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LTER Plant Community Ecology Internships

The Cedar Creek LTER (Long Term Ecological Research Network) has several opportunities for students to work as plant community ecology interns. Most positions run from June through August, but some interns are needed as early as March, and some are needed through October. Your educational institution may be able to approve this internship, with an appropriate independent project, for any field biology requirement of your major. As a research intern, you will contribute to ongoing field experiments, may have the opportunity to initiate individual research, attend scientific seminars, and interact with professors, post-docs, and graduate students. If you are an undergraduate or a newly graduated student with a background or interest in biology, ecology, environmental science, botany, environmental education, or related field we encourage you to apply.
Pay is $15.00 per hour. Typical workdays are eight hours Monday through Friday; however, some projects require weekend, early morning, and evening work. Most of the work you do will be out in the field, though a few jobs have indoor laboratory or computer components. On-site dormitory housing is available to rent.

Research Overview:
We have three large scale projects and several smaller scale LTER experiments that require most of our intern resources. BioCON is one of the large-scale experiments where we explore the ways in which plant communities respond to environmental changes such as increased nitrogen deposition, increased atmospheric CO2, decreased biodiversity, altered precipitation patterns, and increased temperatures. Another large-scale project is the Big Biodiversity experiment that studies how plant diversity affects the rates, dynamics, and stability of ecological processes at the population, community, and ecosystem levels. Other experiments nested within the Big Biodiversity looks at factors such as irrigation and increased temperatures. The third large scale experiment, FAB, is looking at tree competition under different diversity levels. This experiment includes approximately 40,000 trees within a 30 acre field that will run for over 100 years. Throughout the summer we maintain and sample these experiments. 

 Independent Project Opportunities:
As part of these positions, you will have the opportunity to conduct your own research project with the guidance of a graduate student mentor. You can go through the entire research experience from writing a proposal to data collection to presenting your results at a symposium at CCESR. There will be workshops on different aspects of research. 
Research site:
CCESR is an eight square mile tract of land 35 miles north of the Twin Cities. Cedar Creek is endowed with a diverse mosaic of prairie, savanna, sedge meadows, bogs, open water, forests, and even abandoned agricultural fields. Its large size, great natural diversity, and uniform soil substrate make it ideal for ecosystem studies. 
  • Ability to work outdoors.
  • Effective analytical and communication skills.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills.
  • End date must be later than August 11th.
  • Driver’s license is preferred but not required.
The deadline for application submission is February 20th.
To apply:
  1. Visit
  2. Click on the tab in the center of the page “external candidates”.
  3. Search Job ID# 352799 then click on that description.
  4. Use the green “Apply for Job” button and follow the directions to apply for the job.
  5. We only require a resume, cover letter, and unofficial transcript for the application package to be counted as complete. 

2.                 ALSO, email a completed application form (download here) to
3.                 ALSO, have two references email in reference forms (download here) to Please have them write your last name in the subject title for the email.
If you have any questions regarding the application process or the internship, please email or call 612-301-2616.
The final application deadline for plant ecology positions is February 20th, 2023. We will begin looking at early applicants February 6th. We will accept applications after the deadline, but priority will be given to applications turned in before the deadline.
You will be considered for this internship if (a) you are a US citizen or (b) a foreign citizen attending a US college or university full-time.
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