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Recruiting Interns, Hubbard Brook and Bartlett Experimental Forests - Summer 2019

Undergraduates or recent graduates seeking research experience in forest ecology are invited to apply for a 10-week expense-paid internship at Bartlett, Jeffers Brook, and Hubbard Brook Experimental Forests in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

About the Project: Multiple Element Limitation in Northern Hardwood Ecosystems (MELNHE) seeks to examine the limits to forest productivity in the context of resource optimization theory. In 2011, we began the first long-term N x P factorial manipulation experiment in a temperate forest; previous tests of N and P limitation in temperate forest systems have been few, and those few have been short-term with very high rates of fertilization. Our experiment involves 13 forest stands distributed across three sites in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Five years ago, we found that trees had grown more in response to P than to N addition (Goswami et al. 2018), which was important, as forests on recently glaciated soils have been presumed to be N limited.  Perhaps anthropogenic N deposition has tipped many systems towards P limitation.  This summer, we will measure trees again to test whether co-limitation has been attained within a decade, as predicted by the MEL model (Rastetter et al. 2013).

More information on the project is available at https://www.esf.edu/melnhe/, including a blog from previous field crews.

Internship Description: In addition to all-hands activities such as applying fertilizer at the beginning of the field season, excavating soil pits in July, and measuring tree diameters in August, interns will be guided in the design of independent research projects and will interact closely with graduate students and senior research scientists. Research projects could include the effects of nutrient addition on soil pH and N availability, fine and woody litter production, or soil respiration and belowground carbon allocation. Interns will gain a wide variety of skills by assisting in all ongoing projects and will have the opportunity to present their results at the annual Hubbard Brook Cooperators Meeting in July.

The field season will begin on Monday, June 3 (arrive on June 2) and end on Friday, August 9 (depart on August 10).  A stipend of $200 per week is provided for living expenses.  Interns are provided with shared housing at Bartlett Experimental Forest; tenting is optional. Work days typically begin at 8:00 and end at 4:30, but may be shorter or longer depending upon the day’s activities. Days off may not always land on weekends due to logistical considerations. Food is prepared communally by the interns and graduate student researchers, and the cost of groceries generally runs $6-7 per day.

Desired Qualifications: Ideal applicants will have a strong interest in forest biology, ecology, or biogeochemistry. Undergraduate students and recent graduates will be considered. A positive attitude is important and a sense of humor is a plus. Willingness to work and live in a communal setting is critical. Candidates should be able to perform repetitive tasks with attention to detail in a field setting under adverse conditions. Applicants should be flexible in their expectations, but an estimated breakdown of the summer is: 60% fieldwork, 15% lab work, 10% data management, and 15% research proposals and reports of independent projects.

To Apply: Please send a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three references to Alex Young, aryoung@syr.edu. Interested students should apply by Sunday, March 10 but applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received.

Grad Assistantship in Forest Nutrient Cycling- Summer 2019

Ruth Yanai is seeking new graduate students (MS or PhD) to participate in a large collaborative project investigating above and belowground carbon allocation, nutrient cycling, and tradeoffs involved in multiple resource allocation. The Multiple Element Limitation in Northern Hardwood Ecosystems (MELNHE) project has field sites located at Hubbard Brook, Jeffers Brook, and Bartlett Experimental Forests in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Since 2011, thirteen stands have been receiving N, P, N&P, and control treatments in 0.25-ha plots, with six stands receiving Ca treatments. Research in the MELNHE project includes aboveground diameter growth, leaf production by species, foliar nutrient resorption, water use, soil respiration, soil mineralization, beech bark disease, mycorrhizae, and snail and arthropod diversity. More information on the project can be found at http://www.esf.edu/melnhe.

We welcome inquiries from prospective students interested in forest ecology, nutrient cycling, and uncertainty analysis (http://quantifyinguncertainty.org). Applicants should be self-motivated, excited to work as part of a multi-investigator project, have laboratory and field experience, and be comfortable living and working in a group setting. A field crew blog from previous years is available at http://shoestringproject.wordpress.com/.

We prefer for students to join us for the summer field season, which starts June 1, 2019, so as to become familiar with the field sites and our research activities before starting classes in late August.

Funding will consist of a combination of research and teaching assistantships. A stipend, full tuition waiver, health insurance, and a summer position with the field crew in New Hampshire will be provided. Prospective students may apply to the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management or the Graduate Program in Environmental Science, both at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY.

We appreciate communicating with students as part of the application process. Students are encouraged to review MELNHE related data and publications and supply their own ideas for research in relation to the project. Prospective students should begin that conversation by requesting the password for Ruth's project materials from Mary Hagemann at forestecology@esf.edu.



Other Sources of Funding


Fellowships may be available to support participation in the National Science Foundation's Graduates in K-12 Education program through the ESF in the High School program (http://www.esf.edu/outreach/esfhs). US students from under-represented groups may be eligible for college and university-wide Diversity Fellowships.


Teaching assistantships are available to support professors teaching undergraduate and graduate courses ( http://www.esf.edu/graduate/awards.htm).

Information about other funding opportunities is posted on the Non-ESF Sources of Funding page.


Current Projects


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This site was last updated 02/26/19  § forestecology@esf.edu