Integrative Agroecology and Sustainability
Summer Research Fellowship Program 2017
Applications Due 3/10/17
Spend your summer conducting research that addresses complex challenges in global food security and environmental change. Get paid to explore your scientific, and cultural interests as you work side by side with leading scientists at Colorado State University.
- Must be a United States Citizen
- Sophomore or Junior class standing
- Majors (preferred) but not required
- Agricultural Sciences
- Environmental Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Natural sciences
- Sustainability Sciences
- $4000 stipend
- Access to CSU’s recreation center
- CSU Full Room & Board Available (double-occupancy)
- Travel Support Available
Dates of Fellowship: June 4th—July 28th 2017
Application Deadline: Review process begins: 3/10/17
Decisions will be made: 4/1/17
Frequently Asked Questions
APPLYING TO THE PROGRAM
- What majors are accepted to the program?
- We accept applications from all majors. Successful applicants will have strong interest/experience in agroecology and sustainability research that is typically explored through Agricultural Sciences, Business, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Natural Sciences, or Sustainability Sciences majors.
- What are the GPA requirements?
- The fellowship does not require a specific GPA. Each candidate is evaluated on multiple factors including their academic record.
- How will applicants be evaluated?
- Applicants will be evaluated based on their academic achievement, personal letter of interest, letters of recommendation, and previous research or work experience.
- Can I apply if I am an international student?
- The USDA NIFA grant requires that fellows be United States citizens.
- Can I apply if I am graduating this spring?
- No. Candidates for the program should be undergraduate with sophomore or junior class standing.
- What should be included in my Letter of Intent?
- The Letter of Intent is a 300 to 500 word essay that describes the reasons that you are interested in agroecology and sustainability research. Applicants are encouraged to speak to their prior relevant research/work experience and why they are seeking experience through the fellowship.
- Do I need to upload transcripts?
- Unofficial transcripts from all previous institutions are required. Applicants should upload copies of their transcripts (in PDF or JPEG format) through the online application portal.
- Who should write my Letters of Recommendation? What should the letters address?
- Three (3) Referee Evaluation Forms from faculty, advisors, or supervisors are required. These recommendations should address the applicants’ academic achievement, work ethic, suitability/preparedness for research in agroecology and sustainability, and ability to work with others in an academic research setting.
- Please ask your referees to send their completed evaluation forms directly to Shannon.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Refer to the Referee evaluation Form for more information
- When are applications due?
- Application review begins March 10, 2017 Final decisions will be made by April 1, 2017.
- Did you receive my electronic application and all of my application materials?
- You will be notified electronically within 48 hours of your submission.
- I am having problems with my on-line submission. Can someone help me?
- Please contact Shannon Archibeque Engle at Shannon.email@example.com or 970.491.2450 if you have questions or have problems with the on-line submission
- When will I be notified of acceptance?
- Fellows will be selected by April 1, 2017, and notifications made to students shortly thereafter.
PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAM
- Where is the program located?
- The program is located on the Colorado State University campus in Fort Collins, Colorado.
- What are the program dates?
- The fellowship begins on Sunday, June 4, 2017, and ends on Friday, July 28, 2017. All fellows must commit to participating in the fellowship during the entire 8-week period
- What if I have a conflict with the program dates?
- All fellows must commit to participating during the entire 8-week period from June 4 – July 28, 2017. No exceptions will be granted, and candidates not available during these dates should not apply.
- Is the fellowship paid?
- Yes, the fellowship is paid. All fellows receive a $4,000 stipend awarded at the end of the 8-week fellowship period.
- Is housing provided?
- Fellows who require housing will be placed in CSU’s Newsom Hall. All housing will be double-occupancy and will cover room and board.
- Is travel support provided for fellows who are from outside the local region?
- Travel assistance will be made available to those traveling from outside the local area.
- What are the general program expectations for fellows in terms of their research and participation?
- Each fellow is expected to participate in all scheduled research and program activities—including, working approximately 36 hours/week with their mentors, taking part in weekly professional development activities and workshops, and attending off-site visits to field stations, research sites, and other venues deemed integral to the fellowship program.
- What type of research projects will I be working on?
- Fellows will spend approximately 80% of their time in focused research projects in their mentor’s laboratories. Potential research themes include projects in agroecology, pests and invasive species, pollination biology, plant breeding and genetics, soil health, and water resource optimization.
PROGRAM SPONSORSHIP AND LEADERSHIP
- Who is sponsoring and leading the fellowship program?
- The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is providing primary grant funding in collaboration with Colorado State University (CSU). Faculty and staff from the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences and the Warner College of Natural Resources will be leading the fellowship program.
Research Scientists and Professors are eager to work with you and share their love of science and passion for discovery. What will you learn this summer?
Dr. Meagan Schipanski
The necessity of sustainably producing food has never been more evident as agriculture both contributes to and is impacted by many global change issues. Our agroecology research group focuses on understanding how cropping systems influence soil quality, nutrient cycling, and water use efficiency. Current research projects include evaluating the potential for adopting more diverse crop rotations and cover crops to improve soil quality and profitability, evaluating irrigation impacts on soil quality, and understanding how plant-soil-microbe interactions influence soil nitrogen dynamics. We conduct our research on farms, research stations, in greenhouses, and in the lab.
Drs. Pat Byrne, Stephen Pearce, Scott Haley
Wheat Research: Improving yield and drought tolerance are important goals of CSU’s wheat breeding and genetics program. We accomplish this by integrating field evaluation of wheat plants with DNA analysis to discover useful genes and traits and incorporate them into adapted varieties. We also look at wild relatives of wheat for useful genetic variation, and soil microbial populations to identify beneficial associations. The student intern will gain experience in field evaluation methods, DNA analysis techniques, and statistical analysis, all aimed at improving productivity of this globally important grain crop.
Dr. Cameron Aldridge
Scientists explore how temporal and spatial arrangement of resource availability and use by exotic species and insect pests links to population dynamics across spatial scales. We study species occurrence and abundance across agricultural and other human-altered landscapes within an adaptive management framework.
Dr. Arathi Seshadri
Pollinators – insects, birds and bats have an important role in the ecosystem. Bee pollinators are especially important for the production of many fruits and vegetables that provide healthy food options for humans. Bees also depend on plants for their own nutrition. Our research is focused on understanding different aspects of plant-pollinator interactions, honeybee health and ecology of native bees. Ongoing projects include determining the role of nectar and pollen chemicals on honeybee health, evaluating pollinator mixes in attracting and retaining bees, and understanding the factors that affect diversity and abundance of native bee species in urban areas and in our agricultural fields. Our research takes place in the apiaries at the research station, on research farms and in the lab.
Dr. Steven Fonte
Agroecosystem Ecology Lab: Our lab aims to increase the understanding and adoption of sustainable agriculture systems for improved soil and agroecosystem health. We work in cropping systems of the Great Plains, as well as in international contexts, mainly in Latin America and Africa. Current research involves the assessment of soil quality and ecosystem services under diverse organic matter and water management options (e.g., cover crops, no-till, deficit irrigation) in Colorado and beyond. Students in our lab would gain experience in field sampling and analytical lab techniques for soils, including measurements of soil biota, nutrient cycling and water dynamics, all key drivers of agroecosystem function and sustainability.