The Damschen Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is seeking multiple paid Research Technicians for summer 2022. Students will be hired as hourly employees and can expect to work 30-40 hours per week for 12-16 weeks from May through August 2022. All positions are based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and will include day-trips to field sites 1-2 hours from Madison, WI. The selected students will support collaborative, hypothesis-driven research in a range of plant ecology research projects. Job responsibilities include: (a) handling and identifying plants (and sometimes insects) in the field and in the lab; (b) collecting, recording, and processing ecological data; (c) working in challenging conditions, including high temperatures, buggy environments, and rain; (d) working both independently and with a team; and (e) occasional long hours (10+ hours per day) and weekends. Position-specific descriptions are found below. With all positions, there is opportunity to develop your own research project and continue work in the lab for research credit during the academic year!

Eligible students must be enrolled as a continuing undergraduate in fall 2022. Ideal candidates will demonstrate: (a) an interest in plants, field research, and/or outdoor activities; (b) the ability to take direction and learn from others; and (c) strong work ethic, self-motivation, and critical thinking skills. A valid U.S. driver’s license and ability to obtain Driver Authorization is a plus. The Damschen Lab aims to make science and ecology more inclusive of people of all identities, and we strongly encourage people of all colors, genders, sexual orientations, and cultural backgrounds to apply. Please see our full mission and values statement on our website.

Functional Trait Technician (Madison, WI): One student will work under the supervision of Abigail Widdell to aid in the processing of plant functional traits of tallgrass prairie (Wisconsin) and longleaf pine savanna (South Carolina) species. Work includes: (a) collecting plant samples in the field from tallgrass prairie natural areas; (b) making plant measurements in the field, such as plant height; (c) making plant measurements in the lab, such as seed coat thickness and specific leaf area; and (d) helping out with various other projects in the lab.

Floral Resources Technician (Madison, WI): One (or more) student(s) will work under the supervision of Stephanie McFarlane to aid in the processing of floral resources of tallgrass prairie (Wisconsin) species. Work includes: (a) collecting plant samples in the field from tallgrass prairie natural areas; (b) making floral trait measurements in the lab, such as floral display size, floral unit abundance, and floral reward quality; and (c) helping with pollen assays to better understand what attracts pollinators to certain natural areas.

To apply for either or both positions, please fill out the following form: https://forms.gle/WahZkmA7Va5v5dv77. We will begin review of applications immediately and will take additional applications on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. Interviews will be scheduled starting in March. Questions should be addressed to Abigail Widdell at afwiddell@wisc.edu or Stephanie McFarlane at mcfarlane@wisc.edu.