I2S Available Internships

Only students who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for an I2S internship:

  • Enrolled full-time and in good academic standing at the Flagstaff Mountain campus at the time of application and at the commencement of an internship
  • Admitted as a degree-seeking student pursuing a first bachelor's degree
  • Successfully completed at least 15 semester hours at NAU
  • Completed less than 75 semester hours (including transfer credits) when the internship begins.
  • Possess a US Social Security number

Applications will be accepted beginning August 4, 2014, for Fall 2014 I2S opportunities using the online application form link below. 

Application deadline: September 5, 2014. 

APPLICANTS: Consult the I2S Student Information and Student FAQ pages for application advice and more information about the program. 

This document lists the required information on the application form. Please review this and prepare your responses and attachments PRIOR to accessing the application form.

Online application form You should receive an email with your application responses.

You may apply for up to 3 internships during this application period. However, each internship will require a completing a SEPARATE application form. When you have completed and submitted your first application, you may log in again and complete the next one.  A word of advice: Be sure to tailor each application to the specific activities and expectations described for that position.

All communications or questions regarding these I2S internships, including the responsibilities, requirements, timeline, applications, and selection processes, should be directed to the Undergraduate Research Coordinator.

Fall 2014 Internships 

The Internship ID number is shown to the left of the title (e.g., F14.001, F14.013)

F14.001: Using Casual Game Learning Principles to Design Online Composition Courses - CANCELLED
Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support.
Videogame-like learning principles have begun to influence education and approaches in the classroom (specifically James Paul Gee) including console and computer videogames considered hardcore games (Grand Theft Auto, Assassin's Creed, etc.). Very little scholarly work has been done involving learning principles used in casual games to attract and maintain participation. Since casual games provide very few instructions to users but attract millions of players (Candy Crush once reported over 10 million uses in one month), I investigate the learning principles used by casual games to influence learning within their constructed design. I first need to determine how students define casual games, what casual games they play and why.

What the student will DO and LEARN:
The intern will help review all existing research on casual games. This will aid him/her in understanding interdisciplinary research in a scholarly field (videogame research is very interdisciplinary). The intern will help design a research survey to determine definition of hardcore and casual videogame player, what casual games students play and why. This will help the intern understand how to design and build a survey for students to complete. We will begin collecting data Spring 2015.

Other benefits to the student:
This internship will help the student understand how to read and understand interdisciplinary research in a popular topic, and how to relate that information to learning design. This could help humanities majors better understand their majors; this could help engineering/computer science/art/design/visual design majors understand practical application of their designs.

Time commitment: 6 hours/week for 10 weeks

Faculty Name: Amber Nicole Pfannenstiel
F14.002: Studio Assistant for Digital Sculpture Fabrication

Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support.
My work utilizes a combination of 3D scanning, 3d modeling, CNC routing, 3D printing, woodworking, fiberglass, and automotive painting. In my most recent work I have been manipulating 3D models using Javascript, text editing, hex editing, and even a sound manipulation software to create intentional errors in the way the file compiles. I work with animal forms to show the potential future that might come from rampant genetic manipulation to the point in which all matter becomes plastic. With this new work I am showing the effect of randomness and error in such a system. I am also exploring the natural beauty of error and mistakes created in our digital world. I am also going to be making a new stacking animal through Kickstarter. I've been contacted by three of my galleries to make a new piece for sale. I'm also working with Phillip Mlnsa in computer science to develop a sound based 3D scanner.

What the student will DO and LEARN:

  1. work with fiberglass in a mold-less composite
  2. work in ZBrush to develop 3D models
  3. use Photostiching to create 3d models from 2d images
  4. work with 3d models on a code level to manipulate them
  5. prep models for CNC and 3D printing
  6. cast under pressure to create a bubble free casting
  7. work the basics of Processing IDE to develop code
  8. properly sand and prep for automotive painting

Other benefits to the student:
How to run a modern sculpture studio and deal with clients, grants, and shipping. I have several shows coming in the fall and need to make several pieces for them.

Time commitment: 5 hrs/week for 12 weeks

Additional qualifications:
Taken some art, computer science, or visual communication courses

Faculty Name: David Van Ness

Intern: Casey Mahalick

F14.003: Honoring Stories: Celebrating Indigenous Knowledges POSTPONED

Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support:
Through a survey, interviews and an Indigenous focus group, the study explores how an education college is meeting its stated goal to “Be a leading university/college serving Indigenous students.” The study was conducted through tenets of Critical Indigenous Research Methodologies (Brayboy, Gough, Leonard, Roehl, Solyom, 2012), specifically relationality, respect, reciprocity, responsibility and accountability. The study will draw on Tribal Critical Race Theory (Brayboy, 2006) to analyze the data. From the analysis, we identify themes that demonstrate effective ways to meet the stated goal and provide recommendations.

What the student will DO and LEARN:
Student will learn how to outline, draft and submit a qualitative research article. Specifically, the student will (a) learn about qualitative research, (b) conduct literature review, (c) understand how theoretical framework and methodology inform research; (d) learn how to do thematic analysis to code data; (e) use analysis to write “findings” section; (e) write “findings” and “recommendations” section.

Other benefits to the student:
Student will be co-author for a journal article. We will submit to Journal of American Indian Education (JAIE); the editors have requested I submit an article about this study.

Time commitment:
6hrs/week for 12 weeks

Additional qualifications:
Have a working knowledge and understanding of Indigenous issues and commitment to Indigenous education.

Additional comments or explanations that are relevant:
I will provide a detailed timeline to the student at the beginning of the semester so that we can work from it. I will be ready to extend “meeting/discussion” time if more mentoring and less individual work appears more supportive.

Faculty Name: Christine Lemley

F14.004: Arsenic Exposure Affects Gene Expression in Ovarian Tissue

Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support:
Arsenic exposure is known to affect reproductive tissues. This project will evaluate whether changes seen in ovarian weight following arsenic exposure affects critical gene expression patterns involved in ovarian function. The genes products to be evaluated include genes that are involved in normal ovarian function and also in ovarian cancer. Results may provide unique insights into how arsenic affects health outcomes.

What the student will DO and LEARN:

The student will learn about experiment design, how to carry out an experiment, state-of-the-art real time PCR techniques and analysis, and statistical data evaluation. The student will be expected to participate in the Undergraduate Symposium in Spring, 2015.

Other benefits to the student:
Through our weekly laboratory meetings, the student will learn how to collaborate in an active lab environment and how to present his/her research to an educated lay and scientific audience.

Time commitment: 6 hrs/week for 12 weeks

Additional qualifications:
The student should have some familiarity with general biology and chemistry and an active interest in how chemical pollution affects vertebrate physiological function.

Faculty Name: Catherine Propper

Intern: Jonathan Grunwald

F14.005: Test of Bait Flavors used in Oral Rabies Vaccination of Striped Skunks

Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support:
This project is in collaboration with USDA Wildlife Services. Striped skunks are one of the primary wildlife species that can carry and transmit rabies. Oral vaccination programs have been very successfully in controlling rabies in foxes and raccoons, but until recently this approach has not been effective in skunks. In this approach, small packets containing vaccine are coated with a food-based attractant, and when an animal bites into the packet the vaccine is released and swallowed. Until recently there has not been an effective oral vaccine for skunks. A new vaccine (ONRAB) shows promise, but to test its efficacy animals have to be lured to baits containing the vaccine. We will test different flavors as attractants for skunks to determine which flavor (fish, egg, peanut butter) is most effective at attracting skunks to vaccine packets. These data will be used by the USDA to inform future oral-vaccine programs.

What the student will DO and LEARN:
What the student will DO: 1) radio-track skunks, 2) place flavored bait packets and cameras in the field and analyze photographs to record response by animals, 3) help analyze the data collected. If motivated to do so, the student will have the opportunity to present the results as a poster at the AZ-NM Joint Meeting of the Wildlife Society in February 2015.
What the student will LEARN: 1) how to radio-track animals, 2) how to design and carry out a field experiment, 3) how to record and analyze data, 4) current management approaches for an important wildlife disease.

Other benefits to the student:
The student will gain insight into the kinds of work carried out by an important wildlife agency (USDA Wildlife Services) and will have the opportunity to interact with personnel from that agency. The student will be exposed to how a major wildlife disease is managed on a nation-wide basis and how universities collaborate with other non-academic agencies to solve real-world problems. As a result, the intern experience will link the intern’s academic career with broader societal issues.

Time commitment: 6 hours/week for 12 weeks

Additional qualifications:
Current driver's license. The selected intern will need to complete the necessary IACUC training modules. Experience working with animals a plus and inoculation against rabies a plus (students who have worked in vet offices sometimes have this).

Additional relevant comments or explanations:
Students may observe me radio-collaring skunks, but they will not have any direct contact with skunks themselves, therefore there is no health concern about animal contact.

Faculty Name: Tad Theimer

Intern: Dylan Ray

F14.006: Exploring the Role of Calcium Binding Proteins in Regulation of Titin Function

Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support:
Titin is the largest known protein and it has a growing role in our understanding of muscle function. My lab has identified two new and exciting interactions between titin and two proteins that bind in the presence of calcium. Our preliminary data suggest that these proteins may play a role in regulating titin function when a muscle is activated. We are currently working to understand the molecular nature of these interactions.

What the student will DO and LEARN:
This student will work closely with my current MS student and my post-doc to express and purify the three proteins we are characterizing. S/he will also assist in conducting biophysical experiments to characterize the thermodynamics of the interactions. In addition to participating in lab work, the student will also work to develop a unique aspect within this project that can be developed into a proposal for the upcoming HURA competition.

Other benefits to the student:
The student will have the opportunity to interact with other undergraduate students as well as several MS students and a post-doc. This opportunity will help to introduce them into the scientific community and will help them to understand what it means to be a scientist.

Time commitment: 6 hours/weeks for 12 weeks

Faculty Name: Matthew Gage

Intern: Miriam Zveitel

F14.007: Long-term Fire History of Coastal Temperate Rainforests, Prince William Sound, Alaska - POSTPONED
Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support:
Since 1995 I have been involved in research into the history of vegetation and climate change and disturbance history of forests in southern Alaska. In 2010 and 2011, we collected a series of sediment cores from the coastal temperate rain forest of southwest Alaska. Essentially nothing is known about the history of forest fire in this vegetation type. In 2011/12 a NAU undergraduate (Damara Kautz) researched the vegetation history of one of the sites, Cabin Lake. Paul Zander, another NAU undergraduate, analyzed the sedimentary characteristics. The I2S intern would perform the sedimentary charcoal analysis of this core to be able to integrate the fire history story with the climate and vegetation history record.

What the student will DO and LEARN:
Our long-term records of forest fire are obtained from analysis of small subsamples of sediment cores extracted from lakes. The intern will take small subsamples of sediment from Cabin Lake, sieve the sediments to extract the charcoal generated from any forest fire and plant remains that have been washed into the lake, tally the charcoal and then use a computer program, Charanalysis, to statistically determine the frequency of fires at the site in the past. This project will involve no fieldwork, but instead a considerable amount of labwork with sieving the sediments, identifying the charcoal and any other plant remains in the sieved sediments, and manipulating the data. The intern will learn lab techniques and computer programs, as well as be able to interpret the data.

Other benefits to the student:
In addition to the above, the intern will be part of a research team, producing an important and integral piece of research. S/he will be exposed to research on the cutting edge of our field, considering that at the present time we know virtually nothing about the history of fire in these forests. S/he will be required to discuss the results with other members of the team, learning what it is like to work with different individuals with different knowledge to benefit the whole - the way of Environmental Sciences.

Time commitment: 6 hours/week for 12 weeks

Additional qualifications:
The intern should have an interest in both botany and geology.

Faculty Name: R. Scott Anderson
F14.008: Adding Python to Model Oriented Programming Platform POSTPONED
Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support:
My research is focused developing innovative modeling techniques for software engineers, and applying such techniques in the healthcare domain. Our research platform called Umple, is a modeling platform that has been used in teaching 2nd and 3rd year software engineering and computer science students. The tool’s intended simplicity helps the students understand the value and role of models in software engineering. I am looking for a student to enhance the platform with support for Python, the programming language in use at NAU introductory computer science courses. The tool currently supports other languages (such as Java, C, C++, Ruby PhP). Support for Python is a prerequisite for using this modeling tool at NAU.

What the student will DO and LEARN:
The student will be involved in the development of Python support in Umple. Umple is an active open source project, and follows a strict test driven development style. The student will learn about software development methodology by practice. S/he will learn how modeling languages are developed and will understand and appreciate the role of software design.

Other benefits to the student:
The student may decide to use a modeling approach in his/her professional career as a software engineer. This can be either by adopting Umple itself or by using other modeling tools.

Time commitment: 6 hours/week for 12 weeks

Faculty Name: Omar Badreldin
F14.009: Serviceability Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Discontinuity Regions - POSTPONED

Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support:
The objective of this research plan is to create a procedure that practicing engineers can use to predict the serviceability behavior of reinforced concrete discontinuity regions. Concrete specimens will be experimentally tested and crack width, crack density, and deformation measurements will establish their serviceability behavior. Data collected from this and past studies will be used to correlate the internal strain energy estimated from a representative strut-and-tie model (STM) to the expected serviceability behavior.

What the student will DO and LEARN:
The student will assist a graduate student with fabrication and setup of testing configuration, test specimens, and data collection.

Other benefits to the student:
This experience will provide an undergraduate with insight into the requirements of experimental testing. To be successful in the laboratory, researchers must be able to validate results (BEFORE and after testing), and troubleshoot when things do not appear to be working correctly. Also, experimental testing requires researchers to have ability as cross-disciplinarian ("jack-of-all trade"). For example, it isn't enough that I have expertise in my field, I also need to have knowledge of electrical and mechanical engineering when conducting an experiment and/or trouble-shooting, not to mention the communication skills that are required to be able to explain the project to an audience with wide-ranging levels of comprehension. The undergraduate will gain insight into the fact that research and experimentation requires you to not only be an expert in your field - but to have solid foundation in other fields as well.

Time commitment: 6 hrs/week for 12 weeks

Additional qualifications:
Math skills, computer skills, or experience with power tools a plus but not required.

Faculty Name: Robin Tuchscherer

F14.010: Integration of Renewable Energy in Arizona's Electricity Supply - Wind and Solar Power Production Data

Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support.
The research towards which this project/intern will contribute focuses on electrical grid integration of renewable energy resources, and in particular, wind and solar energy. As the penetration of wind and solar resources has increased, their variability in output and uncertainty in prediction has presented utilities and grid operators with a unique set of challenges not encountered with traditional electricity production. Due to their variability and uncertainty, successfully integrating high-levels of wind and solar energy into our electricity system will require changes in grid balancing operations as well as electricity markets and market products. NAU is embarking on research to identify key barriers to large-scale integration of wind and solar power, and to identify possible solutions to overcome these barriers, such as different operational practices and/or market conditions that effect the use of renewable energy resources.

What the student will DO and LEARN:
To accomplish the research mentioned above, it is necessary to have accurate estimates of hourly, and even sub-hourly, wind and solar power production at many locations in Arizona and the Southwest. Such data are available from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). It is proposed that an intern be supported to work with NAU's researchers (myself and PhD student Dominique Bain) to identify the data necessary for NAU's study, obtain that data from NREL, then perform some basic analysis of the data. The student will learn what grid integration studies are, their data requirements, and the resources available at NREL. The intern will also be exposed to the large body of literature surrounding this topic.

Other benefits to the student:
Working in a research group, and applying engineering skills in a real project.

Time commitment: 6 hours/week for 12 weeks

Additional qualifications:
Be an engineering major

Faculty Name: Tom Acker

Intern: Michael Wertz

F14.011: The Cowboy Poetry Project

Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support:
We are conducting archival and qualitative research into Arizona cowboy poets and song-writers in order to create a theatre production for the Flagstaff Arts Council to be performed at the Coconino Center for the Arts in February 2015. I'm seeking an intern to help conduct and collect the archival and qualitative research and to potentially help author the performance.

What the student will DO and LEARN:
The student will aid me in conducting archival research, place-based research, and qualitative research. The student will learn qualitative research methods and will get to help conduct the interviews. The student may potentially help to author the production.

Other benefits to the student:
Direct work with the faculty member conducting research; collaboration with a group of artists (theatre and musicians); exploration of Arizona history; performance-creation techniques.

Time commitment: 6 hrs/week for 12 weeks

Additional qualifications:
Student should already have experience in theatre and/or a direct interest in Wild West culture, cowboy poetry, and qualitative research.

Faculty Name: Season Ellison

Intern: Carl Thomson

F14.012: THRIVE Cardiology Aftercare Project with Flagstaff Medical Center - CANCELLED
Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support:
The overall THRIVE effort can be viewed at: http://nau.edu/Research/HRI/THRIVE/. The student intern would be assigned to the following project: Precision Medicine and Transitional Care for Cardiac Disease: This is an on-going, 2-year project focused on both qualitative and quantitative research processes. The qualitative research is a comparison of the cultural models of cardiac care and heart disease for 3 cultural groups in Flagstaff. The quantitative research requires building both baseline and prospective databases that link Cerner, Crystal, and additional special hospital databases into a very useful larger analytical and modeling data base. We have begun to create a pilot database that is already showing considerable promise in 1) creating a “risk” metric for the care coordination team to determine the high risk patients that need special attention after discharge, 2) implementing a real-time sampling frame to conduct the scheduled Flinn interviews, and 3) providing analytical frameworks to determine effective workflows - during and after hospitalization - for the care management teams.

What the student will DO and LEARN:
The student would learn some basic qualitative and low level quantitative data entry and data management skills, and potentially literature and literature surveys focused on the research area. S/he would be exposed to, and potentially learn, community engaged research design and have the opportunity to conduct both qualitative and quantitative data collection skills, depending on the student’s level of skill and prior training. We will provide appropriate training for the basic data entry and data management processes.

Other benefits to the student:
This is a collaborative project with Northern Arizona Health Care. Beyond some excellent networking opportunities, the intern will be exposed to the on-going educational opportunities at FMC, as well as access to potential jobs and positions.

Time commitment: 6 hours/week for 12 weeks

Additional qualifications:
The student could come from any disciplinary background, but we would have a preference for social sciences, health professions, and STEM groups. We would also welcome Native American or Hispanic students, since the project is focused on Anglo, Hispanic, and Native American heart patients.

Faculty Name: Robert T Trotter II
F14.013: NAU Student Dispute Resolution Needs Assessment: A Statistical Analysis of a Campus Survey

Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support.
In Spring 2013 three Criminology-Criminal Justice seniors fulfilled their senior capstone requirements by designing a forced choice questionnaire to gather data regarding the types disputes students have with each other, the effects those disputes have on their academic experiences, and where they go to seek assistance in resolving them. Last fall a graduate research assistant designed a sampling plan, obtained IRB approval and administered the questionnaire to a random sample of 100 students. The next step is to enter the data, statistically analyze it, and use the key findings to make statements about NAU students' dispute resolution needs. I seek an undergraduate intern to collaborate with me on this last phase.

What the student will DO and LEARN:
The student would develop a clean SPSS dataset, propose some hypotheses for testing and then statistically analyze the data in light of those hypotheses. The student will obtain knowledge about quantitative social science research and needs assessment inquiry. This knowledge will advance a career in applied social science research. Specifically, the student will be able to apply this knowledge in a social agency setting or in graduate school. Technically speaking, the student will learn how to use a virtual lab, how to use SPSS, and PREZI.

Other benefits to the student:
Along the way, the student will absorb some knowledge about conflict management and dispute resolution. This hands-on learning experience will prepare him/her for a leadership role in the assessment of intervention programs for youth.

Time commitment: 3 hours/week for 12 weeks

Additional qualifications:
A sense of adventure and a good sense of humor will help if there are trepidations about working with numbers.

Faculty Name: Phoebe Morgan

Intern: Tiffany Curry

F14.014: Regional Media Coverage of Climate Change: A Comparison of German and U.S..Examples

Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support:
The intern will participate in conducting a second and final year of primary research for my project “Regional Media Coverage of Climate Change: A Comparison of German and U.S. Examples.” In this project I am carrying out a quantitative analysis of articles about climate change from the two countries. By determining the extent to which journalists correlate regional or local issues to the larger topic of climate change as a global phenomenon, I hope to be able to understand differences in the public understanding of climate change in the two countries.

What the student will DO and LEARN:
Using such databases as Lexis-Nexus and Access World News, the student intern will find, read, and analyze selected U.S. newspaper articles about climate change and its regional manifestations. The intern will learn to do content analysis through social science coding techniques, which are of use in a wide array of research applications, and possibly through corpus linguistics techniques (if time is available). In addition, the student will learn how journalists report on a complex scientific/environmental issue and how that issue is dealt with differently in the two countries involved.

Other benefits to the student:
This project should be of interest to students interested in the media, climate change and environmental studies, international affairs, and/or social science research. The intern will learn how to work with databases, how to conduct textual content analysis, and how to compare trends in media coverage. The intern will not need to have any knowledge of German, but s/he will certainly be exposed to the methods used in conducting cross-cultural media analysis, as well as to the differences between Germany and the U.S. in media coverage and public perception of an important environmental issue.

Time commitment: 6 hrs/week for 12 weeks

Additional qualifications:
The primary qualifications for the intern will be curiosity and interest in working on an interdisciplinary research project involving the natural sciences, public policy, and the media. A good work ethic, self-motivation, and attention to detail will be needed, too. Just in case a student has excellent German skills, those could be put to use, too!

Faculty Name: Peter Friederici

Intern: Anastasia Cheifetz

F14.015: Native American Rock Art in the Contemporary Cultural Landscape - CANCELLED

Description of specific research, scholarly, or creative project that the student intern will support:
Exemplified by the hump-backed flute player known as Kokopelli, the increasing popularity of Native American rock art (petroglyphs and pictographs) as well as widespread interpretations and commercial appropriations of rock art imagery call for critical (culturally- and politically-reflexive) analyses of the interpretation, appropriation, and preservation of rock art in the broader context of representations and appropriations of Native American cultures by Western cultures. While rock art research has focused primarily on the use of rock art to reconstruct past cultures, relatively little research has focused on the cultural, political, and ethical implications of the deployment of ancient rock art imagery and interpretations in contemporary cultural contexts. This book project aims to fill that gap.

What the student will DO and LEARN:

  1. Assist in designing a method for a content analysis of (a) online Kokopelli imagery and (b) Kokopelli merchandise
  2. Execute content analysis of online Kokopelli imagery (collect and code data)
  3. Execute content analysis of Kokopelli merchandise (collect and code data)
  4. Gather primary research materials as needed and as time allows

Other benefits to the student:
The intern will learn how to design and implement a research methodology involving both quantitative and qualitative elements. The student will also learn about the issues involved in the commodification of indigenous imagery.

Time commitment: 6 hours/week for 10 weeks

Additional relevant comments or explanations:
Students in a wide range of the humanities and social sciences could find the project of particular relevance, e.g., Applied Indigenous Studies, Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, Communication Studies, Strategic Communication (merchandising), Comparative Cultural Studies.

Faculty Name: Richard Rogers