Ideal position for graduates and soon-to-be-graduates interested in plant population biology, evolution, or conservation ecology.
The Echinacea Project is looking for an enthusiastic graduate or soon-to-be graduate for a 12-month paid internship starting in June 2022. We are looking to assemble a team of research interns with diverse skills and interests, and we encourage individuals with a bachelor’s degree in biology, botany, entomology, statistics, computer science, or a related major to apply. This internship is a great opportunity for aspiring ecologists, conservation biologists, and evolutionary biologists to gain research experience and learn about the ecology and evolution of plants in fragmented prairies. Read more general information about our field season!
As a research intern, you will contribute to ongoing research on the conservation genetics, reproductive biology, and demography of the prairie plant Echinacea angustifolia. Summer fieldwork occurs in western Minnesota, and greenhouse and lab activities are at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Interns will have the opportunity to conduct an independent research project. This project may involve field research, germinating seeds in the lab, organizing and analyzing a dataset, developing computer software, or other activities depending on the intern’s goals and interests. Potential project topics include: flowering phenology, fire ecology, mating compatibility, plant-aphid-ant interactions, plant quantitative genetics, and plant-pollinator interactions.
Alex (research intern 2021-2022) collects demographic data on an Echinacea plant
As an intern, you will engage in many aspects of scientific research, outreach, and mentoring. Tasks during the summer include database management, experimental plot management, preparing data to use in the field (such as GPS paths), and discussing science with other interns. At the Chicago Botanic Garden, you will participate in a variety of research and conservation-related activities, attend seminars, and interact closely with conservation scientists, graduate students, interns, researchers, and volunteers associated with Plant Conservation Science at the Chicago Botanic Garden and the graduate program in Plant Biology and Conservation at Northwestern. Interns will spend time managing Echinacea Project volunteers and mentoring students. Tasks with volunteers include teaching protocols, answering science-related questions, and preparing samples so volunteers can collect data. In collaboration with the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Echinacea Project hosts a number of high school and undergraduate interns over the fall, winter, and spring. Year-long interns will mentor these visiting interns on independent projects and engage them in lab activities.
Desired skills and experience for all applicants include: collecting and managing data, completing tasks independently and on time, conducting experiments, using maps, communicating clearly in writing, paying attention to detail, and working effectively with diverse people, including scientists, volunteers, students, and interns. Additionally, we will assemble a team including interns with complementary skills and interests above and beyond those listed above. Other valuable interests or experience include but are not limited to: performing outdoor physical work in adverse conditions, conducting statistical analyses, computer programming, using R, supervising citizen scientists, mentoring students, conducting artificial crosses, organizing and curating specimens, automating systems, conducting outreach, growing plants, and identifying insects. If you are interested, please apply and let us know what you can contribute!
Applications will be reviewed starting on 3 March 2022 at 12 pm (noon) CST. The salary starts at $15.75/h. Housing in Minnesota during the summer is included.