Research Internship in Range Management of Subtropical Grazinglands at Archbold Biological Station (Florida, USA)

The Agroecology Program at Archbold Biological Station (ABS) is seeking an intern (6 to 12 months) to assist with grassland ecology, wetland ecology, and range management research on our 10,400-acre cattle ranch in south-central Florida (Buck Island Ranch). The intern will be supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Boughton in a dynamic lab with 2 post-doctoral research associates, 2 research assistants, 1 environmental technician, and 1 ecohydrologist.

Internship highlights:

Buck Island Ranch is both an operational cattle ranch and an experimental field station, with a heavy focus on applied ecology. We are thinking both locally and globally. We are part of the Long-Term Agroecosystem Research Network (LTAR, US-wide) and the nutrient network (NutNet, worldwide).

Interns will:

      •      Experience life on a cattle ranch in a collaborative environment.

      •      Assist with research on the effects of prescribed fire, cattle grazing, and pasture management on grasslands and wetlands ecosystems (see our two documentaries,

      •      Work 20 hours per week assisting with field and lab projects, typically but not always Monday – Friday.

      •      Dedicate remaining time to designing and implementing an independent research project that fits within our research program, with a report and a presentation at the end of the internship.

Who should apply?

      •      Ideal for recent graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in biology, environmental science or any related fields.

      •      Students interested in applied science who contemplate non-academic positions such as Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

      •      Students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in applied ecology, wetland ecology, rangeland ecology.

Requirements and internship responsibilities

      •      Highly motivated and enthusiastic about living and working in a rural field-station setting. A valid Driver’s license and own transportation for personal activities is required.

      •      Respectful of others, as successful interns will share lodging with other interns.

      •      Detail-oriented with respect to following sampling protocols and managing data.

      •      High tolerance for the extreme heat and humidity that prevail during late spring through summer in southern Florida.

Duties will include a combination of the following:

      •      Plant community surveys (in wetlands and/or grasslands) and plant biomass collection.

      •      Soil sampling, water sampling and groundwater well monitoring.

      •      Lab work including soil sieving, biomass grinding, and basic chemistry analysis.

      •      Greenhouse gas fluxes measurements (N2O, CH4, and CO2), Eddy covariance tower maintenance, and weather station maintenance.

      •      Data entry.

      •      Helping with prescribed fires & site visit for water monitoring projects.

Benefit for the successful intern

      •      Interns will be trained in every aspect of scientific research, from project choice, experimental design, and statistical analysis to oral and written presentations. This will prepare interns for graduate school and/or higher-level report writing required by government agencies. Some interns published their projects in peer-reviewed journals.

      •      Opportunity to get more familiar with advanced technology (e.g., Eddy covariance, CO2 and methane sensors).

      •      Experience in applied ecology.


      •      Interns receive lodging at Buck Island Ranch (11 miles away from ABS).

      •      Weekly stipend of $245.

How to apply?

      •      To apply please email the following to Dr. Elizabeth Boughton ( and Dr. Grégory Sonnier (

              o A recent CV.

              o A cover letter stating research interests and a description of previous research experience.

              o The contact information for three references.

      • Deadline to apply is December 6, 2019, for a desired starting date in late January, early February 2020.

Questions about the program

Please refer to Archbold Biological Station website for more details on our program:

If you have additional questions regarding the program, please contact Dr. Grégory Sonnier (