Internship in Forest Ecology

Hiring Organization: Suny College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Employment type: Internship
Job Location: Syracuse, NY
Application Deadline: April 30, 2021

Undergraduates seeking research experience in forest ecology are invited to apply for a 10-week expense-paid internship in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

 

About the project

MELNHE (Multiple Element Limitation in Northern Hardwood Ecosystems) is the longest-running N and P fertilization study in a temperate forest anywhere in the world. Since 2011, we have been conducting nutrient manipulations in 13 stands in Bartlett Experimental Forest, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, and Jeffers Brook. The MELNHE project presents many opportunities for short- and long-term research. In addition, this summer we will be revisiting a successional chronosequence of 13 stands in the White Mountains, which presents opportunities for studying forest development over time. More information is available here including a blog from previous field crews.

 

Internship Description: 

Interns will be guided in the design of their research projects and will interact closely with graduate students and senior research scientists from SUNY-ESF, Cornell, and Miami University. Interns will gain a wide variety of skills by assisting in all ongoing projects. Interns have the opportunity to present their results at the annual Hubbard Brook Cooperators Meeting in July.

 

Possible research projects include:

  • The effects of nutrient addition on soil respiration, including a methodological test: is soil respiration increasing over time, or is this an artifact of collar installation?
  • Effects of nutrient addition on litter decomposition: we installed litter bags with beech and maple litter in fall 2020, and the first set of bags is due to be collected in June.  Nitrogen is known to suppress litter decomposition but the effects of P are less often studied--since we have the only long-term NxP fertilization experiment in a temperate forest.
  • Analyzing the development of beech bark disease in the chronosequence (compared to an earlier assessment in the same stands--also a unique experimental design).
  • Interference with tree regeneration by beech sprouts (a common response to beech bark disease) in stands of different ages.

 

Work days typically begin at 8:00 and end at 4:30, but may be shorter or longer depending upon the day's activities. Interns are provided with shared housing near Bartlett Experimental Forest; tenting is optional. A stipend of $200 per week is provided for living expenses. Food is prepared communally by the interns and graduate student researchers, and costs for groceries average $6-7 per day.

 

COVID-19

We have experience with safely operating a field crew under COVID restrictions during 2020, and will acquaint you with rules established by SUNY-ESF and by the State of New Hampshire<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.covidguidance.nh.gov/out-state-visitors__;!!HXCxUKc!iSzvRuDimwCqJu7wcWya5tjN5c7UbqPIWoI73B_z0v14fVLMhq5pNL6_ri4loBym$ >. We will consider applicants who need to travel by air to join us.

 

Desired Qualifications: 

Ideal applicants will have a strong interest in forest biology, ecology, or biogeochemistry. Undergraduate students and recent graduates will be considered. A positive attitude is important and a sense of humor is a plus. Willingness to work and live in a communal setting is critical. Candidates should be able to perform repetitive tasks with attention to detail in a field setting under adverse conditions. Applicants should be flexible in their expectations, but an estimated breakdown of the summer is: 60% fieldwork, 15% lab work, 10% data management, and 15% research proposals and reports of independent projects.

 

To Apply

Please send a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three references to Joe Nash <jnash2@esf.edu>.  Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. The field season will begin on June 6 and ends on August 14, but please let us know if your availability differs from the given dates. Interviews will be conducted beginning in mid-March and will continue until the position is filled.