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2017-2018 Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Below are undergraduate research projects that are currently looking for students. Many of these opportunities are paid positions. You can also look for these opportunities and others on the QCNR Jobs and Opportunities page.


Understanding changes in Cache Valley's urban forest

Faculty/Graduate Student Name

Mark Brunson

Faculty/Graduate Student Email

mark.brunson@usu.edu

Project Title

Understanding changes in Cache Valley's urban forest

Project Description

This summer a field crew surveyed more than 700 properties in Logan, Providence, and River Heights to identify tree species in their front yards and park strips (between sidewalk and street) and to measure how the forest composition has been changing over time. Now we need to know why. We now plan a public survey of the residents of those properties to learn whether and how they have chosen the tree species, as well as their perceptions of the trees. A student is needed to help administer the survey and enter data from responses received.

Project start date

Early October

Project end date

Not sure - likely mid-December to mid-January

Paid/volunteer

Paid


Population Dynamics and Seasonal Movements of Translocated and Resident Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), Sheeprock Sage-Grouse Management Area

Faculty/Graduate Student Name

Terry Messmer/Melissa Chelak

Faculty/Graduate Student Email

melissa.chelak@gmail.com

Project Title

Population Dynamics and Seasonal Movements of Translocated and Resident Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), Sheeprock Sage-Grouse Management Area

Project Description

We are seeking an undergraduate student interested in wildlife biology/ecology to assist a PhD graduate researcher looking at translocated and resident sage-grouse movements and vital rates. The position will begin in Fall 2017 (late September) and go through the end of November, every other weekend, with the possibility of being hired on as a full-time paid technician in the Spring and Summer of 2018. Student would travel with graduate researcher to the field site in a field vehicle on Fridays and travel back on Sundays of scheduled weekends. The field work will take place in the Sheeprock Sage-grouse Management Area located in Utah’s West Desert, and offers access to BLM, USFS, and private land. Primary tasks will include: tracking radio-collared birds, assisting with trapping and collaring birds, and assisting in trainings (radio-telemetry, ATV-use, off-road vehicle driving, etc) and lab meetings. Housing will be provided at the field site.

Project start date

9/29/2017

Project end date

11/26/2017

Paid/volunteer

Volunteer


Dynamics of Agricultural Adaptation to Water Scarcity

Faculty/Graduate Student Name

Emily Burchfield

Faculty/Graduate Student Email

emily.burchfield@usu.edu

Project Title

Dynamics of Agricultural Adaptation to Water Scarcity

Project Description

Future changes in water availability will significantly impact agricultural systems around the world. I am interested in identifying how agricultural systems have responded to past drought to better understand and identify the factors that moderate the impacts of drought and ultimately help farmers prepare for future water scarcity. Concretely, I analyze large socio-environmental datasets to (1) identify variations in agricultural drought-response across space time and (2) collect additional qualitative, survey, and social data to identify actionable factors driving these variations. This can help us identify agricultural communities that are particularly vulnerable to water scarcity as well as those that show remarkable resilience to water scarcity. I'd love to work with students interested in these questions or, more broadly, the spatial dynamics of future food and water security. I have an interdisciplinary background (economics and engineering) and use mixed methods (geospatial analysis, interviews, survey, etc) and welcome students with a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds and methodological expertise. Students interested in learning more about agricultural adaptation, geospatial analysis and programming (in R or Python), mixed method research, or interdisciplinary research on human-environment interactions should feel free to contact me!

Project Start Date

ASAP

Project End Date

On-going

Paid/Volunteer

Volunteer