The Muller-Landau lab at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) seeks 3 interns to participate in research on tropical forest ecology in Panama for 9-12 months each. One internship will focus on tropical forest carbon budgets, another on landscape-level variation in forest structure and dynamics, and a third on the role of lianas (woody vines). The carbon intern will focus on synthesizing field data collected at multiple sites in Panama and across the ForestGEO / CTFS network of large-scale, long-term forest dynamics plots, and will participate in local field data collection. The landscape intern will focus on collecting and analyzing geospatial data on forest structure and dynamics collected using drones to quantify variation in relation to topography, soils and climate, building on 3 years of data collection. The liana intern will collect field data, analyze pre-existing datasets, and/or conduct modeling to investigate the determinants of liana abundance and the importance of liana strategy diversity. Additional information on these opportunities can be found at http://www.forestgeo.si.edu/article/262/
All interns will have the opportunity to gain experience in tropical forest field work, quality assurance/quality control of the relevant datasets, programming and running analyses in R (and/or ArcGIS), and writing up results for scholarly publication. The successful candidates will work closely with staff scientist Dr. Helene Muller-Landau and collaborators.
The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is located in Panama, and is home to a vibrant scientific community of 30 staff scientists, over 100
graduate and postdoctoral fellows, and 1500 scientific visitors per year.
The ideal candidates have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, strong quantitative skills including programming experience, and strong English and/or Spanish oral and written communication skills. The positions are particularly well suited for candidates seeking more research experience prior to graduate school. Each internship will be compensated with a modest stipend sufficient to cover living expenses in Panama ($1000/month), as well as roundtrip travel to Panama if relevant. The start dates are flexible and can be as early as March or as late as September 2018.
To apply, please email a CV, a cover letter describing your qualifications and interest in one or more of the positions, and contact information for 3 references to Helene Muller-Landau at email@example.com. Review of applications will commence on February 15, 2018, and continue until the positions are filled.
Our research encompasses a wide range of projects, exploring the ecology and management of coastal marine ecosystems. We focus primarily on invasion dynamics but also examine species interactions of both native and non-native species. Overall, we study the patterns of marine invasions across space, time, and taxonomic groups and evaluate non- native management strategies. We seek to understand what drives those patterns, how to predict the future spread and impacts of non-native species, and how they affect species interactions, including predator- prey and host-parasite relationships.
For the Fouling Survey project, we conduct standardized surveys of the fouling community to document both native and introduced species in bays and estuaries. We study the diversity of fouling communities,how it changes over time, and how new species change community structure, composition and abundance. An internship with the Fouling Project will require travel to many different cities (usually in the Continental US or Panama). Interns will have the opportunity to study the latitudinal trends in non-native species diversity, the methods non- native species use to disperse themselves globally, and what makes them successful locally. We anticipate that the intern will spend 25% of their time working on an independent project that is part of the larger fouling community study, 25% assisting with miscellaneous lab projects,and 50% aiding in all aspects of field surveys.
This internship will be located at our San Francisco, California laboratory with the possibility to transfer to our Edgewater, Maryland location after field season. The internship dates span mid-May/early June through mid-October for a total of 16 weeks with some flexibility.
Both current students and recent graduates will be considered.
California: There is limited on-site guest house space available at varying costs.
Maryland: There is limited on-site dormitory space available for $105.00 per week.
The intern will receive a stipend of $550 dollars per week.
Registration at the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment system
(SOLAA) is required. Select the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Internship program from the drop down list of programs and submit an essay, CV or resume, academic transcript (unofficial is acceptable), and two letters of recommendation. The Marine Invasions Lab is one of many labs at SERC, and the Fouling Project is one of a few projects in the Marine Invasions Lab. If you would like to report interest in this lab and project, please do so in your essay.
FIELD COURSE IN TROPICAL RAINFOREST AND CANOPY ECOLOGY (TRE B-18)
COURSE LOCATION: Bocas del Toro Biological Station, Boca del Drago, Isla Colon, Republic of Panama. The biological station is located on a hill facing the Caribbean Sea. Coral reef and sea grass ecosystems lie in front of the station and lowland tropical rain forests are directly behind. This juxtaposition of the two most biologically diverse ecosystems provides tremendous opportunities for education and research. See http://www.itec-edu.org for details.
Dr. Barry Sullunder, Ph.D., Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation and the Cuixmala School, Jalisco, Mexico. Phone: 713-226-5561, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Specialty: Neotropical forest ecology, plant-animal interactions, insect behavior.
Prof. Bill Maher, Tree Climbing U.S.A. , 251 Oak Grove Rd., Dawsonville, GA, 30534 phone: 229-732-5973, email: email@example.com, Specialty: Tree canopy access techniques.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This field course is designed to provide the student with a foundation in ecological concepts and field techniques as applied to tropical rainforest ecosystems. The material covered is equivalent to a university upper level course in tropical ecology. The course is divided into three parts. During the first few days students will become familiar with the many ecosystems found in our area and with the trail systems during “orientation” walks. The bulk of the first 10 days will be spent learning field techniques and carrying out various group projects or exercises (see below). It is during this time period that students will learn to access the canopy using various rope techniques (Climbing Certification is available, please contact Joe Maher for details). Midway through the course the entire station community takes a field trip to the cloud forests of Boquete (see details below). On returning to the field station, students work on their individual research projects and continue to receive lectures in the evening.
FORMAL LECTURES. Formal lectures will take place in the classroom and will include the use of PowerPoint presentations and chalkboard. Lectures may take place both during the day and evening. Lecture topics will include:
o Neotropical Life Zones and Forest Types
o Tropical Forest Structure
o Tropical forest Productivity
o Epiphytes, Lianas and Creepers
o Tropical Forest Dynamics
o Nutrient Cycling
o Neotropical Vertebrate Ecology
o Neotropical Invertebrate Ecology
o Biodiversity Hypotheses
o Plant-Animal Interactions
o Animal Defensive Strategies and Mimicry
o Plant Defensive Strategies
o Pollination and Dispersal ecology
o Consequences of Human Use
o Tropical Forest Conservation
INFORMAL LECTURES. Informal lectures will be provided periodically during orientation walks (when you first arrive), during group field projects or in discussion groups. These will cover a wide variety of topics and will generally be prompted by what we encounter in the field, or by the direction taken during group discussions.
READINGS. Readings corresponding to lecture subjects will be assigned in the text. We may also read and critique papers brought by students and faculty and additional readings may be assigned from time to time. In addition, each student will read, critique, and provide oral reports on published papers brought to Bocas.
REQUIRED TEXT: Kricher, John (2011). Tropical Ecology. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. ISBN 978-0-691-11513-9.
FIELD BOOK. A field book will be required in the course. The field book will contain all data related to group projects and independent research project. The field book should also contain all other incidental observations such as species lists, behavioral notes, etc., and contain detailed location information. The field book must be water-proof and either pencil or water-proof ink used to record data.
GROUP PROJECTS. These are research, exercises or demonstrational projects designed by the faculty and worked on in groups of four or six students. The purpose of these projects is to familiarize students with an array of field sampling techniques and equipment commonly used in field studies. With help from a faculty member, students set up projects, collect data, and generally (depends on the project), analyze data, present the results to the class, and write a report.
INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH PROJECTS. Working closely with faculty, students will be responsible for designing and completing an original research project of their choosing. The project may deal with any topic in tropical ecology or conservation. These projects will be carried out during the second half of the course and students will have about 10 days for data collection. A few days before the end of the course students will analyze their data, write a technical report, prepare a PowerPoint presentation of their work and orally present their findings during a station-wide symposium on the last day of the course.
BOQUETE CLOUD FOREST FIELD TRIP: This field trip will allow students the opportunity to visit other areas of Panama, to experience Panamanian culture, and to visit tropical cloud and seasonal forests first hand. We travel in ITEC boats to the mainland and then by chartered bus to Boquete which lies at the base of 11,000 ft. Volcan Baru. The bus trip will take us up and over the central mountain range and through Palo Seco National Park. Several stops will be made in route.
COURSE LENGTH: ITEC Summer field courses are about four weeks in length. The TRE B-18 will run from June 15 through July 10, 2018.
TUITION: $2250 USD. Tuition fee includes all lodging, meals and airport transfers in Bocas del Toro. The tuition also covers transportation and lodging during the three-day cloud forest field trip on the mainland.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 15, 2018. The course is limited to 10 students and applications will be evaluated as they arrive. If you believe that your application may arrive late, notify ITEC.
GRADING and COURSE CREDIT: Up to 6 units of credit will be given, 3 for the lecture portion and 3 for the field portion. A letter grade will be assigned based on exams, reports, proposals, attendance at lectures, as well as by less tangibles such as personal attitude, motivation, and contribution to the course. Course credit must be arranged in advance at the student’s institution. Contact ITEC for details.
CONTACT: Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation, 2911 NW 40th PL, Gainesville, FL 32605, phone: 352-367-9128, email: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> , web: http://www.itec-edu.org <http://www.itec-edu.org> ITEC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1996.
Duration: 18 weeks (May/June to September/October 2018)
Start Date: Flexible, between May 14 and June 11
Location: Edgewater, Md. and Tiburon, Calif.
Strong scientific background (natural sciences coursework; not required to be a science major) and skill writing about science for a nonscientific audience. Ability to use Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint) required; familiarity with photo and video editing software, WordPress and HTML a plus.
Send a cover letter, resume with references (name, title and contact information) and unofficial transcript(s) toScienceWritingIntern@si.edu by 11:59 PST Monday, February 19, 2018. One to three published or unpublished writing samples explaining science for general readers are also essential to include for the application to be considered. For more information, visit http://serc.si.edu. Questions? Send an email to SERC Science Writer Kristen Minogue at ScienceWritingIntern@si.edu.