Community Ecology iternship in ICELAND – Summer 2017

Iceland is cool – just ask Sarah!

FW by Andy Wilson

We are looking for undergraduates or recent graduates to join our team of interdisciplinary researchers in northeast Iceland this coming summer. We study the ecology of Lake Myvatn, and interns will be expected to assist in our ongoing LTREB (Long-Term Research in Environmental Biology) project.

We expect the internships to include both NSF-REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) and non-REU positions. Only current undergraduates (not graduating before fall of 2017) with US citizenship are eligible for the REU positions. The non-REU positions are more flexible, although we will not consider applications from people with graduate-level education. The REU and non-REU positions are functionally identical; the only difference is funding source.

Selection for this internship is extremely competitive—in previous years over 200 people applied for only 4 positions. Please carefully consider your competitiveness for this position before applying.

The research focuses on the population dynamics of midges in Myvatn and the consequences they have for the aquatic and surrounding terrestrial food webs. The work includes conducting lab and field experiments, and collecting arthropod, zooplankton, sediment and plant samples. The research will be divided approximately equally between aquatic and terrestrial systems.

Our interns take primary responsibility for the routine sampling that forms the backbone of the long- term research, in addition to conducting independent projects. Technical lab and (especially) field skills are essential. However, we place primary importance on the ability of prospective interns to work both independently and as part of a research term. We will also consider the ability of applicants to function in the somewhat remote conditions of rural Iceland.

If you are interested in joining our team, please apply with the following:

1. Cover letter
Your cover letter should outline your background and the reasons why you would be a good candidate for this position. Include a discussion of why you want this position and how it relates to your intellectual interests and career goals. In particular, emphasize how your experiences and skills make you a good match for the position. Highlight specific details from your resume or other pertinent information that does not appear on your resume. Include your citizenship, whether you have a valid driver’s license, and your current and future educational plans.

2. Resume
Include a current resume that details your education and work experiences. Provide names and contact information for at least two references whom we can contact to ask specific questions about your background and qualifications for the position.

Submit your application as a single PDF (only 1 file), including cover letter and resume. Email your PDF to Joe Phillips Include your surname in the file (e.g., Smith_Iceland_application.pdf). Put “2017 Summer Research in Iceland” in the subject line of the email. After initial screening of materials, finalists will be contacted for interviews.

For full consideration for summer 2017 internships, please submit your application by 1 December, 2016.

All positions include coverage of travel expenses to and from Iceland, food and lodging, and a small stipend. Interns are expected to join the research team in Iceland from the first week of June to late August. The timing of the fieldwork is dictated by our needs for routine sampling and therefore is inflexible. A critical part of the program is conducting your own research project under our guidance.
Past summer research interns have completed their projects as senior research theses or have presented their work at national conferences.

More information about our work and field experiences can be found at our blog,


Joe Phillips (graduate student) –

Amanda McCormick (graduate student) –

Tony Ives (professor) –

Claudio Gratton (professor) –


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