Do NSF-funded Research in Convergence Ecology at SIU

We learned of this great summer research opportunity for undergraduates via the AESS email list-serv. Many a environmental scientist these days cut their early research teeth on one of these “Research Experience for Undergraduates” fellowships (including SUST Prof. Mike Bryson, who did one in the summer of 1988 at the University of Michigan Biological Station).

SUST majors who have had some biology/environmental science classes are in a good position to apply for one of these fellowships, several others of which are available for this summer at the Field Museum here in Chicago. Also check out the REU Students website for access to dozens of fellowships sites across the US.

Here are all the details from SIU’s Center for Ecology . . .

Location:  Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Application Website:
Application Deadline:  March 15, 2013
Stipend:  $5,000.00 + research, travel support, and lodging
Start Date:  May 28, 2013

This NSF-funded Site REU offers a diverse array of research opportunities resulting from an extraordinary combination of ecological focal areas and processes studied by SIU Center for Ecology faculty in southern Illinois, a distinctive physiogeographic region where prairie, forest, wetland, floodplain, and river systems converge.


This REU Program will provide research opportunities for up to 10 undergraduate students under the guidance of faculty mentors associated with SIU’s Center for Ecology.  The goal of this REU program is to provide students hands-on training with a variety of tools used to conduct ecological research across a spectrum of research areas (to include soil, plants, animals, and multiple ecosystems) and processes (ecological pattern and variability, ecological response to environmental degradation, ecological response to restoration, and conservation and management) made possible through the diverse research programs of faculty members affiliated with SIU’s Center for Ecology.

The program will immerse students in research and educational activities aimed to foster (1) hands-on scientific inquiry, (2) development of a diverse ecological skills-set through guided quantitative field and laboratory methods, (3) comprehension of and confidence in communicating science through weekly reading and discussion, (4) a broad awareness of ecological science through weekly seminars, and (5) a better understanding of biodiversity (to include human culture) through educational field trips to local natural and cultural areas.  The program will culminate with The Colloquium of Undergraduate Research in Ecology (The CURE).

Lodging for REU students will be provided by SIU campus housing at no cost to participants. This is a paid program; students will receive a stipend of $5,000 during the 10-week summer program (May 28 – August 5, 2013).  Up to $800 per student will be available for research supplies.

Applications will be considered from students at any stage of their undergraduate program (freshman to senior) and any discipline related to the field of ecology.  Students are not eligible if they have completed an undergraduate degree by summer 2013.  Students must be U.S. Citizens.

Application Procedure:  Instructions and application are available at this website.  Applicants will need to submit an electronic application, unofficial transcripts, and two letters of recommendation to

Application Deadline:  March 15, 2013

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the application is completed and submitted on time.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Contacts:  Dr. Clay Nielsen (; 618-453-6930) and Dr. Sara Baer (; 618-453-3228)

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