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Population, community and ecosystem dynamics in the northern Chihuahuan Desert

Ecosytem Dynamics Chihuahuan Desert


Titre : Population, community and ecosystem dynamics in the northern Chihuahuan Desert

Organismes NSF : DBI Div Of Biological Infrastructure

Durée : February 1, 2020 — January 31, 2023 (Estimated)

This REU Site award to the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, will support the training of 9 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2020-2022. It is anticipated that 27 students primarily from underrepresented groups and from schools with limited research opportunities will be trained in the program. Students will learn how to conduct independent research under the guidance of a faculty mentor, and most students will present the results of their research at regional and national conferences. Student career paths are tracked by social media such as the Sevilleta REU Facebook page and via email to determine their continued interest in their academic field of study and the lasting influences of this research experience. Assessment of the program will be done through the online SALG URSSA tool. The overarching goal of the Sevilleta REU program is to provide a quality research experience as a mechanism to increase participation among underrepresented groups in field based science.

The REU Site program focuses on aridland ecology – including population, community and ecosystem level research - in a dryland environment. The program occurs at the UNM Field Station ( in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, located about 80 km south of Albuquerque, NM. The UNM Department of Biology, US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Forest Service together have around 25 scientists in various career stages participating as research mentors in the program. Students may pursue independent research in a wide range of potential topics in population, community and ecosystem ecology (including soils and microbial ecology), in aquatic and terrestrial habitats, with a specific focus on ecology and conservation biology. The site also includes a number of long-term rainfall manipulation experiments that provide an ideal template for summer research projects. In addition to their research project, students will participate in an aridland ecology boot camp plus weekly seminars, a journal club, and workshops on the responsible conduct of research, professional and public communication skills, career opportunities, data carpentry workshop for ecology, and the graduate school application process. Students will also have opportunities to visit natural and cultural areas in the region. REU students have access to a rich array of forest, grassland, shrubland, riparian and aquatic habitats. Comfortable housing and outstanding laboratory facilities are provided at the UNM Field Research Station located in the Refuge as well as on the UNM Main Campus. The program’s multi-phase recruitment effort consists of wide distribution of recruiting materials via digital media, well-known student job posting sites, as well as recruiting visits to local minority serving institutions. Students are selected by the PI and Program Coordinator based on academic record and coursework, letter of application, past research experience, career goals, letters of recommendation, phone interviews, and potential for conducting independent research in an aridland environment. More information is available by visiting and by contacting the Recruiting Coordinator (Ms Stephanie Baker at srbaker or the PI (Dr. Scott L. Collins at scollins

Partenaire (s) : Scott Collins (Principal Investigator)

Bureau de recherche parrainé  : University of New Mexico 1700 Lomas Blvd. NE, Suite 2200 Albuquerque NM US 87131-0001

Financement : $288,764.00

National Science Foundation

Page publiée le 24 juin 2021