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Summer Interdisciplinary Research in Ethiopia

Location: Waterville, Maine and Ethiopia
Agency: Colby College and Ethiopia’s Debre Tabor University
Due Date: February 15, 2017
GPA: 3.00
Stipend: 4,000.00
Description: Colby College in Waterville, Maine is proud to host the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Site Undergraduate Research into the Cultural, Economic and Ecological Significance of Church Forests in South Gondar, Ethiopia. A collaborative effort by the Colby College Environmental Studies Program, the Colby College Biology Department, the TREE Foundation, and Ethiopia’s Debre Tabor University, beginning in Summer 2015 this REU Site will provide eight undergraduate students from diverse academic backgrounds an opportunity to conduct pathbreaking interdisciplinary research on the cultural, economic and ecological roles of church forests in Ethiopia from June 29- August 19. Under this eight-week summer program students receive training at Colby College in social survey research, spatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), ecological field methods, and written and oral communication. They then travel to South Gondar, Ethiopia where they work with mentors from Colby College, the California Academy of Sciences, and local academic and government institutions to conduct research into the cultural, economic and ecological values of church forests. REU students will work closely with Ethiopian student partners in conducting fieldwork, and students will also be actively encouraged to meet one or more faculty or graduate researchers from Debre Tabor University to learn about data collection or laboratory work currently underway. Such meetings will coincide with planned group visits to Debre Tabor University, and will allow for student interaction with Ethiopian researchers. All findings will be shared by students at an annual meeting of Ethiopian Orthodox church leaders. Upon returning to the U.S. students work with faculty mentors to develop manuscripts for publication and present their work at Colby College and at national meetings in May 2016. Past experience in social or ecological field research is not required, although some specific projects may require students to have coursework experience in statistics, ecology, or related fields. Selected students will receive airfare, lodging, meals and a $4,000 stipend for the 8-week program. While on campus at Colby College (3 weeks) lodging will include a shared dormitory room (with 1 REU team member) and a College meal plan. While in Ethiopia (4 weeks) lodging will include shared hotel rooms (with 1-2 REU team members) and restaurant meals.

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Biology, Ecology, Environmental Sciences