Research Experience for Undergraduates in groundwater and streamflow

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Opportunity:  Research Experience for Undergraduates Intern Position studying: “The Influence of groundwater on the properties of streamflow in high elevation headwater streams.”

Position period:  June 26 – September 1 , 2023

Location:  H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Blue River, Oregon and Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

Description of the project: This research project is supported by the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research grant at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest and is led by the Segura Watershed Processes Lab at Oregon State University ( The study will build on the active work of this group to understand how the landscape influences streamflow through groundwater/surface water interactions. The goal is to understand landscape influences on summer streamflow in stream draining different geomorphic histories. We will measure discharge and temperature along 3-4 stream reaches and we will collect water samples for water stable isotope analysis. This data will inform the location of groundwater contributions that may directly influence water availability and water chemistry. We will also participate in other research projects while in the field, such as a drought experiment in which we are experimentally understanding the effects of drought on fish and salamanders. In all, this will provide opportunities to see a wide breadth of forest hydrology research.

Duties will include: 1) Salt dilution discharge measurements, 2) installation of temperature loggers along 3-4 stream reaches, 3) data retrieval and maintenance of temperature loggers and other stream loggers, 4) field site characterization, 5) hiking through difficult, steep terrain with gear 6) data entry and organization, 7) and finally, data synthesis and presentation.

This internship will provide the undergraduate student an opportunity to participate in 10 weeks of mentored, paid, independent research. The student will interact with scientists, university faculty, federal scientists, and graduate students conducting research in the area. Participants will closely work with faculty mentor Dr. Catalina Segura and graduate student mentor Zach Perry. The REU student will conduct supervised and guided research and be encouraged to tailor the research project to their own interests.

What is provided: Apartment-style, shared-room housing is provided at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest field station. The field station is located in the Willamette National Forest near Blue River, OR and provides access to great hiking and mountain biking trails, swimming holes, and hot springs.

This position lasts for 10 weeks, June 26 through September 1, 2023,  ~40 hours/week. The REU intern will be responsible for 1) meeting all requirements of the mentors and 2) writing a final research report on the research experience. Housing and a stipend of $5,500 will be provided. There are funds to defray the cost of traveling to the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest. Please note that the REU program is considered an educational program rather than employment; therefore, Oregon State University (OSU) does not provide Worker’s Compensation insurance coverage nor medical insurance on your behalf. You are responsible for your own health insurance coverage.

Position Requirements: Applicants should have a valid driver’s license, the ability to carry a heavy pack (40+ lb) for moderate distances (5+ mi) over uneven, mountainous terrain, and be comfortable spending long days on their feet in the field. The position will involve working early mornings and in hot, dry weather. Applicants should have a strong work ethic, be self-motivated, and comfortable with working in remote areas. Being a team player is necessary for group work/living situation. Ability to adapt to a variable work schedule is also necessary. Our streams are on steep mountain slopes and reaching them sometimes means climbing down hillslopes and through thick undergrowth. Eligibility is limited to currently enrolled undergraduates that have a graduate date no sooner than fall 2023. All applicants must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents. Women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

To apply: Please submit a brief cover letter (<1 page) indicating your interest, experience and professional goals after graduation, curriculum vitae or resume, transcripts (unofficial are acceptable) and 2 professional references (names, phone number, and email address) to: Zach Perry. Put all required documents into one PDF and attach it to the email. For the subject line: HJA REU 2023 Application. Only complete applications will be considered. Review of applications will start March 27, 2023 and continue until a suitable candidate is identified.