Undergraduate research assistant position

Location: East Lansing, MI
Deadline: April 30, 2017

Undergraduate research assistant position available summer 2017 in socio-ecological research 

The Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem Science Lab in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences is seeking one or two undergraduate students who are interested in ecosystem ecology, the carbon cycle, biogeochemistry, agricultural ecology or the sustainability of bioenergy to join us in a new opportunity through NASA’s Carbon Cycle & Ecosystem science program. Undergraduates will join us in studying the carbon flux of biofuel crops, marshlands and urban fringe areas within the Kalamazoo Watershed. 

If selected, responsibilities will include fieldwork during summer months and, if needed, lab hours during the school year. Applicants will begin as early as May 2017. The position is part-time during the summer season (i.e., 29 hours/week average) and, if needed, will continue into the school year at 12 hours/week. As our summer fieldwork is weather dependent and near Kalamazoo, flexibility is a must and a driver’s license is preferred. During the school year, the student may work independently throughout the week. Trips to the field will be bi-weekly, and lab work on campus will fill in the time between. 

Summer fieldwork

​During the summer, we will make frequent trips to research areas with the Kalamazoo Watershed for a variety of outdoor work, which will be supervised. Trips may last multiple days (3-4) with lodging and transportation provided while other trips will last one day. Physical health is a must, as we will be lifting heavy objects and stay outside for hours at a time. Students will have the opportunity to learn new equipment and participate in carbon dynamic monitoring, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, and agriculture research as they work alongside graduate students and postdocs. 

Position details: 

● Pay rate commensurate with experience 

● Application deadline April 30, 2017; flexible as needed 

● Starting date: May 8, 2017; sooner if applicable 

● Duration: 5/8/17–8/29/17 at 29 hours/week average (flexible & oopportunity to continue) 

● ​Qualifications: flexible for travel/scheduling, willing to learn or has experience in 

biogeochemical/ecological monitoring techniques and equipment, able to participate in laborious work. 

For more information about our lab, please visit our lab website at http://lees.geo.msu.edu/ . For details about the project, visit ​http://lees.geo.msu.edu/research/NASA_carboncycle/.  

Please contact Gabriela Shirkey (shirkeyg@msu.edu) with your CV, an unofficial transcript, and a cover letter describing why you are interested in this work and what you hope to accomplish by joining our lab. Questions are welcome.