Undergraduate Internship Opportunity in Small Carnivore Ecology

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

We are seeking applicants for 1 NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) position in summer 2018 to examine small carnivore ecology at and around the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest on the western slope of the Oregon Cascades near Blue River, Oregon. This project will focus on using non-invasive approaches (i.e., camera trapping). The two objectives of this project are to 1) understand the patterns of use and re-use of western spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis) rest structures, and 2) understand the phenology and importance of fruiting plants for vertebrate species. This research will contribute to a larger PhD project on the small mammal and small carnivore food webs in the Pacific Northwest forest. As such, the student will be encouraged to participate in other camera trapping efforts, carnivore tracking via radio-telemetry, and scat collection efforts.

The position will be based at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest and travel will be required for short trips to Oregon State University (Corvallis, Oregon). The Andrews Forest was established in 1948 as an US Forest Service Experimental Forest, and since 1980 is one of the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites. The field station has modern apartments with full kitchens, a well-equipped computer lab, and wireless internet (see http://andrewsforest.oregonstate.edu/ for more information on the site, facilities and research programs at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest). The landscape is home to iconic Pacific Northwest old-growth forests of cedar and hemlock, and moss-draped ancient Douglas firs; steep terrain; and fast, cold-running streams.

The goal of this program is to provide undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in 10 weeks of mentored, paid, independent research. The program includes a weekly seminar series and an opportunity for the student to interact with a multitude of scientists, OSU faculty, federal scientists, and graduate students conducting research in the area. Participants will closely work with the PIs of the project (Drs. Taal Levi and Damon Lesmeister) and a PhD student (Marie Tosa) on the grant. The REU student will conduct supervised and guided research and be encouraged to tailor the research project to his/her own interests.

This position lasts for 10 weeks, starting May 28 through August 3, 2018 and working at least 40 hours/week. Exact dates are flexible. The student will be responsible for 1) meeting all requirements of the mentors and 2) writing a final research report on his/her research experience. Housing and a weekly stipend of $550 will be provided ($5500 total). There are also some funds to defray the cost of traveling to the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest.

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 in inclement weather. Previous field experience is a plus. A general understanding of ecology is desirable. Eligibility is limited to currently enrolled undergraduates that have a graduate date no sooner than fall 2018. 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 3 professional references (names, addresses, phone number, and email address) as 1 document to: hja.carnivores@gmail.com. Please include in the subject: HJA REU 2018 Application. Only complete applications will be considered. Review of applications will start Feb. 26, 2018 and continue until a suitable candidate is identified.