About the Project: Multiple Element Limitation in Northern Hardwood
Ecosystems (MELNHE) is an NSF-funded project that seeks to examine the
limits to forest productivity in the context of resource optimization
theory. Experimental tests of N and P limitation in temperate forest systems
are few, and those few have been short-term with very high rates of
fertilization. In 2011 we began long-term low-level additions of N, P, and
N+P in 13 forest stands distributed across three sites in the White Mountain
National Forest of New Hampshire. At Bartlett Experimental Forest, which is
underlain by granite, we have three young, three mid aged, and three mature
stands. At both Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, on granodiorite, and
Jeffers Brook on amphibolite (metamorphosed basalt), we have one mature and
one mid-aged forest stand. Each stand has four plots treated annually with N
(30 kg N/ha/yr as NH4NO3), P (10 kg P/ha/yr as NaH2PO4), both N and P, and
control. These treatments allow us to test for NP co-limitation and to
challenge balanced forest nutrition and thereby induce mechanisms that
maintain co-limitation. More information on the project is available at
http://www.esf.edu/melnhe, including a blog from previous field crews.
Internship Description: Interns will be guided in the design of their
research projects and will interact closely with graduate students and
senior research scientists. Research projects could include the effects of
nutrient addition on fine and woody litter production, seed rain, tree water
use (sap flow), soil respiration, and canopy spectral properties, which
involves ground truthing remotely sensed tree crown locations. Interns will
gain a wide variety of skills by assisting in all ongoing projects. Interns
have the opportunity to present their results at the annual Hubbard Brook
Cooperators Meeting in July.
Interns are provided with shared housing at Bartlett Experimental Forest;
tenting is optional. Work days typically begin at 8:00 and end at 4:30, but
may be shorter or longer depending upon the day’s activities. Food is
prepared communally by the interns and graduate student researchers, and
costs generally run between $5-6 per day. A stipend of $200 per week is
provided for living expenses.
Desired Qualifications: Ideal applicants will have a strong interest in
forest biology, ecology, or biogeochemistry. Undergraduate students and
recent graduates will be considered. A positive attitude is important and a
sense of humor is a plus. Willingness to work and live in a communal
setting is critical. Candidates should be able to perform repetitive tasks
with attention to detail in a field setting under adverse conditions.
Applicants should be flexible in their expectations, but an estimated
breakdown of the summer is: 60% fieldwork, 15% lab work, 10% data
management, and 15% research proposals and reports of independent projects.
To Apply: Please send a letter of interest, resume, and contact information
for three references to Alex Young, aryo...@syr.edu. Interested students
should apply by Friday, March 9th, but applications will be accepted until
the positions are filled. Applications will be reviewed in the order in
which they are received. The field season will begin on June 4 (arrive June
3) and end on August 10 (depart on August 11).