Integrative Agroecology and Sustainability

 Summer Research Fellowship Program 2018

Applications Due 2/9/18

REEU 2017

REEU 2017

Spend your summer conducting research that addresses complex challenges in global food security and environmental change.  Get paid to explore your scientific, and cultural interests as you work side by side with leading scientists at Colorado State University.

Eligibility

  • Must be a United States Citizen
  • Sophomore or Junior class standing
  • Majors (preferred) but not required
    • Agricultural Sciences
    • Business
    • Environmental Sciences
    • Life Sciences
    • Natural sciences
    • Sustainability Sciences

Benefits

  • $4000 stipend
  • Access to CSU’s recreation center
  • CSU Full Room & Board Available (double-occupancy)
  • Travel Support Available

Dates of Fellowship: Sunday, June 3rd, 2018—Friday, July 27th, 2018

Application Deadline: Review process begins: 2/9/18

Decisions will be made: 4/1/18

REEU 2017

Frequently Asked Questions


APPLYING TO THE PROGRAM

  • What majors are accepted to the program?
    • We accept applications from all majors. Successful applicants will have strong interest/experience in agroecology and sustainability research that is typically explored through Agricultural Sciences, Business, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Natural Sciences, or Sustainability Sciences majors.
  • What are the GPA requirements?
    • The fellowship does not require a specific GPA. Each candidate is evaluated on multiple factors including their academic record.
  • How will applicants be evaluated?
    • Applicants will be evaluated based on their academic achievement, personal letter of interest, letters of recommendation, and previous research or work experience.
  • Can I apply if I am an international student?
    • The USDA NIFA grant requires that fellows be United States citizens.
  • Can I apply if I am graduating this spring?
    • No. Candidates for the program should be undergraduate with sophomore or junior class standing.
  • What should be included in my Letter of Intent?
    • The Letter of Intent is a 300 to 500 word essay that describes the reasons that you are interested in agroecology and sustainability research. Applicants are encouraged to speak to their prior relevant research/work experience and why they are seeking experience through the fellowship.
  • Do I need to upload transcripts?
    • Unofficial transcripts from all previous institutions are required. Applicants should upload copies of their transcripts (in PDF or JPEG format) through the online application portal.
  • Who should write my Letters of Recommendation? What should the letters address?
    • Two (2) Referee Evaluation Forms from faculty, advisors, or supervisors are required. These recommendations should address the applicants’ academic achievement, work ethic, suitability/preparedness for research in agroecology and sustainability, and ability to work with others in an academic research setting.
    • Please ask your referees to send their completed evaluation forms directly to Shannon.archibeque-engle@colostate.edu.
    • Refer to the Referee evaluation Form for more information
  • When are applications due?
    • Application review begins February 12th, 2018 Final decisions will be made by April 1, 2018.
  • Did you receive my electronic application and all of my application materials?
    • You will be notified electronically within 48 hours of your submission.
  • I am having problems with my on-line submission. Can someone help me?
    • Please contact Shannon Archibeque Engle at Shannon.archibeque-engle@colostate.edu or 970.491.2450 if you have questions or have problems with the on-line submission
  • When will I be notified of acceptance?
    • Fellows will be selected by April 1, 2017, and notifications made to students shortly thereafter.

PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAM

  • Where is the program located?
    • The program is located on the Colorado State University campus in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • What are the program dates?
    • The fellowship begins on Sunday, June 3, 2018, and ends on Friday, July 27, 2018. All fellows must commit to participating in the fellowship during the entire 8-week period
  • What if I have a conflict with the program dates?
    • All fellows must commit to participating during the entire 8-week period from June 3 – July 27, 2018. No exceptions will be granted, and candidates not available during these dates should not apply.
  • Is the fellowship paid?
    • Yes, the fellowship is paid. All fellows receive a $4,000 stipend awarded at the end of the 8-week fellowship period.
  • Is housing provided?
    • Fellows who require housing will be placed in CSU’s Newsom Hall. All housing will be double-occupancy and will cover room and board.
  • Is travel support provided for fellows who are from outside the local region?
    • Travel assistance will be made available to those traveling from outside the local area.
  • What are the general program expectations for fellows in terms of their research and participation?
    • Each fellow is expected to participate in all scheduled research and program activities—including, working approximately 36 hours/week with their mentors, taking part in weekly professional development activities and workshops, and attending off-site visits to field stations, research sites, and other venues deemed integral to the fellowship program.
  • What type of research projects will I be working on?
    • Fellows will spend approximately 80% of their time in focused research projects in their mentor’s laboratories. Potential research themes include projects in agroecology, pests and invasive species, pollination biology, plant breeding and genetics, soil health, and water resource optimization.

PROGRAM SPONSORSHIP AND LEADERSHIP

  • Who is sponsoring and leading the fellowship program?
    • The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is providing primary grant funding in collaboration with Colorado State University (CSU). Faculty and staff from the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences and the Warner College of Natural Resources will be leading the fellowship program.
Research Scientists and Professors are eager to work with you and share their love of science and passion for discovery.  What will you learn this summer?

Dr. Meagan Schipanski

Meagan Schipanski is an Assistant Professor of agroecology in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University. Her research group applies systems-based approaches to improving the sustainability of cropping systems, including topics of crop diversity, soil health, nutrient and water management. Her work spans from on-farm research to greenhouse and modeling studies. Current projects include evaluating grazed forage or cover crop mixtures within dryland cropping systems and integrated approaches to using groundwater resources wisely today and into the future with a focus on the Ogallala Aquifer.

2018 Project: Cropping system effects on soil health and water management

Stephen Pearce

Our lab’s research focus is the application of molecular biology and genomics approaches to understand the genetic basis of traits of interest in wheat. Current research projects include studies of the determinants of yield components, such as spikelet number and grain size, developing strategies to improve the nutritional quality of wheat and investigating the mechanisms of abiotic stress resistance, such as frost tolerance. Through an improved understanding of the genetic basis of these traits, our long-term research goals are to apply this knowledge to contribute to the development of higher-yielding wheat varieties with improved quality.

2018 Project: Characterization of mutant wheat lines for quality and yield traits

Dr. Pat Byrne

Dr. Pat Byrne is a professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University, where he teaches and conducts research in plant breeding, genetics, and biotechnology. His research focuses on the genetics of drought tolerance, yield components, and bread making quality in wheat and disease resistance in dry beans. Before coming to CSU in 1997, Dr. Byrne worked for USDA-ARS in Columbia, Missouri, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico, the U.S. Agency for International Development in West Africa, and the U.S. Peace Corps in Nepal.

2018 Project: Identifying yield and drought tolerance genes in wild ancestors of wheat

Dr. Arathi Seshadri

Pollinators, specifically bees are important for the production of many fruits and vegetables that provide healthy food options for humans. Our research is focused on understanding different aspects of plant-pollinator interactions, honey bee health and ecology of native bees. Ongoing projects include determining the role of nectar and pollen chemicals on honeybee health and understanding the factors that affect diversity and abundance of native bee species in agricultural and urban landscapes.
2018 Project: Compare pollinator mix field trials for floral resources and pollinator activity

Meagan Schipanski

Meagan Schipanski is an Assistant Professor of agroecology in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University. Her research group applies systems-based approaches to improving the sustainability of cropping systems, including topics of crop diversity, soil health, nutrient and water management. Her work spans from on-farm research to greenhouse and modeling studies. Current projects include evaluating grazed forage or cover crop mixtures within dryland cropping systems and integrated approaches to using groundwater resources wisely today and into the future with a focus on the Ogallala Aquifer.

2018 Project: Cropping system effects on soil health and water management

Dr. Steven Fonte

Agroecosystem Ecology Lab:

Steven Fonte (Agroecosystem Ecology Lab)
Our lab aims to increase the understanding and adoption of sustainable agriculture systems for improved soil and agroecosystem health. We work in cropping systems of the Great Plains, as well as in international contexts, mainly in Latin America and Africa. Current research involves the assessment of soil quality and ecosystem services under diverse organic matter and water management options (e.g., cover crops, no-till, deficit irrigation) in Colorado and beyond. Students in our lab would gain experience in field sampling and analytical lab techniques for soils, including measurements of soil biota, nutrient cycling and water dynamics, all key drivers of agroecosystem function and sustainability.

2018 Project: Impacts of alternative agricultural management practices on soil health and water dynamics

Mentor Form
Terry Engle (Animal Scientist)

Trace minerals are an important part of beef cattle diets. Our research is focused on trace mineral metabolism in ruminants with primary emphasis on the molecular aspects of mineral absorption and the role of trace minerals in immune function and disease resistance in beef cattle.

2018 Project: Characterizing the influence of trace mineral source and diet type on nutrient digestion and mineral availability in beef cattle

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