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Ecohydrology of a Tropical Montane Cloud Forest

Primary Institution: Texas A&M University
States: Non U.S., TX
Job Duration: 10 weeks
Class Requirement: Completed Freshman Year
Citizenship Requirement: U.S. Citizen
Position Type: Research
Discipline(s): Ecology
Environmental Science
Fluid Dynamics and Gases
Geology/Ocean science
Description: The goal of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) is to provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to develop essential skills in designing, executing and disseminating original research that quantifies the hydrologic and biogeochemical fluxes in the watershed of a tropical montane cloud forest.

Students have an opportunity to work on field and laboratory research under the guidance of faculty mentors at the newly constructed Texas A&M Soltis Center for Research and Education near San Isidro in central Costa Rica.

The REU site provides a unique international opportunity for students to be immersed in the practice of active inquiry and research in:

Climatology and Meteorology focuses on the study of cloud and precipitation processes including the role of aerosols to understand the spatial and temporal variability of clouds and precipitation.  Over the past two years, the REU projects have focused on the following topics: throughfall variability, climatology of precipitating systems, synoptic classification of atmospheric circulation, orographic influence on precipitation, characterization of atmospheric aerosols, aerosol effects on fog and rain formation, atmospheric boundary layer structure, and isotopic analysis of rain and fog.

Ecohydrology focuses on how vegetation affects the water cycle, and how the water cycle affects ecosystems to determine the role of forest vegetation in the water cycle.  Over the past two years, the REU projects have focused on the following topics: hydrologic processes in a small watershed with a focus on quantifying the interactions and feedbacks between groundwater and vegetation, hydrologic measurement technologies for a rough, vegetated terrain, evapotranspiration patterns and processes at leaf-to-stand-to-watershed scales, streamflow variability, characterization of the vegetation structure, and the availability and distribution of light through the forest canopy.  

Soil Science focuses on the structure and geochemistry of the forest soil to characterize.  Over the past two years, the REU projects have focused on the following topics:  CO2 and CH4 fluxes, soil trace gas fluxes, water retention properties of soil and mapping the depth to bedrock within the instrumented watershed.  

The 2013 projects will attempt to close the water budget for a small watershed. Each of research cluster will focus on a specific part of that water budget.
Stipend: 500 per week
Benefits: Housing
Meal Plan
Travel Reimbursement
Application Deadline: 01/31/2013
Job Website:

Research/Internship Opportunity Contact Information

Primary Contact: Dr. Chris Houser
Department of Geography
810 O&M Building, Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77845
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