Multiple Summer 2022 Research Technician Positions Available

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.

Multiple Summer 2022 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Positions Avaliable

The Damschen Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is seeking multiple paid Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) students for summer 2022. The program covers all research and travel expenses and supports 12 weeks of full-time work from approximately May through August 2022 with a $6,800-7,200 stipend. The selected students will participate in collaborative, hypothesis-driven research and engage in a range of plant ecology research topics. Outcomes include: (a) experience generating and testing hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data, and summarizing findings; (b) training on field and lab safety and scientific ethics; (c) development of marketable skills such as plant identification, survey methods, and data collection protocols; (d) networking with professors, post-doctoral researchers, and other students; and (e) assistance with career planning. Position-specific descriptions are found below.

Eligible students must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and 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; (c) strong work ethic, self-motivation, and critical thinking skills; and (d) a desire develop independent research questions. 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.

Climate change and disturbance in tallgrass prairie (Madison, WI): One REU student will work under the supervision of Katherine Charton to design and implement an independent project that investigates the impact of climate and disturbance on plant microhabitats and soil processes. The student will also assist in treatment application, site maintenance, and plant community data collection in two field experiments. The student will be based at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI) and can expect to travel on day trips for supervised fieldwork. To apply, please fill out the following form: https://forms.gle/uVnqtRYwqNzqB7Kp9. 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 Katherine Charton at charton@wisc.edu.

Seed survival in longleaf pine savanna (Aiken, SC): One REU student will work under the supervision of Angelica Bautista, along with a team of collaborators with the Corridor Project, to design and implement an independent project that investigates the effects of land use history and fire regime on seed survival. The student can expect to live near the Savannah River Site (Aiken, SC) for the duration of the position. To apply, please send the following to Angelica Bautista at abautista3@wisc.edu by March 15: (1) resume or CV, (2) brief cover letter detailing why you are interested in the position (1 page max), and (3) names and contact information for 2 references.

Ant dynamics in longleaf pine savanna (Blacksburg, VA): One REU student will work under the supervision of Melissa Burt, along with a team of collaborators with the Corridor Project, to design and implement an independent project that investigates the effects of habitat connectivity on ant communities. The student will be based at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) and can expect to travel to the Savannah River Site (Aiken, SC) for 2-3 one-week trips in June and July for supervised fieldwork. To apply, please send the following to Melissa Burt at melissaburt@vt.edu by February 28: (1) resume or CV, (2) brief cover letter detailing why you are interested in the position (1 page max), and (3) names and contact information for 2 references.

Summer 2021 Research Technicians Needed!

The Damschen Lab is now accepting applications for full-time field/lab research technicians to begin around June 1, 2021, or earlier, and continuing though the summer. Specific projects are listed on our flyer below; with all positions, there are opportunities to develop your own research project and continue work into the 2021-2022 academic year. Previous field experience preferred, though not necessary. Enthusiasm for plant conservation and ecology required!

Responsibilities:

  • Handle and Identify plants (and sometimes insects) in the field and in the lab
  • Collect, record, and process data
  • Maintain field equipment
  • Be willing to work in challenging conditions (high temperatures, buggy environments, rain, etc.)
  • Work independently and collaborate with a team
  • Drive to field sites (<50 miles from Madison)
  • Some projects may require long hours and possible weekend work

Requirements:

  • Valid US driver’s license and ability to obtain driver authorization
  • Coursework or interest in ecology, biology, botany or related fields
  • Experience with or willingness to learn plant ID and processing techniques
  • Enjoy being outside, comfortable working in hot/humid conditions

Applications are due on February 12th, 2021. Apply at: https://tinyurl.com/2021DamschenTech

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW-Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the variety of ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich our community. Our 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.

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

Summer 2021 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

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.