• Field Research Opportunity: Luquillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico

Opportunity Description

Volunteer positions for fieldwork in the Luquillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico are available during the summer of 2023. This tropical site has a rich history of ecological research (see http://luq.lternet.edu/) and is currently funded from a grant from National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research Program (see http://www.lternet.edu/). Applicants must be able to commit for blocks of time (usually 4-7 weeks in duration, exact duration and dates will be determined, in part, based on availability of applicants) to be in Puerto Rico. Additional opportunities for research experience and the potential to work on related research projects at the University of Connecticut following fieldwork exist for interested participants.

Our research team will investigate responses of snails and insects to environmental variation related to elevation, landscape characteristics, or natural disturbances, including responses to Hurricane Maria (2017), and a long-term simulated hurricane experiment. Fieldwork is conducted at night and involves surveys by teams of workers at a series of small plots throughout the forest. Work involves long hours and hiking in wet and slippery mountainous terrain.

This is a fantastic opportunity to gain practical field experience in the only tropical forest within the US Forest System. At night the forest comes alive with the calls of endemic frogs (coquis), with potential opportunities to interact with scientists and students from other universities that conduct ecological research on diverse aspects of the forest.

Lodging and round-trip transportation (plane ticket) will be provided by the project.

Student Qualifications
We are seeking mature, responsible, and hard-working students who are dedicated team-players. Good field habits (i.e., good note taking, good observations) are a plus. No previous work experience in tropical rainforests is necessary.

How to Apply
If interested, please contact Steven Presley (steven.presley@uconn.edu) or Michael Willig (michael.willig@uconn.edu) as soon as possible.

Mentor: Michael Willig, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, and Steven Presley, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department: Institute of the Environment
Email: michael.willig@uconn.edu; steven.presley@uconn.edu
Timing: Summer 2023, Ongoing
Campus: Off-campus Summer 2023, Storrs ongoing

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