Position Overview: The Cedar Creek LTER (Long Term Ecological Research Network) has several opportunities for students to work as plant community ecology interns. Most positions run from June through August, but some interns are needed as early as March, and some are needed through October. Your educational institution may be able to approve this internship, with an appropriate independent project, for any field biology requirement of your major. As a research intern, you will contribute to ongoing field experiments, may have the opportunity to initiate individual research, attend scientific seminars, and interact with professors, post-docs, and graduate students. If you are an undergraduate or a newly graduated student with a background or interest in biology, ecology, environmental science, botany, environmental education, or related field we encourage you to apply.
Pay is $15.00 per hour. Typical workdays are eight hours Monday through Friday; however, some projects require weekend, early morning, and evening work. Most of the work you do will be out in the field, though a few jobs have indoor laboratory or computer components. On-site dormitory housing is available to rent.
Research Overview: We have three large scale projects and several smaller scale LTER experiments that require most of our intern resources. BioCON is one of the large-scale experiments where we explore the ways in which plant communities respond to environmental changes such as increased nitrogen deposition, increased atmospheric CO2, decreased biodiversity, altered precipitation patterns, and increased temperatures. Another large-scale project is the Big Biodiversity experiment that studies how plant diversity affects the rates, dynamics, and stability of ecological processes at the population, community, and ecosystem levels. Other experiments nested within the Big Biodiversity looks at factors such as irrigation and increased temperatures. The third large scale experiment, FAB, is looking at tree competition under different diversity levels. This experiment includes approximately 40,000 trees within a 30 acre field that will run for over 100 years. Throughout the summer we maintain and sample these experiments.
Independent Project Opportunities: As part of these positions, you will have the opportunity to conduct your own research project with the guidance of a graduate student mentor. You can go through the entire research experience from writing a proposal to data collection to presenting your results at a symposium at CCESR. There will be workshops on different aspects of research.
Research site: CCESR is an eight square mile tract of land 35 miles north of the Twin Cities. Cedar Creek is endowed with a diverse mosaic of prairie, savanna, sedge meadows, bogs, open water, forests, and even abandoned agricultural fields. Its large size, great natural diversity, and uniform soil substrate make it ideal for ecosystem studies.
Qualifications: High school diploma or equivalent and some undergraduate coursework. • Ability to work outdoors. • Effective analytical and communication skills. • Strong organizational and time management skills. • End date must be after August 11th • Driver’s license is preferred but not required
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