The Coastal Environmental Change Laboratory at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and the Coastal Plant Ecology Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) are looking for a motivated and energetic undergraduate student to participate as a research assistant in an interdisciplinary study of coastal dune dynamics during the summer of 2014.
This project is an investigation of the interactions between coastal dune grasses and sediment transport that give rise to coastal dune formation, as well as the impacts of climate change on coastal dune and barrier island systems.
The research assistant position is a National Science Foundation Research Opportunity for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) funded through the Long-term Ecological Research program at the Virginia Coast Reserve (LTER-VCR). The successful applicant will spend 10 weeks living and working at the Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center at the VCR on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. During this time the student will work and interact with project principal investigators and faculty members Drs. Laura Moore (UNC-CH, Geological Sciences), John Bruno (UNC-CH, Biology), and Don Young (VCU,
Biology) as well as with Theo Jass, an M.S. candidate in Dr. Moore’s group, who will serve as the student’s most immediate mentor.
The successful candidate will gain exposure to interdisciplinary scientific research and experience using field and computational techniques often employed in the study of ecology and geomorphology, including monitoring of plant growth, measurements of topography and sand accretion rates as well as data entry and basic GIS applications.
Primary responsibilities will include collecting, entering and analyzing measurements from field experiments designed to understand the role of vegetation in dune building. The student will also have opportunities to work on related interdisciplinary research projects, potentially including use of numerical modeling.
Eligibility: Interested rising college juniors and seniors with some classroom, lab or field experience in environmental science, biology and/or geological science. Must be a U.S. citizen, or permanent resident (including possessions/territories) and willing to live in a remote location, able to walk and carry equipment in a hot, humid environment and work long hours outside.
Additional Beneficial Qualifications: Experience in data analysis, modeling, statistics, photography and/or GIS as well as experience camping or working in a rugged outdoor environment, are beneficial but not necessary.
Timing: The research assistantship extends 10 weeks, ideally from June 2 – August 8, 2014 and carries a stipend of $4500. Housing is provided.
Food and travel to/from the field station are responsibility of the student.
To Apply: Submit the following documents as PDF files to Theo Jass (firstname.lastname@example.org):
1) A cover letter summarizing your background and interest in the position and including contact information for two references (preferably faculty members)
2) a resume or CV
3) transcript(s) (can be unofficial),
4) a statement of research and career interests.
Application review will begin immediately.
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill M.S. Geological Sciences, 2015 Coastal Environmental Change Lab http://cecl.web.unc.edu