The Damschen Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is seeking one paid Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) student for the summer of 2021. The NSF REU provides up to 12 weeks of full-time work (40 hours/week) with a $7,200 stipend ($600/week), a $1,000 housing allowance, and travel reimbursement of up to $600. The goal of this program is to provide students with experience in hypothesis-driven collaborative research utilizing field-based and laboratory methods and to fully engage students in a range of plant ecology research projects. 

Climate is changing faster in winter than any other season in many temperate regions. At the Damschen Lab, we are using a combination of field experimentation, lab growth assays, and functional trait analyses to understand the consequences of winter climate change on tallgrass prairie plant communities. With guidance, the student will develop a research question related to these topics. Weekly duties will be a combination of field work (~50%) and independent project/lab work (~50%). Learning outcomes include: 1) training on field and lab safety and scientific ethics; 2) experience generating and testing hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data, and summarizing findings; 3) training in marketable skills such as plant identification, survey methods, and functional trait collection protocols; 4) networking with professors, post-doctoral researchers, and other students in ecology; and 5) assistance with career planning.

Eligible students must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and enrolled as an undergraduate in the fall of 2021. Ideal candidates will demonstrate: an interest in plant ecology, botany, field research, and/or outdoor activities; the ability to take direction and learn from others; strong work ethic, self-motivation, and critical thinking skills; and a desire to learn and develop research and professional skills. The Damschen Lab aims to make science and ecology more inclusive of people of all identities, and we strongly encourage people of color and people of all genders, sexual orientations, and cultural backgrounds to apply.

Applications: In lieu of a cover letter, please fill out the following form, which will provide space to upload a resume/CV and list up to two references: https://forms.gle/X37yDKsWf3hSkuSV7. We will begin review of applications in February and will take additional applications on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. Questions about the program and/or application process should be addressed to Katherine Charton at charton [at] wisc.edu.

A PDF version of this announcement is available for circulation below.