Harvard Forest

Please note: This opportunity is a MHC Miller Worley Center for the Environment Leadership Fellowship and is available to MHC students ONLY.

Duration: 40 hours/week

Location: Petersham, MA

Position Title: Summer Research Intern

The Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in Ecology is an opportunity for students to participate in on-going research at the Harvard Forest. Harvard Forest research focuses on the effects of natural and human disturbances on forest ecosystems, including global warming, hurricanes, forest harvesting, and invasive organisms. Researchers come from many disciplines, and specific projects center on population and community ecology, paleoecology, land-use history, aquatic ecology, biochemistry, soil science, ecophysiology, and atmosphere-biosphere exchanges. Students participate in ongoing research projects with researchers from Harvard University, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, Marine Biological Laboratory, Ecosystem Center and other collaborators.

Position Description: The Harvard Forest Summer Research Program provides a critical opportunity for undergraduates to gain research experience in topics related to ecology, evolution, environmental science, and conservation. An education in these areas is not complete without hands-on immersion in the process of field and/or lab research, data analysis, and presentation of results. Students who participate in the program are better prepared for graduate work and future careers, whether in the life and social sciences, policy, environmental law, or nonprofit sectors. Working directly with experienced researchers/mentors, students will develop independent research skills and gain a deeper understanding of the environmental/ecological fields. Students can also leverage their summer experience to develop senior theses, author professional publications and participate in national conferences in upcoming academic years.

Responsibilities: May include field sampling, laboratory studies, data analysis and scientific writing. In addition, students attend weekly seminars given by nationally known scientists and workshops on career and graduate school preparation.

Qualifications: Similar to most REU programs, the Harvard Forest Summer Program receives many more applications than available funded positions. Overall, the pool of students hired will come with a wide variety of experience and educational backgrounds. A small but significant portion of students hired are rising freshman who show an interest in ecology but of course do not have significant course work or experience. The majority of students hired are sophomores and juniors who have a background in relevant science courses. The most competitive applicants have demonstrated an ability to take initiative and responsibility, whether by work or volunteer experience.

How to Apply: Students must complete both the Harvard Forest Application by February 3, 2017 (which requires letters of reference from two sources, an essay and resume) and the Lyon Net application system by midnight February 17th.

Funding: Students must complete the UAF Process

About Harvard Forest: Since 1907 the Harvard Forest has served as a center for research and education in forest biology and conservation. Two major research programs provide a framework for much of this activity. The Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). It was established in 1988 to investigate the structure, function and dynamics of natural ecosystems in New England. The National Institutes of Global Environmental Change (NIGEC) program was established in 1990 with funding by the Department of Energy (DOE). It emphasizes studies of physical and biological processes relevant to climate change. In addition to these large programs there are many focused studies on diverse subjects.

For more information: Harvard Forest