We are looking for NSF REU students to participate in field research on red squirrel behavior, evolution, and ecology from May to August 2024 in the Yukon, Canada.
The Kluane Red Squirrel Project is an interdisciplinary, large-scale field study designed to test the importance of food abundance to the ecology and evolution of red squirrels. Individual squirrels are tagged as pups and monitored for the duration of their lives. For over 30 years we have measured life-history traits and lifetime fitness of these individually marked squirrels. This project takes place in the remote Yukon, where this population of squirrels primarily depend on white spruce trees for food. Our work also involves quantifying the variability in the production of white spruce cones, and measuring resources available to the squirrels.For more information, please visit: https://www.redsquirrel.ca
We aim to understand how individual differences in resources affect life history trade-offs and their evolution in a natural population, and to track how these processes are affected by ongoing environmental changes.
REU students will work with mentors to develop a project idea and experimental design. This program includes a 12-week field season at our remote research station in the Yukon, Canada. Students will learn field techniques in live-trapping and handling of red squirrels, radio telemetry and behavioral data collection. Additional duties will be contingent on the specific independent research project of the successful applicant.
Dr. Andrew McAdam (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Dr. Ben Dantzer (University of Michigan)
This is a paid internship opportunity and includes a $500 weekly stipend, full room and board, meals, and travel to and from the Yukon. An additional $250 will be available to help pay for supplies and field gear necessary for the research project.
All training will be provided and no experience necessary. Applicants should have a strong enthusiasm for learning, a desire to conduct their own independent research project and be highly motivated. The field camp is remote and low tech, so successful applicants must enjoy the outdoors and be able to remain positive and be a responsible team member under relatively isolated and demanding conditions. NSF requires that applicants must be current undergraduate students (enrolled for Fall 2024) at any 2 or 4 year university. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. We encourage any interested student to apply for this program, especially students from traditionally underrepresented groups in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology.
Please send a cover letter, CV and 2-3 references to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2024. The cover letter should describe why you want this position, how it fits into your career goals, any record of overcoming challenges and barriers, ideas for possible independent research projects, and an overview of your past experiences with independent research, field research, animal handling, and living/working in a remote area. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.