NSF – Research Experience for Undergraduates Opportunity

The Sala Lab at Arizona State University is looking for motivated undergraduate students to participate in research activities in grassland ecosystem ecology during the summer of 2018. Successful applicants will work with graduate students, technicians and postdocs to assist with ongoing rainfall manipulation experiments, vegetation and soil sampling, and other field surveys at several field sites across the US. Additionally, participants have the opportunity to work with Sala Lab members and the PI to develop a personalized project.

We have 3 different opportunities to offer:

  • Field work at Jornada LTER: Participation in ongoing experiment including two unique long-term rainfall manipulation experiments. This position will be primarily based at the Jornada basin LTER (Las Cruces, NM).
  • Lab-work at ASU: Activities include running lab and greenhouse experiments testing mechanisms observed in field experiments.
  • Cross-site experiment: Design and deployment of a new cross-site experiment in drylands across the Southwest. This activity involves multiple field trips (1-2 weeks in duration) to locations in Nevada, Utah and Arizona.

The successful applicants are awarded a stipend, which includes cost of travel, lodging, and food.


About the Jornada

The Jornada Basin Long Term Ecological

Research Program is focused on the ecology of drylands in the southwest USA, including the causes and consequences of alternative ecosystem states and the expansion of woody plants into grasslands resulting in more “desert like” conditions. By conducting long-term precipitation manipulation experiments, we are interested in how long-term changes to precipitation amount and variability affect ecosystem functioning. More information on the LTER is available at https://jornada.nmsu.edu/lter



Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds in either REU Supplements or REU Sites must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the United States. An undergraduate student is a student who is enrolled in a degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree. Graduating seniors are not eligible to apply.


How to apply

Applications are evaluated upon submission, and positions will be filled as long as funding is available. Please send application materials to the Sala Lab postdoc Dr. Laureano Gherardi (e-mail: Lau@asu.edu) by May 1, 2018.


Application materials must include:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume or CV
  3. Contact information for two references
  4. Unofficial undergraduate transcript