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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Undergraduate Student Opportunity

Undergraduate Student Opportunity:  two REU positions in northern Alaska

We are seeking enthusiastic undergraduate researchers interested in summer
field research in Alaska for two REU positions in the Bret-Harte and Ruess
labs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  Our overall research objective
is to understand the ecosystem and global consequences of potential future
changes in arctic vegetation.  In this project, we are focusing on the
mechanisms by which increasing abundance of large deciduous shrubs in tundra
ecosystems may alter the near-surface cycling of C and N, and feedbacks to
further vegetation change. You will assist with fieldwork in arctic tundra
and laboratory work consisting of tasks such as plant sorting and data
entry. You will collaborate closely with the principal investigators,
graduate students, and technicians to develop an independent research
project of your own that will build on the ongoing research, and will
present your work at an informal symposium at the Toolik Field Station. In
addition, you will attend weekly seminars on the research at the station.
You will be based at the Toolik Field Station, north of the Brooks Range in
arctic Alaska (http://toolik.alaska.edu), which is the focus of research by
nearly >100 scientists who work on a variety of terrestrial and aquatic
ecology projects.  The positions will last approximately 10 weeks, starting
in mid-June, though there is some flexibility.

Class background in plant ecology, botany, ecosystem ecology, statistics,
and computer science would be an advantage.  Experience in field or
laboratory, experience with data analysis, and experience working in a
remote field site is preferred.  You should have skills with plant
identification, data collecting and recording, data manipulation in Excel,
and data analysis. You must be willing to work in the field, occasionally
under adverse weather conditions.  A valid U.S. drivers’s license is
preferred.  Competent, careful, emotionally mature, and enthusiastic people
desired!  We want the work to be both fun and challenging.  You must be a
U.S. citizen or permanent resident and currently enrolled in an
undergraduate degree program, with graduation expected no sooner than fall
2017.  You must provide a copy of your social security card at the time of
employment.  Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.

If you are interested in this position, send 1) a copy of your resume,
including the names and contact information for 3 references, 2) a list of
your coursework in biology, ecology, chemistry, and math/statistics, and 3)
a cover letter than explains why you are interested, describes your
background and research experience, and includes anything that you think
would convince us that you are the most appropriate person for this
position, to Syndonia Bret-Harte, msbretharte@alaska.edu by April 10, 2017.
 We will contact you to discuss the position.

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