Study forests of Long Island Pine Barrens at the nation’s premier research facility — the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)

PROJECT OVERVIEW: Forests of Long Island Central Pine Barrens provide important habitats for rare species, clean water, coastal protection, and recreational opportunities in a densely populated region. However, invasions by non-native species and changing climate and land-use affect forest ecosystem health and biodiversity, potentially leading to the demise of native pitch pine and oak. Are open pine barren ecosystems slowly transitioning to open shrublands or ecosystems dominated by non-native invaders? Can these changes be moderated by careful forest management? To answer these questions, join the Dovciak research group at SUNY-ESF and BNL in the summer of 2020.

INTERNSHIP OVERVIEW: At Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Upton, NY, interns will interact with SUNY-ESF and BNL researchers as members of research teams resurveying long-term Forest Health Monitoring plots established in 2005/2006 across Long Island. During this 10-week internship (June to mid-August) interns will learn plant identification and field methods in monitoring forest vegetation as they develop their own research projects on various aspects of forest change (e.g., tree regeneration or mortality, change in understory plant communities) that will include data collection, data analysis, and reporting results. A weekly stipend ($500/week) and training will be provided. Free dormitory housing is available for students who live > 50 miles from BNL. SUNY-ESF students can register for internship credit via EFB 420 and additional research experience can be pursued via EFB 298, EFB 498, or as an honors thesis.


 Highly motivated undergraduate student (current sophomore or

higher) OR recent graduate (with degree received after June 1, 2018)

 Cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0

 Physical ability to work in the field effectively in inclement weather

(heat or rain) and for long periods of time (>40 hrs./week when needed)

 Background in botany, dendrology, ecology, forestry, or related

 Basic vascular plant identification skills or willingness to learn

 Excels in working independently AND with others

 Enthusiasm for field data collection; ability to follow protocols

 Excellent time management and interpersonal skills

 Attention to detail in recording and entering data

 Experience with GPS, statistical software, and field sampling desirable

See the full eligibility requirements here:

TO APPLY: The application requires (1) essay summarizing educational goals and qualifications, (2) official transcripts from academic institutions, and (3) at least two recommendation letters. Apply online by January 9, 2020 via the Department of Energy-SULI program website ( Applications before December 16 are strongly encouraged. When filling out the application, select Brookhaven National Laboratory AND biology or environmental science as the research area. See application details here: Contact your references early!



CONTACT: Joanna Lumbsden-Pinto ( or Dr. Martin Dovciak ( Early inquiries are encouraged. Once the application is submitted online, send us an e-mail to initiate the review.