Research Experience for Undergraduates
Research Experience for Undergraduates in Environmental Sciences: Shima’ nahasdza’a’n bee ‘iina’ (Mother Earth Give Life) is an intensive 10-week research experience that take place each summer and is designed to introduce students to the world of scientific research. This Northern Arizona University (NAU) program is funded by the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.
Students are selected for the program on the basis of the following criteria: satisfactory performance in at least one science course, lack of access to research opportunities, attendance at a Tribal or community college, interest in pursuing a scientific career, alignment of student and mentor interests, match with program goals, and overall academic performance and potential.
The program begins with a weeklong course on the conduct of research in environmental sciences at the Merriam Powell Research Station, which is housed on the grounds of The Arboretum at Flagstaff. The arboretum is 5 miles from Flagstaff, Arizona, and surrounded by ponderosa pine forest.
Following this experience, students are ready to return to the NAU campus and spend nine weeks working with a faculty or graduate student mentor on an independent research project matching their interests.
The on-campus portion of the program includes: (1) seminars on career options, research skills development, and Native American and western science perspectives; (2) a GIS short course; (3) individual consultation on research paper and poster presentation development; and (4) social activities.
The program offers (1) a $500 per week stipend, (2) six university credits, and (3) housing.
View 2013 Flyer
Program ElementsField work at The Arboretum of Flagstaff
During the first week of the program, participants conduct field work at The Arboretum at Flagstaff designed to give them hands-on experience conducting a scientific investigation. As a group, participants will develop hypotheses, design experiments, collect data, and report results. Although this field work experience may not directly relate to a participant’s individual research project, it serves as a “training ground” for the rigors of developing a hypothesis, gathering data, and communicating results.Research experience
During the final nine weeks of the program, participants have the opportunity to gain research experience. This portion of the program blends learning science and developing job skills. Participants will work under the guidance of a faculty mentor and experienced students. The goal is to expose program participants to the rigors of working in a research group in a format that teaches them the skills they will need to succeed. The daily schedule depends on the type of research project the student selects and may range from making observations using a microscope or mapping trees outdoors to analyzing data or writing up research results.Wednesday evening class meetings
The program includes a Wednesday evening class that primarily focuses on communicating research results. Participants will be given weekly writing assignments designed to help them develop their science writing skills. The class will focus on individual sections of a standard science paper beginning with the "Introduction" and moving through the "Methods," "Results," and "Discussion" sections. During the final two weeks of class, participants will learn the key elements required to create a good scientific research poster, including design, readability, and research content. Finally, guest speakers will talk about career options, scholarship opportunities, and graduate and undergraduate research.
2013 Program Dates and Application Deadline
The 2013 Research Experience for Undergraduates in Environmental Sciences program runs from May 28 to August 3, 2013. The application deadline is February 22, 2013.
Dr. Amy Whipple