Thursday, February 26, 2015

Natural History Research Symposium

The Midwest Museum of Natural History (MMNH) is currently accepting submissions for their Natural History Research Symposium. The symposium will take place on April 18 at the museum and will give students the opportunity to gain experience presenting their research. (It is also a great way for them to practice/prepare for Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day.) The symposium is open to undergraduate and graduate students. This is a great opportunity for students to gain some practical presenting experience.

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant 2015 Summer Student Internship Program

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Study Abroad: Water, Life, and Society The Netherlands

    Water, Life, and Society
 The Netherlands



Faculty Director(s):
Professor Jon S. Miller
The Netherlands covers over 41000 km2 and is home to 16.5 million people.  The country is located on the North Sea and is location where four great rivers, The Rhine, Meuses, Wall and Scheldt empty into the ocean.  The majority of the country is located below sea level and the history of the Netherlands has been subjugated by the fight with water and reclaiming land from the sea, which was first documented in 1533.  The Netherlands is protected from costal and river flooding by engineered flood prevention technologies.  This includes dikes, polders and canals, reducing the risk of flooding from smaller water bodies and watercourses.  An extensive system of ditches and waterways serves to manage the groundwater levels in these polders.  Rain water that falls in the polders must be pumped out.  As a result, every polder is connected to a pumping station that transfers the water to a drainage outlet or retention area.  From there, the water is pumped out to another waterway and finally flows to the sea.  The flood defenses are primarily managed by the Water Boards.
This program is designed to provide students opportunities to explore and learn about the various aspects of Dutch water science, technology and engineering.  Moreover, they will gain appreciation for the work that Water Boards engage in and how policy development takes place at a local and national level. Furthermore, students will be able to bring back to the U.S.A. what they have learned and apply their new knowledge to solve water issues and problems in the U.S. and beyond.

To download the complete PDF, please click   Hague Water Life and Society 

Ph.D. or Post-Doctoral Research Opportunity: Grassland diversity, restoration and resilience

Why Does Plant Diversity Matter? Help Us Figure It Out!

How important is plant diversity in restored prairies?
Are diverse prairies more resistant to drought and invasive species than less diverse prairies?
How does plant diversity influence invertebrate communities and their ecological functions?
These kinds of questions have been the focus of multiple research projects in our Platte River Prairies over the last decade or so.  We have numerous restored (reseeded) and remnant (unplowed) prairies that provide excellent field sites, and have also established two sets of experimental research plots to help focus specifically on questions related to plant diversity.  Those plots are 3/4 acre (1/3 ha) in size and represent varying levels of plant diversity, allowing us to investigate the functional differences between them.  Researchers from the University of Nebraska, Kansas State University, the University of Illinois, and Simpson College have been involved in data collection efforts so far.
2013 photos from
2013 photos from our experimental research plots.  The plots from left to right were planted to a monoculture (big bluestem), a low diversity mixture (mostly grasses and a few late season wildflowers) and a high diversity mixture (100 plant species).  We are investigating functional differences between these kinds of plant communities.
Craig Allen, Leader of the Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, and I are hoping to take the next step in these efforts by bringing on either a PhD or Post-Doctoral Research Associate.  We have data to build upon, including some intriguing results regarding invasive species and insect herbivory rates at varying levels of plant diversity, but want to greatly expand upon those data.  If you or someone you know is interested in these kinds of questions, please read below and contact Craig or me with questions.
Here is the official description of the position:
Ph.D. or Post-Doctoral Research Opportunity:  Grassland diversity, restoration and resilience
Ph.D. graduate research assistantship or Post-Doctoral Research Associate.  Available starting in May 2015, to investigate the relationship between grassland restorations and ecosystem services and resilience.  The assistantship (or Post-Doc) is with the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska, working closely with the Nature Conservancy scientists and resource managers.   The research project will include a synthesis of literature to identify prominent knowledge gaps related to the restoration of grasslands and resilience.  In addition to synthesis, field work will occur on a suite of restorations in central Nebraska.  Some questions of interest are listed below, but ultimately, successful candidates will be expected to develop a specific research project(s).  The candidate could approach this project from a broadly ecological, or botanical, or entomological frame.
The successful applicants will be highly motivated, with a strong work ethic, strong and demonstrated writing skills, a passion for field work, and the ability to work in collaboration.  Experience in restoration ecology is helpful, but not required.  Ph.D. applicants should possess a M.S. in Wildlife, Biology, Zoology, Botany, or Entomology, or a related field and have a valid driver’s license.  Post-doctoral applicants should possess a Ph.D.
Interested applicants should send a cover letter, names and emails of 3 references, GPA and GRE scores, and an updated CV as an electronic PDF or Word document to Craig Allen,
Review of applications will begin March 15 and continue until a qualified candidate is identified.  For more information on the Nebraska Coop. Unit and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln please visit us at:
Applicants should also review:
Specific projects could include all or part of the following:
Relationship between restoration diversity and ecosystem services, such as invasion resistance and herbivory; interactive effects that might mediate some resilience properties; responses to multiple disturbances; how invasions might weaken the ability to cope with disturbance; microbial diversity and ecosystem function and services; response to pulse and press disturbances and mechanisms driving responses; functional trait diversity and redundancy and resilience.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Hydrogeology Research Assistant (100%)

spring photo, Sue Swanson
Photo credit: Sue Swanson
We’re looking for an individual to participate in a statewide inventory of springs in Wisconsin. Responsibilities include taking hydrologic measurements of springs, sampling water quality of springs, and managing data in the field and at the Survey.
Deadline for applying: March 3, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

Volunteer Habitat Restoration

Help an NIU Alumni by volunteering at a brush clearing day for the City of Genoa habitat restoration site (Genoa, Illinois) on March 7, 2015. 

Pizza will be provided after a hard days work. 

If you are interested, please contact Sam Melton at 

Work day will be from approximately 9-12.

Pitch With a CAUSE

Pitch With a CAUSE is a competition for anyone that has an idea for a social business. Anyone who wants to make a positive impact - and win a bit of start-up capital - should submit an idea.
The top 3 teams will present at the 2015 Social Impact Summit. First prize will take home the $1,500, Second place wins $1,000 and third place wins $500.
To learn more about the application & submit your idea, visit our website at: or submit at: This is NOT a full business plan so if you just have an idea, consider submitting.

Submissions are due March 6th. 

Summer Employment with the Lake County Health Department

Thursday, February 5, 2015

MillionTrees Project Assistant/ Nursery Manager/Crew Member

April 1 – October 1 (with permanent potential)
Living Lands & Waters (LL&W) is seeking an energetic, physically fit crew member with great social skills, basic knowledge of tree and nursery maintenance and a superior work ethic to assist with the MillionTrees Project, manage LL&W’s tree nursery, and assist with the daily operations of this highly regarded environmental non-profit organization.
Specific duties for the MillionTrees Project Assistant include but are not limited to:
  • Assisting Project Coordinator to prepare 125,000 bare root, oak tree saplings for delivery
  • Packaging trees and putting together orders
  • Participating in tree handouts
  • Delivering trees across 5 states
  • Supervising  volunteers
This position is April 1 – April 24, 2015, 8am- 4pm tentatively, with some weekends.
Specific duties for the Nursery Manager position include but are not limited to:
  • Preparing the ground at LL&W’s tree nursery (approximately 0.5 acres) for acorn planting
  • Making arrangements for the fields to be tilled, tree beds to be raised, and trenches made
  • Irrigating trees on a regular basis
  • Mowing around tree plots
  • Weed-eating along fence line
  • Coordinating monthly nursery maintenance events with volunteers
This position is on an as needed basis from April 1 – October 1, 2015.
Specific duties for the Crew Member aspect of this position include but are not limited to:
  • Assisting with the maintenance of all LL&W equipment and property
  • Loading, moving, and operating LL&W equipment (trucks, boats, barges) and supplies to and from different locations
  • Overseeing, leading, and participating in river cleanup, tree planting, invasive species removal, education, and other community-based events
  • Interacting with volunteers, media, sponsors and representing LL&W in a positive light at all times.
This position requires a valid driver’s license, up to 9 months of travel a year, and communal living on a barge. Crew member duties would alternate with the nursery manager duties, and have the potential to carry over into a full time position at LL&W.

Crew Member–Operations Position
 Living Lands & Waters is seeking an energetic, physically fit crew member with great social skills, strong mechanical and construction abilities and a superior work ethic to assist with the daily operations of this highly regarded environmental non-profit organization.  Specific duties include but are not limited to:  assisting with the maintenance of all LL&W equipment, loading and moving LL&W equipment (trucks, boats, barges) and supplies to and from different locations; overseeing, leading, and participating river cleanup, tree planting, invasive species, education, and other community-based events; and representing LL&W in a positive light at all times.  This position requires a valid driver’s license, up to 9 months of travel a year, and communal living on a barge.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
We are always accepting applications and resumes to keep on file for future positions. Please see above for any specific job openings. Resumes and a printed application can be mailed to:
Living Lands & Waters
17624 Route 84 North
East Moline, IL 61244
Or, you can fill out our online form.