REU Site: Warm-water aquatic ecology
Our NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) project has been funded! We are currently recruiting students for our first program (Summer 2011). The deadline for applications is 15 January 2011. Please spread the word about this program, and check us out on Facebook. Also, help us advertise and please post flyers for the REU Site around your institution.
Having access to safe and abundant potable water is quickly becoming one of the most important global environmental issues. Some models predict that 40% of the world’s population will suffer water shortages by 2025 due to several mechanisms, such as climate change, species invasions, and eutrophication. These issues have been especially challenging in the southeastern U.S. given the on-going explosive population growth and prolonged drought throughout the region. Unfortunately, less emphasis has been placed on the study of warm-water ecology (in contrast to ecological research in cooler, more temperate regions), thus creating a significant need for broadly-trained scientists capable of exploring complex, context-dependent natural and anthropogenic processes threatening water resources in warm regions of the world.
This REU Site is a novel, collaborative effort involving Auburn University faculty mentors specializing in diverse but complementary disciplines, including community ecology, fisheries management, aquaculture, evolution, limnology, molecular biology, microbiology, invasive species, fish behavior, outreach, physiology, parasitology, and conservation. Together these disciplines provide the education basis for undergraduate students to learn about techniques and tools to study aquatic communities, specifically warm-water systems such as reservoirs, farm ponds, streams, and brackish estuaries. The primary objectives of this project include exposing participants to different scientific hypotheses, research techniques, and ecological habitats and conditions in an engaging, interdisciplinary atmosphere that fosters a strong interest in aquatic sciences by the next generation of water experts.
Participating students will receive a stipend ($4,000/10 weeks), food and lodging at The Cambridge, travel funds to and from Auburn, AL, and research funds. The program will last ten weeks from May 22 to July 31, 2011. Please contact Alan Wilson if you need more information about the program.