Undergraduate field research: amphibians and microbes in the Sierra Nevada
Mountains, CA.


An NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) fellowship is open for
an undergraduate student to participate in a project studying Sierra Nevada
amphibians affected by a chytrid fungal pathogen, and the role of the skin
microbiome in disease resistance. The aim of this research is to understand
if symbiotic microbes on the skin of frogs explain why some frog
populations are able to co-exist with the fungal pathogen, *Batrachochytrium
dendrobatidis* (Bd), while other frog populations suffer catastrophic
declines. The successful candidate will work closely with a senior
researcher to conduct surveys of frog population persistence, pathogen
infection status, and symbiotic microbes.  This work entails strenuous
long-distance hiking, back-packing, handling of sensitive amphibians, and
collection of microbial skin swabs. The incumbent will receive experience
and training in field ecology, disease ecology, and microbial ecology.


This fellowship includes a stipend of $500/week. Housing is provided at the
Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL). Limited funds for travel are
available. Dates of the field work are approximately July 15 through August
30. Exact dates to be determined.


To be considered for this position, you must have have extensive
backpacking experience, including backpacking at high elevations (>10,000
feet). Must be able to safely carry a heavy pack long distances over rugged
terrain, be comfortable spending days to weeks in the backcountry, working
in remote areas often in uncomfortable conditions (e.g., inclement weather,
mosquitoes, no access to phone, internet, running water while in the
backcountry) and be in excellent physical condition. You must have a strong
work ethic and a passion for field research, as well as the sensitivity and
attention to detail required for handling fragile amphibians and microbial
samples. Must have own backpacking equipment, including broken-in boots,
tent, and pack. The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in
microbial ecology or disease ecology.

You must be an undergraduate student (enrolled in a degree program in
biology, ecology, or related field, part-time or full-time, leading to a
baccalaureate or associate degree); students graduating in Spring 2018
generally are not eligible.  Must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or
permanent resident. Students from underrepresented groups and institutions
with limited research opportunities are especially encouraged to apply.


Applications should include the following: current transcripts (unofficial
OK), resume, 3 references (include reference’s name, position, affiliation,
and context from which he/she knows you), and a statement of interest
specifically describing (1) why you are interested in the position; (2)
your qualifications, including field research and experience backpacking at
high elevations and in remote areas (be specific about when, where, under
what conditions you have experience); (3) your professional goals; (4)
specify your dates of availability.

Where to send applications:

Send all application materials, PREFERABLY AS A SINGLE PDF FILE, to Andrea
Jani (jania-at-hawaii.edu). Name the application file with the applicant’s
name. For example: Doe_Jane.pdf.

applications will not be considered.

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