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://http://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 dayâ€™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, firstname.lastname@example.org . 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.