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Bridging the Diversity Gap in Biogeosciences REU

Primary Institution: Iowa State University
City: Ames
State: IA
Job Duration: May 29-August 3, 2012
Class Requirement: Completed Sophomore Year
Citizenship Requirement: U.S. Citizen or U.S. Permanent Legal Resident
Position Type: Research
Discipline(s): Biology/Life Science
Other Engineering
Description: Bridging the Diversity Gap in the Biogeosciences (BTDG) REU program at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, is a summer research experience program in the Earth sciences that is dedicated to increasing diversity in the geosciences. The program is in line with the Obama Administration's recognition of the critical role community colleges play in developing future human capital for the increasingly competitive world economy.

This program introduces a cohort of talented community college students and transfers, including non-traditional and traditionally-aged students and students from underrepresented minority groups, to collaborative summer research experiences in the biogeosciences in an environment where interdisciplinary team problem-solving is the norm.  This program is closely aligned with the ISU summer Biogeosciences REU.

The goal of the program is to increase the number of students from communities that are underrepresented in the geosciences relative to their proportions in the general population. It is in intended to engage talented students from community colleges, particularly those transferring to four-year colleges and universities, in hands-on, faculty mentored research experiences in the geosciences and related disciplines.

Students will gain practical research skills in computer modeling, field methods, and/or experimental design by conducting independent projects under the guidance of experienced faculty and research scientists. Other activities of our REU Program are designed for social, leadership, and professional development of the undergraduate participants. Students selected for the program will work on interdisciplinary teams with faculty, graduate students, post-docs, and in some cases industrial partners. They will also engage with students participating in other Iowa State University based REU program in seminars, short courses, research tours, field trips and social events with mentors, graduate students, postdoctoral associates and others involved in related research.

A research colloquium will introduce participants to the interdisciplinary field of biogeosciences and help them place the summer experiential learning in context. Through field trips, the REU students will visit important ecological areas in Iowa, such as the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge and Prairie Learning Center and a central Iowa riparian buffer system. Students will develop communication skills in public speaking by presenting project results as oral presentations at the annual research symposium at the conclusion of the summer program. Other activities planned include ethics training, career workshops, and "sharing science" community outreach.

The REU Site Program will provide students with a summer stipend, which will include housing and traveling allowance and a budget for supplies. For many participants, the REU Site Program will be a stepping-stone from undergraduate studies to graduate research programs in the field of biogeosciences. For other students, the REU Site Program will offer research experiences that provide a foundation for careers in secondary education, government agencies, environmental consulting, and other professions.

In 2012, the BTDG REU program will enroll a cohort of four students, each of whom will be placed in an ISU research team.  Students will be expected to work in a research lab for 40 hours per week, participate in weekly lab meetings and all other scheduled events. At the end of the program they will be required to present their research findings at a poster symposium.
Stipend: $4000
Benefits: Housing
Travel Reimbursement
Subsistance Allowance
Application Deadline: 03/16/2012
Job Website:

Research/Internship Opportunity Contact Information

Primary Contact: D. Raj Raman
3222 NSRIC
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50015
Phone: 515-294-0465
Secondary Contact: MaryAnn Moore
Iowa State University
3177 NSRIC
Ames, IA 50015
Phone: 515-294-4249
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