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  Home > Outreach > Education Program > Higher Education > Undergraduate Research Opportunities

  Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Image of REU student at HJ Andrews (2007), photographed by Claire Phillips

Please see our research opportunities page for advertisements of summer field positions. February through April is the best time to find these advertisements.

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

Each year the Andrews Forest LTER Program supports undergraduate students through the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduate program (REU). The REU program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in one of the current areas of study by Andrews LTER scientists and graduate students. Undergraduates in the REU program carry out independent summer research projects with the help of mentor scientists. Please see opportunities for advertisements of REU positions.

Ecoinformatics Summer Institute (EISI)

Students in the EISI enjoy exploring Oregon on weekends between their ecology-math-computer science-engineering research projects.

The Ecoinformatics Summer Institute (EISI) is an NSF-funded REU program intended for undergraduates who are considering graduate study or a professional career in environmental science, computer science, or mathematics. The program is a 10-week field program based at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest and the OSU campus in Corvallis, Oregon, that provides opportunities for team-based, interdisciplinary research linking ecology, engineering, mathematics and computer science. The EISI has hosted undergraduate students from the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Haiti. Students have worked with faculty mentors on research projects that advance knowledge and understanding of old-growth forests, streams, and other native ecosystems. Example projects include: (1) engineered log jams: connecting fish habitat to wood in streams using advanced imaging technology and visualization; (2) moths and meadows: species distribution models and insect emergence models and field sampling to understand species sensitivity to topography, vegetation and, climate; (3) wood dynamics: modeling and mapping how large wood has moved in streams over the past 40 years and how stream channels have responded; and (4) ecohydrology: modeling and measuring diel fluctuations in streams and their connection to hydrologic flowpaths.

Undergraduate Student Researchers and Workers

Undergraduate student researchers and workers are an integral part of the education and research program at the Andrews Forest. Examples of research projects at the Andrews Forest that regularly involve undergraduate students are as follows:

  • Undergraduate workers are part of long-term vegetation plots monitoring program, which includes forest plots that have been measured since the early 1900s.
  • The bird component of the phenology project trains student interns to be rugged field researchers and proficient point-count samplers capable of identifying resident and migrant forest bird species song and call.
  • Undergraduate students make major contributions to the water and carbon cycling processes research project .
  • The research-management partnership through CCAMP has provided opportunities for students and recent graduates to learn vegetation sampling techniques and silvicultural principles while monitoring forest response to several management treatments (uneven-age management of young forest stands, meadow restoration, using landscape-scale disturbance processes to guide management of young and mature forests) grounded in findings from Andrews Forest LTER Research.
  • The annual field campaigns for the DIRT project provide valuable field experiences for students.
  • Students on the OSU campus may be employed as student hourly workers in laboratories or in information management projects.
Andrews Forest undergraduate worker inspects an understory plant for insects as part of the phenology project.

Senior Project or Honors Thesis

Students considering a senior project or honors thesis are enencouraged to consider linking in to the Andrews Forest community. Why not work on an Andrews related project? Please look over the Andrews LTER PI list in our personnel directory and contact a professor in your department that is associated with the program. If there is no such person then contact the person closest to your interests. We can help you design a project, find matching funds, and submit applications to OSU programs such as URISC (Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship, and Creativity). We also encourage projects by undergraduate students from colleges and universities throughout the region.