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Ariel Appleton Research Fellowships for 2012


Chris Merkord

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Graduate students who might be interested in a research fellowship opportunity focused on semi-arid grassland, savanna and riparian areas.

Purpose: To support non-destructive research in the natural sciences, with emphasis on conservation ecology focused on species, communities, ecosystems and ecosystem services, or human ecology in semi-arid grassland, savanna, and riparian areas of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan eco-regions; research proposals within the earth sciences are also encouraged. Applications that propose non-destructive, non-invasive research at and around the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch of the National Audubon Society (http://researchranch.audubon.org/) will be especially welcome.

Amount: $2000 per fellowship, which is considered to cover costs of the study, including room, board, transportation, and minor equipment. Payment will be made directly to successful applicants.

Application deadline: 1 February 2012

Awards announcement: early March 2012

Duration: Study to be completed within one year.

Eligibility: Undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled at recognized academic institutions.

Application Requirements: Applications must be received electronically, and must include four parts in the order given below:

  1. Biography (one page) of applicant including field experience, relevant courses completed, and other information the applicant deems relevant.
     
  2. Research proposal (two pages maximum, excluding citations), that describes the work to be accomplished, its ecological or biophysical significance, relevance to contemporary ecology or earth science, and a tentative timeline. All information, excluding literature citations, must adhere to the two-page limit.
     
  3. Budget (one-page).
     
  4. Letter of support (one) from the faculty advisor stating that the applicant is capable of conducting the proposed research. The letter should describe the level of supervision that is to be provided or indicate how the work can be accomplished independently. The applicant's work plan should be endorsed by the student's faculty advisor in the case of graduate students, or the student's faculty mentor in the case of undergraduates.

Format: 1 inch margins (maximum), 12 point font (minimum)

Special considerations will be given to

  1. projects that involve or include the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch of the National Audubon Society, near Elgin, Arizona (applicants are encouraged to consider this site for part or all of the field work)
     
  2. efforts that provide the foundation (e.g. literature review) for larger proposals that would focus on trans-border issues. Examples include the measurement of ecosystem services provided by semi-arid grasslands, status of research associated with carbon sequestration of semi-arid grasslands, correlation of hydro-ecologic monitoring of grasslands to the ecosystem services they provide, as well as proposals that consider the phenological reactions of grasslands to climate change, and how changes and ecological conditions affect populations of native species such as bats, other small mammals, and the Chiricahua leopard frog.

Submission procedure: Email to W. R. Osterkamp wroster@usgs.gov, 520-670-6821 ex. 113

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