Students ascending into the canopy.

© Steve Lillegren

Gain valuable hands-on experience with cutting-edge ecological analysis during this 10-week summer research opportunity for eight undergraduate students—four with ambulatory disability, and four without.


The project’s goal is to define the taxonomy and distribution of tardigrades (waterbears) in the forest canopy, and to document insect herbivory in a North American deciduous forest.

All students will be professionally trained to ascend into the canopy and learn to use remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), image analysis, and scanning electron microscopy to document the microenvironment. Students also collaborate with the Academy’s Chief of Science and Sustainability, Dr. Meg Lowman, and other scientists to prepare their data for presentation and publication.

Applications for 2015 will be available soon. The program is run in collaboration with Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, and complete details about the internship are available on their website.

Study Environment

Participants will conduct fieldwork and analysis at a variety of sites in Kansas, with week-long excursions to the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

Housing and Stipend

Students will be provided an ADA-accessible shared apartment in University housing, a stipend of $500 per week for the 10-week project, and an allowance for food. Travel costs to and from the project are included, as is internal project travel.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete an online application and a one-page statement of interest, and must send a current college transcript and two letters of recommendation. Complete details are available via the Baker University link below.

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