and disease risk
  • Trans-boundary ecosystem effects of larval abiotic conditions on adult mosquito population dynamics
  • Hudson River habitats in a changing world
  • Lakes in a changing global environment
  • Ecological change in the Sky Lakes on the Shawangunk Ridge
  • Using a whole-lake experiment to understand how environmental change alters lake food productivity
  • Children's learning and engagement in ecology

Cary Institute REU Flyer


SPUR Fellowship: Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Program REU


The Centeral Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Site at Arizona State University is a partner research site with the SPUR Fellowship. As a fellow, you will have the opportunity to develop a question for your stufy, write a proposal, develop the methodology, conduct the study, and analyze results, thereby concluding a mini-thesis by the time you complete your summer. You may also have the opportunity to present your research on-site at the end of the summer. Regardless of your research focus, you may also have the opportunity to assist and implement site-based outreach activities to develop your skills in planning and executing events and educational programs.  Additional career development activities are also provided at most locations. Learn more about the SPUR Fellowship:

Description: The REU experience in the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) program is structured to be a learning opportunity for undergraduate students to work with CAP senior scientists on urban ecology research projects in the greater Phoenix area. REU students take responsibility for a research project and are expected to produce a research poster and possibly to co-author a paper within a year of completing their experience. Past REU students have worked on a range of research projects: soils in residential landscapes, the urban heat island and vegetation, residents’ attitudes about vegetation and birds, arthropod communities in urban and desert patches, and nutrient cycling in wetlands, retention basins, and floodplains. All projects build off of CAP’s long-term research in the Phoenix area and involve students in gathering and analyzing data to answer research questions. Many projects involve both field and lab work. REU students also gain an opportunity to work with senior graduate students and engage in peer to peer learning with other undergraduate students. Learn more about the CAP LTER REU:

Location: Tempe, AZ

Start and End dates: 5/9/2017 – 8/8/2017

Fellowship positions available: 2

Are the dates flexible? Yes

Eligibility and Requirements: GPA 3.0 and above

Other restrictions: Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Summer Stipend: $4,000 total

Other services provided: Housing is provided. Air fare/ mileage is provided. Ground transportation on site is provided if needed. Research materials or equipment are provided. We have career development / awareness activities in place.

To apply: see application guidelines and apply at

Applications must be submitted by January 16, 2017. 


SPUR Fellowship: Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics in a Changing World

The W.K. Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Ecological Research Site at Michigan State University is a partner research site with the SPUR Fellowship. As a fellow, you will have the opportunity to develop a question for your stufy, write a proposal, develop the methodology, conduct the study, and analyze results, thereby concluding a mini-thesis by the time you complete your summer. You may also have the opportunity to present your research on-site at the end of the summer. Regardless of your research focus, you may also have the opportunity to assist and implement site-based outreach activities to develop your skills in planning and executing events and educational programs.  Additional career development activities are also provided at most locations. Learn more about the SPUR Fellowship:

Description: The Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) provides outstanding opportunities for students interested in ecology, evolutionary biology, agricultural ecology and animal science. KBS faculty, post-docs, and graduate students are passionate about involving undergraduates in their research and KBS provides access to excellent research facilities, field sites, and an environment conducive to research. KBS REU positions give undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct full-time research under the guidance of an experienced mentor.

REUs will work with their mentor to create and maintain a fully annotated dataset, collaborate to write a research proposal, present a professional research poster at the KBS Summer Undergraduate Symposium, and write a blog post about their research experience.

What are the benefits of an REU at KBS?

  • Join a dynamic group of students and faculty for an authentic field research experience
  • Learn the process of research: reading the literature, formulating questions and hypotheses, designing a study, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting the results as a professional research poster
  • Explore if a career in research is a good choice for you
  • Build references for your application to graduate school or other programs
  • Participate in professional development seminars tailored to help undergraduate students be successful in STEM disciplines

Location: Hickory Corner, MI

Start and End dates: 5/22/2017 – 8/6/2017

Fellowship positions available: 2

Are the dates flexible? No

Eligibility and Requirements: Students must be a US Citizen enrolled as an undergraduate at a US college/university.

Summer Stipend: $5,000 stipend plus FREE room and board. Up to $500 to cover transportation to and from KBS. Up to $400 for research expenses

Other services provided: Housing and meals are provided, Air fare/mileage is reimbursed up to $500, ground transportation to KBS is provided if needed, up to $400 can be used for research materials, there are weekly professional development seminars and opportunities to interact with visiting scientists.

Description of research projects: 

To apply: see application guidelines and apply at

Applications must be submitted by January 16, 2017. 


Harvard Forest REU Program


The Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in Ecology is an opportunity for students to participate in 11 weeks of mentored, paid, independent research focusing on the effects of natural and human disturbances on forest ecosystems, including global climate change, hurricanes, forest harvest, wildlife dynamics, and species diversity. Researchers come from many disciplines, and specific projects center on population and community ecology, paleoecology, land-use history, biochemistry, soil science, ecophysiology, atmosphere-biosphere exchanges, landscape modeling, and data provenance (see 2017 research projects and 2016 student abstracts). Read student experiences from past summers on our blog. 

Where is the Harvard Forest? The Harvard Forest is located in the town of Petersham, in Western Massachusetts.

2017 Summer Program Dates: Monday, May 22 - Friday, August 4, 2017


  • Stipend of $5775 for the 11-week session
  • Free furnished housing at Fisher House or Raup House
  • Free full meal plan
  • Travel reimbursement for one round trip to the Harvard Forest campus (federal grant restrictions apply)

To Apply: see application requirements and apply at 

Applications must be submitted by February 3, 2017.


Kellogg Biological Station LTER REU position


Mentors: Joe Lee-Cullin (PhD Candidate – Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Michigan State University) and Dr. Jay Zarnetske (Assistant Professor – Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Michigan State University)

What happens to carbon that moves between stream and groundwater ecosystems?


Carbon, particularly organic carbon, is a master variable in aquatic ecosystems, controlling nutrient and contaminant cycling, food webs, and drinking water quality. Organic carbon composition is complex and varies dependent upon its origin, and therefore what it does and where it ends up streams is still poorly understood. The area where surface and subsurface waters mix, called the stream-groundwater interface, is an important ecological environment that may play a significant role in how stream carbon moves and what it actually does. To date, this has not been studied much by scientists. This stream-groundwater interface creates strong physical and biological gradients that lead to a great deal of biological and geochemical activity that transforms and moves organic carbon, nutrients, and contaminants. In general, the organic carbon acts as an important energy source for microbial organisms existing in this interface, particularly those organisms involved in removing nutrients from the freshwater streams (for example, denitrification that can remove nitrate from streams). The result is that this interface has extremely large rates of solute transformation compared to other parts of the landscape. Our research group tries to understand the reactions that occur in the stream-groundwater interface, particularly the reactions that regulated the organic carbon entering and leaving this interface.

Research Project:

The student will spend the summer helping to develop and carrying out stream experiments in the Augusta Creek, a beautiful, mixed land use watershed near to the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) in Hickory Corners, MI, part of Michigan State University. This project will assess how carbon from different land use areas (for example, an agriculturally dominated stream vs. a forested stream) is processed at the stream-groundwater interface. Specifically, a series of stream tracer experiments, using carbon treatments, will be completed in multiple sections of Augusta Creek. Throughout the course of this project the student will learn valuable theory about streams ecosystems and biogeochemistry and be responsible for, with mentorship, their own research project.

Through this project we will obtain some of the first evidence for how the stream-groundwater interface processes carbon from different sources and what it might mean for downstream ecosystems and water quality.

Student Experience & Responsibilities:

In addition to learning about streams ecosystems, the student will learn valuable field techniques, laboratory analyses, and simple modeling. Field work will include significant time in streams, conducting manipulation experiments and making hydrologic and biogeochemical measurements. Laboratory work will include dissolved organic carbon and dissolved ion quantification and characterization using state of the art chromatography and spectrometry instruments. The student will also have the opportunity learn simple numeric models that turn field experiments, such as tracer test data, into physically meaningful information. There will be multiple opportunities for the selected student to develop their own independent project and network with the students and faculty across the main and KBS campuses of MSU.

This research project lasts for 11 weeks, starting Monday, May 22 through Friday, August 4, 2017, working at least 40 hours a week. The student will be responsible for 1) meeting all requirements of their mentor, 2) writing a blog post about their research for the KBS LTER website, and 3) presenting a professional research poster at the KBS summer research symposium on August 2, 2017 at KBS.

The student will be based on, and live near, Michigan State University’s main campus in East Lansing with frequent trips to KBS for sampling. The student is responsible for securing housing in or near East Lansing, MI. The student will receive a $8000 stipend to support living expenses, travel to Michigan, and up to $500 for research supplies. Travel to the sampling stations will be covered by the mentor’s lab.

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Kellogg Biological Station Long-term Ecological Research (KBS LTER) program. Priority will be given to non-MSU students who may not have many research opportunities at their college or university and under-represented minority students.  Please note, students must be a U.S. citizen to apply.

To apply for this position, please submit: 1. a detailed resume (or Curriculum Vitae), 2. a cover letter that includes a personal statement of less than 1 page in length that discusses career goals, research experiences and aspirations, and your skills/attributes that are suited to support this research project, and 3. contact information for 3 professional references.

All application materials must be submitted to and by March 10, 2017.


Sevilleta REU Program in Aridland Ecology



The Sevilleta Field Station is seeking applicants for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). We are looking for 10 Biology REU students for the Summer of 2017. This interdisciplinary REU Site Program at the Sevilleta Field Station in central New Mexico will train undergraduate students who will conduct independent research under the guidance of UNM faculty in Biology, Ecology, Civil Engineering, and Earth and Planetary Sciences, along with scientists from Federal and State agencies. The summer program includes a seminar series, a weekly journal club, an annual symposium, professional development workshops, toastmasters, ethics training, field trips, and opportunities to interact with a multitude of scientists conducting research in the area. Students will conduct independent research in and around the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR) and present their projects at the annual symposium to be held in early August 2017. Working at the Sevilleta Field Station and SNWR site invites close interactions among students, faculty, federal scientists, and graduate students.

Students will have numerous opportunities to share ideas and explore issues within and across disciplines. The program’s goal is to increase exposure to a large, multidisciplinary research program, inspire students to continue into professional careers, and prepare students for the rigors of graduate school, professional research, and responsible citizenship. The program exemplifies the integration of research and education. As students conduct research, they will learn how to be an independent scientist, along with many technical, methodological and ethical issues that arise in scientific research.


Lodging and laboratory space for REU students will be provided by the UNM Sevilleta Field Station at NO COST to the student. In addition, candidates chosen will receive a stipend of $5500 and a $500 food allowance during the 10-week summer program that will run from May 29 – August 4. We will also refund travel costs to and from the UNM Sevilleta Field Station up to $600 (stipulations apply).

Application Requirements

Applications will be accepted from students at any stage of their undergraduate program (freshman to senior) and any discipline, so long as the applicant is interested in conservation biology and ecology in aridland environments. Students are not eligible if they have completed an undergraduate degree by the start of Summer 2017. We welcome applications from students at four year colleges, students early in their college career, students that are the first member of their family to attend college, non-traditional students, and students from traditionally underrepresented groups. Students must be U.S. Citizens.

General requirements for participation in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates Programs in the Biological Sciences are set by the National Science Foundation. These requirements are listed below: Applicants to the Sevilleta REU Program must be:
• Citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions (e.g., Puerto Rico).
• Undergraduate students enrolled in a degree program (full- or part-time) leading to a Bachelor’s degree.
• Undergraduate students who are transferring from one institution to another but are not enrolled at either institution during the intervening summer may participate.
Students are not eligible if they are:
• Foreign nationals residing in a country other than the United States. • Students that have completed high school but have not yet enrolled in a degree program at an educational institution of higher learning. • Students that have completed an undergraduate degree and are no longer enrolled in a degree program at an educational institution of higher learning.
Requirements for the Sevilleta REU Program:
• The Sevilleta REU Program has no additional requirements. Applications will be accepted from students at any stage of their undergraduate program (freshman to senior) and any discipline, so long as the applicant is interested in conservation biology and ecology in aridland environments. • We are particularly interested in applications from students that have had limited opportunities to conduct independent research at their home institution. We welcome applications from students at four year colleges, students that are the first member of their family to attend college, non-traditional students, and students from traditionally underrepresented groups.

Application Guidelines

A completed application for the Sevilleta LTER Research Experience for Undergraduates Summer Program will consist of five items:

1. A complete online application (see below).
2. A resume.
3. An unofficial copy of your academic transcript. If accepted into the REU program, applicants will be required to provide an official copy before starting the program.
4. Two letters of recommendation. These can be from faculty advisors from the student’s home institution, mentors or previous employers. Recommendations from those that are able to comment on the applicant’s academic ability, initiative, maturity, and self-motivation are preferred. Please have your respondents email your letters of recommendation to WITH the subject line of “2017 REU Recommendation for YOUR NAME.”
5. A two-page essay addressing the development of the student’s interest in ecology, the specific areas of research interest, and current professional career goals. Career goals are not required to be in ecological research. Essays can be single or double-spaced but should be in a legible font (min. 11 point) with 1 inch margins.

The application form, resume, unofficial transcript, two-page essay, and letters of recommendation should be received by February 24, 2017. Questions regarding the application procedure can be directed to the Program Manager, Stephanie Baker by e-mail. Please put REU 2017 in the subject line.


Applications must be submitted by February 24, 2017.

Audience: Students

Drought, fire, rising seas: discovering the nature of ecosystem change

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 20:59

The 2017 NSF symposium is scheduled for the morning of March 21, 2017. Details on locations and attendance will be available in early February.

The nature of ecological change

Peter Groffman, Chair, LTER Executive Board, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and City University of New York, Co-Principal Investigator, Baltimore Ecosystem Study LTER

Beyond desertification: new models for state change in drylands

Brandon Bestelmeyer, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Jornada Basin LTER

One of the classic state-change stories is that over-grazing and drought turn grasslands into shrubby, degraded landscapes. Land managers strive to avoid such irreversible changes, using strategies based on models of how ecosystems change. But misapplication of models can lead to poor management outcomes. Researchers at the Jornada Basin LTER site and its host the USDA Jornada Experimental Range have developed a new model of desert grassland ecosystem dynamics that is grounded in long-term data and experiments indicating possible trajectories. Even after abrupt vegetation change, gradual recovery appears to be possible–sometimes along unexpected pathways–as long as critical thresholds in species abundance and soil erosion rates are not crossed. 

Fire and ice: carbon cycling feedbacks to climate in a warming Arctic

Michelle Mack, Northern Arizona University, Bonanza Creek LTER

About 30% of global carbon stocks reside in the vegetation and deep, carbon-rich soils of Arctic tundra and boreal forest biomes. Wildfires—which are becoming more frequent with warmer and drier weather in the Arctic—have the potential to either stabilize or accelerate regional and global warming through carbon feedbacks. By comparing the impact of fire in the boreal forests of Interior Alaska, where fire has been common for the past 10,000 years, with Alaska’s North Slope, where fire is a novel disturbance, researchers are understanding the ways that fire interacts with plant species composition, nutrient availability, and permafrost integrity to influence ecological and climate stability.

Climate-resilient coasts: how long-term research and restoration informs management

Karen McGlathery, University of Virginia, Virginia Coast Reserve LTER

Coastal habitats are the first line of defense against sea-level rise and storms. At the same time, they are vulnerable to change, and can be pushed past tipping points and lost. A long-term, landscape-scale experiment with seagrass at Virginia Coast Reserve LTER is the first of its kind to show the role of restoration in reinstating ecosystem services, particularly 'blue carbon' sequestration. Fifteen years of data on recovery trajectories, thresholds, and resilience to high ocean temperatures provide novel insights that are integrated into predictive models of future change and inform management and policy.

De-acidification of Northeastern forests: an altered baseline?

Charles Driscoll, Syracuse University, Hubbard Brook LTER

Air pollution control efforts have succeeded in reducing sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, but decades of acid rain have leached calcium and magnesium from Northeastern forest soils. These changes have increased the mobility of dissolved organic matter, and possibly altered soil organic matter dynamics, altering the long-term trajectory for forest ecosystems. What does the acid rain story say about when, where, and how recovery is possible?

Plausible freshwater futures: Yahara watershed, Wisconsin, USA

Christopher Kucharik, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Northern Temperate Lakes LTER

Scenarios can help communities think about alternative futures, but using them to drive decisions requires data. In Wisconsin’s Yahara Watershed, researchers are combining data and modelling from the Northern Temperate lakes LTER with qualitative scenarios based on trends and events from the global scenarios literature and stakeholder perspectives. The resulting assessments can help guide decisions about changing land and water use in ways that meet needs for human wellbeing, conserve the capacity of environments to provide services (such as water quality, quantity, and agricultural production), and build resiliency for unpredictable changes in climate or other environmental drivers.

Audience: Decision Makers