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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 hr@archbold-station.org.

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 hr@archbold-station.org.

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 (achiuchiolo@montana.edu) and include a brief statement of interest. 

For more information about the Priscu Research Group, see: http://www.montana.edu/priscu/

 

Expiration Date: Mon, 2017-05-15

2017 ASLO ABSTRACTS

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 werth@nceas.ucsb.edu with corrections.  

 

TIME

LOCATION

LTER

TITLE

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

15:00

313 A

CCE

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

17:00

302 A/B

VCR

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

12:15

306 A

FCE

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

14:45

306 B

BES

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

17:15

313 A

CCE

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

Wednesday, March 1: Poster Presentations

11:00

Poster/Exhibit Hall

CCE

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

Thursday, March 2: Sessions

ALL DAY

323 A, Poster/Exhibit Hall

 

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

Thursday, March 2: Oral Presentations

10:00

323 C

BES

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

12:15

323 A

AND

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

14:30

306 A

 

Unravelling Drivers of Methane Emissions in a Subtropical Freshwater Reservoir

14:30

323 A

MCR

Coral Reef Oases in Space and Time

14:45

323 A

MCR

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

15:00

323 C

VCR

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

15:15

306 B

VCR

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

11:00

Poster/Exhibit Hall

X-SITE

Comparing Modern Carbon Burial in Aquatic Ecosystems

15:30

Poster/Exhibit Hall

MCR

Experimental Test of Alternative Stable States on a Coral Reef

Friday, March 3: Special Sessions of interest to LTER

ALL DAY

308 A/B, Poster/Exhibit Hall

 

Long-Term Perspectives on Aquatic Research

ALL DAY

313 A, Poster/Exhibit Hall

 

Ecological Impacts of El Niño 2015-16

Friday, March 3: Oral Presentations

10:00

308 A/B

NTL/X-SITE

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

10:15

308 A/B

NTL

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

10:45

313 A

CCE

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

12:00

313 A

CCE

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

12:15

313 A

SBC

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

14:30

313 A

SBC

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

15:30

Poster/Exhibit Hall

MCR

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

15:30

Poster/Exhibit Hall

CCE

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

15:30

Poster/Exhibit Hall

CCE

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

15:30

Poster/Exhibit Hall

CCE

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

15:30

Poster/Exhibit Hall

CCE

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

15:30

Poster/Exhibit Hall

CCE

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: https://erams.com/UWIN/urp/

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: https://erams.com/UWIN/urp/ 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: http://www.caryinstitute.org/students/reu-program 

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: http://esa.org/seeds/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: http://esa.org/seeds/asu/.

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 http://esa.org/seeds/fellowship/

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: http://esa.org/seeds/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 http://esa.org/seeds/fellowship/

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

Benefits

  • 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 http://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu/education/reu-apply 

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?

Background:

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 cullinjo@msu.edu and jpz@msu.edu by March 10, 2017.

 

Sevilleta REU Program in Aridland Ecology

                 

Background

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.

Compensation

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 srbaker@unm.edu 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.

TO APPLY AND FOR MORE INFORMATION visit: https://sevilletareu.wordpress.com/

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

Shoals Marine Lab, Associate Director closing date 1/4/2017

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 12:24
Opportunity Type: Jobs

The Associate Director position is a fulltime, 12-month, non-tenure track academic position at UNH in the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering. The Associate Director reports to and works closely with the Executive Director to oversee the activities of Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML) and all aspects of the SML mission and programs.

Primary duties will include:

  1. Management of SMLacademic, outreach, and research programs;
  2. Oversee day-to-day management of year-round SML staff and activities;
  3. Delivery and support of SML’s mission.

The SML Associate Director will develop an annual work plan based on these duties and responsibilities. The work plan will be the basis for performance evaluations of the Associate Director by the Executive Director.

The Associate Director is required to reside at SML (Appledore Island, ME / 45 minutes offshore of Portsmouth NH) during the operating season (summer) except for brief intervals on business, or on authorized days off and vacation periods. Housing, meals, and transport to and from SML are provided while in residence at the lab. Housing for family members will be accommodated when on island. This includes being on call outside of normal business hours. Off-season offices are located at UNH School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering in Durham, NH. Overnight and day travel is required several times per year.

Expiration Date: Tue, 2017-01-31Links: Full description and application instructions

ILTER Nitrogen Initiative 2016 Update

Thu, 12/22/2016 - 12:37

The ILTER Nitrogen Initiative had a very good year in 2016. Hideaki Shibata, who leads the Nitrogen Initiative for ILTER, provided the following update. The Initiative produced many interactive activities, an international training course, publications, and firmed up links to other programs. The leaders of the Initiative truly appreciate the engagement, cooperation, and contributions of all its partners, including the U.S. LTER. 

"Toward INMS" project launched

The UNEP-GEF funded project, "Toward INMS" has been launched at the workshop just before the INI 2016 conference in Melbourne, Australia in the beginning of December. The INMS project officially begins in January 2017 and extebnds for 4 years. The ILTER is assigned as a key partner of this project, meaning that we have a number of opportunities to engage and work together under the INMS project. The GEF funding will be also available for the ILTER-N Initiative to contribute to those INMS activities. Hideaki Shibata is assigned as one of the leaders for the specific activity "Development of Nitrogen Threat Assessment Methodology" on behalf of the ILTER Nitrogen Initiative. Hide will providing more specific and detailed information to you shortly and work with you on this project.

International Training Course 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal

The first circular is nearly ready to be sent out. Hideaki appreciate the great efforts of the hosting team, especially Pedro Pinho, Cristina Branquinho, Margarida Santos-Reis and their colleagues. The date of the course will be May 15-26, 2017. This course is organized by NitroPortugal and co-orgnized by the ILTER-Nitrogen Initiative, eLTER, INMS and LTsERmontado. In addition, there will be a short strategic meeting on the above mentioned INMS projects with key people before the course (i.e. provisionally on May 14). Those who are interested, please plan to come there. The web report of the ILTER-N training course in 2016 is now available.

Special journal issue on the ILTER

As announced at the ILTER-OSM this October, the ILTER is now planning to publish the special issue in the Science of the Total Environment (STOTEN), entitled "Making use of large extent, long-term ecosystem research facilities: Detecting and explaining natural and anthropogenic changes within the International Long-Term Ecological Research (ILTER) network". Abstract submission has already closed. For those who have submitted abstracts, please keep in your mind that STOTEN's timelines are very strict (manuscript deadline is July 31st, 2017).

N2O workshop in Taiwan 2017

The ILTER-N workshop on the N2O study in Taiwan 2017 is under planning by Chiling Chen, Jim Tang, Hideaki Shibata, and others with funding proposals. The workshop would be arranged in late 2017 (provisionally, early November). More information will be available soon.

Audience: Researchers

Announcing 2017 Synthesis Working Groups

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 09:54

With more than 36 years of continuous data collection across many biomes, the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network is a rich source of information for testing big-picture concepts about how ecosystems work. Luckily, the Network also brings together a group of scientists with creative ideas about how to wring new insights from diverse data sources.

The LTER synthesis working group process is designed to capitalize on the experiments, contextual knowledge, data, and creativity of the LTER Network. By funding small groups of scientists from inside and outside the Network to work intensely together on a synthesis project, the process encourages the ecological community to use existing data to probe novel theories, test generality, and search for gaps in our understanding. The LTER Network Communications Office is pleased to announce the selection of two new LTER synthesis working groups that do just that.

Investigators Lauren Hallett, Daniel Reuman, and Katharine Suding will lead a diverse group of terrestrial, aquatic, and quantitative ecologists studying how the timing of population fluctuations affects ecological stability. A group led by Forest Isbell, Jane M. Cowles, and Laura Dee will draw on experiments and observations from LTER and other global networks to understand how the relationship between biodiversity and productivity changes when moving from experimental plots to long-term, large scale ecosystems.

The two funded proposals were chosen from a pool of 20. "The response to the first two NCO calls for synthesis proposals has shown us both the enormous scientific opportunity and enthusiasm for cross-site research," says Network Communications Office Director Frank Davis. "Both projects combine a strong theoretical foundation, data from many sites and ecosystems, and sophisticated analytical approaches. We are looking forward to supporting them!"

Working groups meet several times for up to a week, over a period of one to two years. The Network Communications Office provides logistical support, advice and assistance in the collaborative process and technical assistance in the open science tools needed to harmonize large and diverse data sets.

The Network Communications Office expects to issue a request for synthesis working group proposals annually, with the next deadline in October, 2017. New submissions and revised proposals will be welcome at that time.

2017 LTER Synthesis Working Groups

Synthesizing population and community synchrony to understand drivers of ecological stability across LTER sites
Principal Investigators: Lauren Hallett, Daniel Reuman, Katharine Suding


A 23-year record of zooplankton populations
from the Palmer LTER, along with hundreds of other
datasets, will contribute to understanding the
role of synchrony in ecological diversity.
Gammarid amphipod. Credit: Joe Cope/Palmer LTER

Understanding factors that influence ecological stability is a key question in ecology. Population ecology has highlighted that synchrony within a species over space is an important indicator of species stability. Community ecology, in contrast, has highlighted that asynchrony between species within space may enhance the stability of aggregate properties (such as total productivity). Using LTER data, we will integrate population and community approaches to synchrony to understand drivers of ecosystem stability at different scales. We will apply cutting-edge statistical techniques (e.g., wavelet analyses, variance decomposition) to long-term, spatially replicated data from terrestrial and aquatic LTER sites in order to: 1) understand the timescales at which synchrony occurs, 2) identify drivers of synchrony and 3) integrate the effects of population and community synchrony on ecological stability. Our diverse group consists of terrestrial and aquatic ecologists with synthesis experience and quantitative ecologists with strong analytical skills. Final products from the working group will include an R package containing our analytical tools, a data workflow and derived data product, and a series of papers synthesizing causes and consequences of synchrony across the LTER network.

Scaling-Up Productivity Responses to Changes in Biodiversity

Principal Investigators: Forest Isbell, Jane M. Cowles, and Laura Dee


Long-term biodiversity-productivity experiments,
such as those at Silwood Park, UK are part of
the wide-ranging data that researchers
will synthesize. Credit: Nutrient Network

Although hundreds of short-term local experiments indicate that random changes in biodiversity can cause substantial changes in primary productivity, considerable debate remains regarding whether these influences of biodiversity are weaker or stronger at larger spatial and temporal scales in natural ecosystems. Given this knowledge gap, current models often implicitly assume no influence of biodiversity on ecosystem productivity, likely leading to inaccurate predictions in at least some cases. We propose to develop and test a strategy for scaling-up results from biodiversity experiments to natural communities by testing theory and bridging gaps between previous experimental and observational studies. In the four proposed meetings, one of which would be co-funded, we will advance understanding of scaling up in space, scaling up in time, and accounting for non-random shifts in dominant traits. Integrating these three advances will allow us to generalize from a few experiments to data from many grasslands and forests worldwide, including those at 17 LTER sites. The proposed activities would enable prediction of the scales and conditions under which changes in biodiversity strongly or weakly influence ecosystem productivity.

Are We Making Selfish Microbes?

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 17:35

Some bacteria become less cooperative with their plant hosts under long-term nutrient additions, finds new research by Jen Lau, an ecologist at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) LTER, and her collaborator Katy Heath at the University of Illinois.   

“A decade ago, no one was thinking about the idea of rapid evolution—the kind you could see over a career or even a year or two,” says Lau. Now researchers know that evolution can be measured at much smaller timescales than previously thought. Lau sees the long-term nutrient-addition experiments run at most LTERs as untapped opportunities to study evolutionary change in bacteria and plants.


Rhizobia fix nitrogen after establishing inside
root nodules of legumes (seen here).
Photo Credit:  Dave Whitinger, 2011. 

Nitrogen addition plots at KBS have been exposed to consistent treatments of nitrogen since 1988, allowing us to reliably test cause and effect,” explains Lau.  Rhizobia are mutualistic soil bacteria that fix nitrogen for plants in exchange for carbon. In a recent analysis, Lau and Heath have discovered that rhizobia from field plots that have been treated with nitrogen have evolved to provide fewer growth benefits to plants.

Evidence of Rapid Evolution Away from Mutualism

Using rhizobia isolated from the KBS nitrogen addition plots as well as adjacent control plots, Lau and Heath inoculated legume plants in the greenhouse. Results revealed that rhizobia from high-nitrogen plots provided 20-40% less growth benefit to the legumes than those from the control plots. The nitrogen fertilizer appears to have “a big effect [on bacterial traits],” Lau concluded, “They become much, much less cooperative.”

Heath, an evolutionary geneticist, has since sequenced nearly 70 rhizobium strains from the control and nitrogen-addition plots to pinpoint the regions of the genome responsible for this reduced cooperation. Most of the genes controlling mutualism appear to lie on a so-called symbiosis plasmid—a tiny ring of DNA that can be readily shared among rhizobia in the population via horizontal gene transfer.

‘Micro’ Changes with Macro Implications

The world is in the midst of its own nitrogen addition mega-experiment. Prior to the advent of synthetic manufacturing of nitrogen fertilizer in 1913, the legume-rhizobia mutualism provided almost all nitrogen in terrestrial systems. Synthetic fertilizer use has now doubled the nitrogen available in terrestrial systems, and deposition is on the rise globally. The impacts of this shift on microbes and plants and in turn, pollinators and herbivores remain largely unmeasured. Lau and Heath aim to identify and disentangle those impacts.


Will soybeans be less competitive as
rhizobia become less cooperative? 
Photo Credit: K. Stepnitz, Michigan State
University, 2015. 

Lau describes the implications of their findings thus far, saying, “The legume-rhizobia mutualism is key to the nitrogen cycle and ultimately, may be important to terrestrial productivity.” The use of synthetic nitrogen fundamentally alters this relationship, decreasing rhizobia’s willingness to contribute nitrogen to legumes, and likely decreasing those plants’ competitiveness in both natural and agricultural systems.

To ensure that this rapid evolution away from cooperation is not “just an isolated, freak phenomenon that happens at KBS,” Lau and Heath will rerun their experiment with rhizobia from nitrogen addition plots across the LTER network. Then, they plan to explore change over time: if evolution is indeed favoring less-cooperative rhizobia in the high nitrogen plots, they may see those plots become increasingly less cooperative—and eventually, even shift towards parasitism. Lau and Heath will resample their original plots in 2018, a decade out from their first samples, to assess any change.

How much is too much?


Soybeans emerging through no-till corn
residue on the KBS LTER site. Photo Credit:
G.P. Robertson, Michigan State University

As part of KBS’ mission to better understand and serve the agricultural landscape, Lau is particularly interested in how less cooperation could hurt soybeans, one of the Midwest’s staple crops. Farmers rarely fertilize their soybean fields since rhizobia provide the necessary nitrogen, but they do often rotate soybean crops with heavily fertilized corn crops. Lau’s team is currently reviewing data to assess whether residual nitrogen remaining after the corn harvest influences the evolution of rhizobia associated with soybeans in these fields. Less helpful rhizobia could mean less productive fields—and the need for ever more fertilizer.

While the LTER’s decade-long experiments have given Lau and other evolutionary ecologists an opportunity to test their theories on the evolution of mutualistic relationships, she acknowledges they remain unsure about its implications for the long term cycling of nitrogen: “Is this reversible? If we stop fertilizing, do they [rhizobia] go back to being cooperative? Only further experiments will tell.”

 

Check out Lau and Heath's publications on the topic: 

Long-term nitrogen addition causes the evolution of less cooperative mutualistsEvolution, Feb 2015

Ecological genomics of mutualism decline in nitrogen-fixing bacteria, Proceedings of the Royal Society, March 2016

Learn more about research at Kellogg Biological Station LTER

Summer 2017 REU Opportunities

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 14:02

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: https://erams.com/UWIN/urp/

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: https://erams.com/UWIN/urp/ 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: http://www.caryinstitute.org/students/reu-program 

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: http://esa.org/seeds/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: http://esa.org/seeds/asu/.

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 http://esa.org/seeds/fellowship/

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: http://esa.org/seeds/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 http://esa.org/seeds/fellowship/

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

Benefits

  • 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 http://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu/education/reu-apply 

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?

Background:

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 cullinjo@msu.edu and jpz@msu.edu by March 10, 2017.

 

Sevilleta REU Program in Aridland Ecology

                 

Background

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.

Compensation

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 srbaker@unm.edu 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.

TO APPLY AND FOR MORE INFORMATION visit: https://sevilletareu.wordpress.com/

Applications must be submitted by February 24, 2017.

Estuarine/Aquatic Ecologist (Southern Everglades)

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 12:55
Opportunity Type: Jobs

Field Operations Center B374

1720BR

Job Description

The Everglades Systems Assessment Section (ESA) of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is seeking a wetland or estuarine/coastal ecologist to assist in developing scientific information in support of restoration of the southern Everglades and Florida Bay. This position will provide technical field and analytical support for ESA in executing largescale ecosystem restoration projects to improve water flow and hydrologic connectivity of coastal marsh, mangrove and seagrass habitat. The candidate will be responsible for scientific research involving fieldwork, data analysis, coordination and synthesis related to several ESA projects including sea level rise effects on marshes, seagrass ecology and causes of die-off, the role of sheetflow in marsh ecology and fine-scale seascape mapping analysis.  Specific duties will include assisting in developing research projects, field surveys in Florida Bay 4-6 times per year, multi-day stays at our Interagency Science Center facility in the Florida Keys, the ability to do strenuous fieldwork, operate small boats and use field sampling gear. The candidate will also be asked to perform high-level statistical and GIS analyses to evaluate spatial data on water quality and environmental status and trends, data synthesis and the curating and maintenance of a large ecological database.  Experience in using and programming in R and in MATLAB is strongly preferred.  ESA expands its capability through collaborations with universities and other agencies and this position will involve interaction and contract management of these relationships, and communication and coordination with other scientists to synthesize data.  This position plays a critical role in liaising with environmental managers and the wider research community, requiring development of presentations for scientific meetings, writing of technical documents and publishing in the scientific literature. 

Education/Experience Guide:
This position requires a Bachelor’s Degree, (Master's preferred) in Biology or related field with emphasis on estuarine/coastal ecology with a minimum of 2+ years of qualifying technical experience.  Knowledge of Florida Bay, Everglades’ watersheds, non-point source control programs, SFWMD rules and policies is preferred.
 
 License:
 Valid State of Florida driver's license.
 
Physical Requirements/ Working Environment:
Due to the District's response role and in the total scope of emergency management, this position may at times, be required to provide support before, during and after major storm events and emergency situations, such as hurricanes or other declared emergencies, depending on assigned emergency response role.

Salary Minimum

$46,987.20

Salary Midpoint:

$55,848.00

Organization:

WR4304352 Landscape Analysis - Southern Everglades

Expiration Date: Wed, 2017-03-08Links: Apply Here

Postdoctoral Scientist, University of Alaska Fairbanks (BNZ LTER)

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 16:18
Opportunity Type: Postdoc

The University of Alaska Fairbanks invites applications for a postdoctoral scientist to conduct wetland modeling and remote sensing studies as part of the Yukon Flats Thermokarst project and the Integrated Ecosystem Model for Alaska Project. The successful candidate will primarily conduct modeling studies that include the development, parameterization, testing, analysis, and application of models that simulate the vegetation and carbon dynamics of wetland ecosystems in Alaska. The successful candidate will also likely be involved in remote sensing activities such as repeated imagery analysis.

Training in earth system science or biogeochemistry is required. Research experience in modeling wetland hydrology and biogeochemistry is required, and skills in remote sensing, data analysis and computer programming are required. A Ph.D. degree (already received or awaiting receipt with all requirements fulfilled) is required. More information on the nature of the position can be obtained by contacting Dr. H.Genet, hgenet@alaska.edu. If you are interested, you can apply online.

The University of Alaska is an equal employment/affirmative action employer and educational institution.

Expiration Date: Tue, 2017-02-28Links: Integrated Ecosystem ModelJob Application

Who knew? Hurricanes matter little for marsh health. Freshwater inputs matter a lot.

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 13:42

Hurricane Matthew pounded the Georgia coast on October 8. On Sapelo Island, home to the University of Georgia Marine Institute and Georgia Coastal Ecosystem (GCE) LTER field operations, trees were knocked down across the landscape, and power was out for a week. The Marine Institute itself escaped major flooding only because the storm didn’t pass at high tide. Once the storm had cleared and personnel were allowed to return to the island, the GCE LTER field crew scrambled to repair damaged instruments and field infrastructure, clear debris, and collect extra water samples for analysis. A week later, when GCE’s annual fall monitoring started, they found far less damage in the marshes themselves.


Tree down in Hurricane Matthew on the south end of
Sapelo Island, near housing used by GCE scientists.
Photo Credit: Andy Penniman (2016). 

Hurricanes Blow Over

Each October, when marsh plants have reached their peak biomass for the year, the GCE LTER team conducts extensive monitoring to assess annual productivity of the plants, changes in plant composition, and abundance of the common marsh invertebrates. Surprisingly perhaps, the sampling proceeded much the same this year as it has in the past. Steven Pennings, GCE’s Field Director, explained that while “we think of hurricanes as ‘disturbances’ because of how they affect terrestrial systems—causing floods and knocking down trees—in the marsh, the hurricane was essentially an unusually high tide. It really isn’t a disturbance at all.” At one of the minor sampling sites, the storm surge had pushed a large mat of wrack (floating plant debris) through the marsh, crushing all the vegetation, but as Penning noted, that was “only one site.” Otherwise, the storm appeared to affect scientific instruments (a few of which were lost) more than marsh plants.

Freshwater Input and Other Abiotic Controls Drive Ecosystem Responses


Steven Pennings monitoring on the north end of Sapelo
Island at a site dominated by the salt marsh cordgrass,
Spartina alterniflora. Short pvc stakes mark a
permanent plot. Photo Credit: Andy Penniman (2016). 

The GCE project started in 2000, so the team now has 17 years of fall monitoring data. And that data is beginning to reveal what actually controls year to year variability in marsh productivity and function. Together with Pennings, Kazik Wieski, a post-doctoral associate at the site, analyzed 12 years of biomass measurements for Spartina alterniflora, a cordgrass that dominates most of the study sites, to discover it varied three-fold among years. The most important predictor of this variation? The amount of fresh water from the nearby Altamaha River that reached the coast during the growing season. Spartina is sensitive to high salt concentrations: therefore, high river discharge, heavy local precipitation, and even high sea levels (which prevent the concentration of salts in drier midmarsh areas) all contribute to years with much greater biomass.

John O'Donnell and John Schalles, both GCE researchers, have since extended these analyses as far back as 1984 using Landsat remote-sensing imagery and found similar relationships between plant biomass and river discharge, precipitation, temperature, and sea level as Wieski and Pennings had found. They also discovered evidence of a long-term decline in plant biomass related to increased frequency of drought in recent years. Understanding these relationships will allow predictions of how Spartina biomassand that of other regional species with similar responses—will react to future climate changes.

Local Disturbances Prove Less Important to Overall Ecosystem Health


Steven Pennings monitoring at a site on the Altamaha
Riverdominated by wild rice, Zizaniopsis milacea. The
orange vest alerts hunters.  
Photo Credit: Andy Penniman (2016). 

In addition to biomass measurements, the annual monitoring also notes any disturbance in a quadrat from wrack, slumping of the creekbank, or herbivorous animals (typically snails or pigs). In a recent analysis (2016), Li and Pennings studied variation in disturbance to the Spartina habitat across space and time. While wrack and snail disturbance varied predictably across the landscape, suggesting that barrier island marshes experienced more disturbance than did marshes on the mainland, disturbance frequency varied up to 14-fold among years, indicating that short-term studies likely yield poor estimates of how often disturbances occur. Although disturbances strongly affected plant biomass in plots that were disturbed, they were not common enough across the landscape to over-whelm the system-wide effects of abiotic conditions on fall biomass.

The GCE team’s analyses point to the crucial importance of abiotic conditions like freshwater input, temperature, and sea level on coastal wetland health. “While there have been hundreds of studies of how salt marsh plants respond to differing abiotic conditions in the greenhouse,” Pennings reflected, “only by examining variation over space and time [via long-term repeated monitoring] in the field can we determine which factors are actually important in nature.” GCE scientists can now use this understanding to better predict impacts on marshes due to contemporary human actions (e.g. river withdrawals for irrigation or consumption) as well as future changes in climate and rising sea level. 

 

Learn more about GCE's research.

PhD Opportunity- Grassland Ecology

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 17:11
Opportunity Type: Graduate student

The Sala Lab at Arizona State University is recruiting PhD students interested on precipitation controls of net primary production. Our current research projects focus on the relationships between aboveground to belowground components of net primary productivity along a precipitation gradient. We integrate field manipulative experiments with simulation modeling and analysis of long-term data. There are ongoing experiments across sites in New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas testing plant-response and trophic-cascade hypotheses.

Our lab is in the School of Life Sciences and we work in tight collaboration with the Jornada Basin LTER (NM), Semiarid Grassland Research Center (CO) and Konza Prairie LTER (KS). For information about graduate studies at ASU visit: https://sols.asu.edu/degree-programs/graduate .

The successful applicant should have a BS or MS in a relevant field of study, field work skills, and the ability to work with an interdisciplinary team. Formal application deadline to ASU Environmental Life Sciences PhD program is December 15th. Please contact Osvaldo Sala (Osvaldo.Sala@asu.edu) prior to submission to assess common interests. Students that are from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM are encouraged to apply.

Expiration Date: Thu, 2016-12-15Links: The Sala LabASU- School of Life Science Graduate Degrees

Doctoral Scholarships, Clark University

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 13:46
Opportunity Type: Graduate student

Clark University’s Graduate School of Geography offers full-scholarships with stipends to doctoral students to join our vibrant and focused community of professors, researchers and students who are examining cutting-edge questions related to Geographic Information Science and Earth System Science. Click (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcj81gsXeQc) to see Clark’s video concerning GIS and click (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2umQXWulN9g) to see Clark’s video concerning Earth System Science.

 

The application deadline is 31 December 2016 for the program beginning in August 2017. Apply at http://www2.clarku.edu/graduate-admissions/apply/requirements/phd-geography.cfm.

 

Clark University has opportunities for doctoral students to be teaching assistants and research assistants. Teaching assistants are involved in courses such as Arctic System Science, Earth System Science, Forest Ecology, Geographic Information Science, Land Change Modeling, Quantitative Methods, Remote Sensing and Wildlife Conservation. Research assistants work on projects led by professors. Below are some examples of how doctoral students are engaged in research assistantships.

 

Professor Ron Eastman employs research assistants as computer programmers at Clark Labs, which creates the GIS software TerrSet. TerrSet has over 100,000 users worldwide. See www.clarklabs.org.

 

Professor Karen Frey runs the Polar Science Research Lab, which includes Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral students with broad, interdisciplinary interests in the linkages between the land surface, ice cover, ocean, and atmosphere in polar environments. The research involves extensive fieldwork and labwork as well as remote sensing, spatial analysis and modeling. See http://wordpress.clarku.edu/kfrey/.

 

Professor Dominik Kulakowski directs the Forest Ecology Research Lab, which examines the causes and consequences of environmental change in forest ecosystems.  Current and recent research focuses on how climate change, human land use and interacting disturbances, such as fires and insect outbreaks, affect mountain forests in North America and Europe.  Doctoral students use a combination of field data collection, dendroecology (the study of tree rings), GIS and/or spatial modelling to address questions that advance our understanding of forest ecology and associated policy and management strategies. See http://www2.clarku.edu/faculty/facultybio.cfm?id=671.

 

Professor Robert Gilmore Pontius Jr has six years of funding to hire a research assistant who will use remote sensing to measure land change in an estuarine marsh, where sea level rise is particularly important. The research concerns the Plum Island Ecosystems, which is part of the Long Term Ecological Research network, funded by the National Science Foundation. See http://pie-lter.ecosystems.mbl.edu/.

 

Professor John Rogan invites doctoral students to work in the emerging field of Conflict Geography in the context of extractive industries. The research merges work in GIScience and Remote Sensing, with that on the Political Ecology of Natural Resource Extraction as a platform for collaboration among faculty, Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral students. See http://wordpress.clarku.edu/extractiveindustries/.

 

Professor Christopher Williams seeks research assistants for his Biogeosciences Research Group, which focuses on: climate impacts of forest change, biosphere-atmosphere interactions & feedbacks to the climate system, drought & disturbance impacts on carbon sequestration and water resources. The group desires applicants with experience in terrestrial ecosystem ecology, ecohydrology, biosphere-atmosphere exchange, eddy covariance, EOS remote sensing, and/or ecosystem and hydrologic process modeling. See http://wordpress.clarku.edu/cwilliams/.

Expiration Date: Sat, 2016-12-31Related documents:  Doctoral Scholarships At Clark Uiversity in GIS and Earth System Science.pdf

Graduate Student Openings, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 17:04
Opportunity Type: Graduate student

The Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks has openings for two graduate students (M.S. pr Ph.D.) to work with Syndonia Bret-Harte and Roger Ruess on a new NSF-funded project on shrub feedbacks to carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling in the arctic tundra.

In the Arctic, a widespread shift from tundra to deciduous shrub-dominated vegetation appears to be underway, which could have profound implications for regional climate, C balance, and biogeochemical cycling. Because much of the world's soil C is stored in arctic and boreal regions, changes in the Arctic's C budget may feed back strongly to global climate. Because biogeochemical C and N cycles are linked tightly in arctic ecosystems and plant productions is strongly N-limited, shrubs affect soil C through their effects on near-surface soil N, via both SOM turnover and N inputs.

One student (M.S. or Ph.D.) will focus on shrub growth and impacts on N uptake and near surface N cycling, and will be advised by Bret-Harte. One student (M.S.) will focus on characterizing shrub impacts via nitrogen fixation associated with Siberian alder, and will be advised by Ruess. Students will have an opportunity to develop their own research questions within the overall framework of the project. We expect that Bret-Harte and Ruess will serve on both students' graduate committees, and that we will work together in the field. Research sites will be accessed from the Toolik Field Station (see http://toolik.alaska.edu/). Students will be supported through a combination of research assistantships and teaching assistantships. Students will start fieldwork in the summer of 2017, and coursework in the fall of 2017. For more information, please contact Syndonia Bret-Harte by email at msbretharte@alaska.edu. You must also apply for graduate study to the Department of Biology and Wildlife at University of Alaska Fairbanks (see https://www.bw.uaf.edu/graduates/index.php for application requirements); the deadline for applications is January 15, 2017.

Expiration Date: Sun, 2017-01-15Links: Department of Biology and Wildlife - graduate applicationsToolik Field Station

Niwot Ridge Postdoctoral Fellowship

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 14:27
Opportunity Type: Postdoc

The Niwot Ridge LTER program invites proposals from early-career investigators for a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship. Synthesis of long-term data sets, on-going experiments, and model results is an important goal of NWT’s LTER program. These syntheses can provide new research findings, derived data sets, and new models that establish future research directions and guide the development of future work at the site. A key element of successful Postdoctoral Fellowship applications will be the identification of specific research questions and how they will be addressed using NWT LTER data.

Examples of projects include:

  1. investigation of how shared climate drivers may result in differential sensitivity and responses across a broad range of ecosystem types by extending tundra biogeochemical models to forest and alpine lake systems;
  2. investigation of how broad-scale shifts in vegetation types such as forests (shifts in treeline) and tundra (movement into the unvegetated subnival) are related to shifts in water and energy limitation using remote sensing and aerial imagery;
  3. investigation of when opposing responses to climate variation can lead to increased stability at higher levels of organization or larger spatial scales using long-term data to estimate portfolio effects; and
  4. investigation of links between hydrological connectivity and vegetation phenology using spatially distributed land surface simulations of hydrologic models such as DHSVM and sensor network array data.

Please see http://niwot.colorado.edu/postdoc/ for more information about possible projects and how to apply.

The Postdoctoral Fellow will be located at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Applicants should identify a collaborating mentor who is part of the NWT LTER Program. Start date can be between April and July 2017, the fellow will need to have received their PhD prior to starting the fellowship, and the fellowship will last two years. We anticipate recruiting a second synthesis fellow to start 2019. Application deadline: January 4, 2017 by 5pm MST. Please see http://niwot.colorado.edu/postdoc/ for more information about how to apply.

Expiration Date: Wed, 2017-02-15Links: To Apply

LTER-NEON Synergies Workshop

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 18:57

The LTER and NEON Networks are seeking participants, especially early career scientists, for a workshop to explore synergies between the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network. The workshop will take place at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis/LTER National Communications Office located in Santa Barbara, CA from March 28 – 31, 2017.

The meeting will begin in the morning on March 29 and end at noon on March 31. All your travel expenses would be covered. The workshop is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and will address four topics:

  1. using LTER data and insights to provide landscape and regional scale ecological context for NEON sites,
  2. using NEON data to inform the five core areas of LTER research,
  3. use LTER experience and insight to develop long-term conceptual models for NEON sites and
  4. combine data and models from LTER and NEON sites to improve predictions of future ecological trajectories at regional to continental scales.

The workshop is led by Peter Groffman, current chair of the LTER Science Council along with co-chair Julia Jones from the Andrews LTER site and will include representatives from LTER, NEON, and the Critical Zone Observatory network. We encourage applications from individuals, especially early career scientists, interested in long term and continental scale science. Please send inquiries and applications (cover letter, vita) to peter.groffman@cuny.asrc.edu by December 9, 2016.

Audience: Researchers

Application Open: Summer 2017 Eco-Informatics Summer Institute (EISI) (AND LTER)

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 18:55
Opportunity Type: Undergraduate

CALL FOR APPLICANTS for the Summer 2017 Eco-Informatics Summer Institute (EISI) 

Please note: Application deadline is February 1st, 2017!

The Eco-Informatics Summer Institute (EISI) will be held at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest (AND) in the beautiful Oregon Cascade Mountains.

WHO: Continuing undergraduate students from all over the US who are citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or its possessions 

WHAT: Summer institute experience, stipend, and housing provided. 

WHEN: June 12th – August 18th, 2017 or

           June 19th - August 25th, 2017

APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 1st, 2017.

WHERE: HJ Andrews Experimental Forest on the McKenzie River and at OSU in Corvallis, OR.

WEBSITE: http://agsci.oregonstate.edu/eisi

Eco-Informatics, an emerging discipline, integrates mathematics, computer science, statistics, and engineering with the study and management of ecosystems. Through a ten-week undergraduate/early graduate research experience, the EISI will provide interdisciplinary training for young scientists to help manage ecosystems in our technologically sophisticated, globalized world.

Through the integration of research and education, effective mentoring, and hands-on experiences at the HJ Andrews, participants will gain: 

1.     Valuable research experience in Eco-Informatics and in their own disciplines.

2.     The foundation and opportunities to develop and seek support for their own graduate program, including a peer-reviewed research proposal. 

3.     The training to become outstanding interdisciplinary scientists and effective contributors to the science and management of ecosystems. 

Participants will receive:

1.  A total stipend of $5,000.

2.  Free lodging at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest and on the OSU campus 

3.  The opportunity for down time and group activities.

For more details and application, please go to http://agsci.oregonstate.edu/eisi

The application deadline is February 1st, 2017.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at cara.walter@oregonstate.edu 

Expiration Date: Wed, 2017-02-01Links: Eco-Informatics Summer Institute