2020 Summer Undergraduate Research

Gain Research Skills. Further Department Goals. Work Virtually.

In light of community restrictions in place due to COVID-19, our regular full-time summer research fellowships, and the in-person mentorship that goes with them, are not possible this year. Knowing that a number of students have also lost summer job and internship opportunities, our faculty have designed and proposed a number of part-time research assistantships that are more readily adapted to a work-from-home model. In this way, institutional support and research experiences can be offered to more students in a flexible work environment.

Review the list and descriptions of available part-time positions below.  Submit one application for up to 5 positions (you will indicate your interest and rank your preference for any positions in the application).

  • Review of applications begins Wednesday, May 20.
  • Summer Student Wage: $11.10/hour
  • Positions range from 50-125 hours of work, flexible schedule options
  • Preference will be given to students enrolled at CSB/SJU for Fall 2020 semester but everyone, including graduating seniors, are encouraged to apply
  • Open to students in all majors/minors

Summer Research Application Form

Positions Available

Title: Intro to Environmental Studies Research Assistant (1 position)
Supervisor: Jean Lavigne
  • Description: Primary duties include assisting with research and course development for ENVR 150, the introductory course for the ES major and minor. Review of current syllabus and readings, literature reviews of new/additional readings that may be adopted for the course.
    Qualifications: Advanced undergraduate level skill in writing and database research. Completion of ENVR 150 required.
    Skills Developed: Understanding of curriculum development alongside further research skill development. Significant reading/research in the topics of the course.
    Time Commitment: Runs from May 26 to July 31, 10 hours per week/100 hours total; weekly allotment can be adjusted upon agreement between supervisor and research assistant.
Title: Environmental Humanities Research Assistant (1 position)
Supervisor: Kyhl Lyndgaard
  • Description: Primary duties include assisting with research and course development for ENVR 320, research for and editing of two environmental humanities reference articles on energy, and proofreading and indexing an edited collection of essays on inclusive pedagogy using Chicago Style citations. Occasional other duties related to a conference paper on climate storytelling and new course offerings in Integrations Curriculum if time allows.
    Qualifications: Advanced undergraduate level skill in writing and database research. Completion of ENVR 320 preferred.
    Skills Developed: Understanding of various kinds of academic editing and publishing alongside further research skill development. Significant reading/research in the topic of energy.
    Time Commitment: Runs from May 26 to July 31, 10 hours per week/100 hours total; weekly allotment can be adjusted upon agreement between supervisor and research assistant.
Title: Collegebound Assistant (1 position)
Supervisor: Kyle Rauch
  • Description: Research, analyze, and create educational material for the Collegebound Manual. This will involve the creation of infographics, timelines, and other tables/figures that support the Collegebound curriculum on the natural/cultural history of Northern Minnesota, outdoor skills, group facilitation skills, and other aspects of the program.
    Qualifications: Familiarity with Collegebound (former participant/leader, preferred); strong ability and willingness to review and revise current educational materials; experience and skills using computer software to produce infographics, timelines, and other figures/charts/tables. Ability to meet via conference call weekly, but otherwise work independently with guidance from supervisor.
    Skills Developed: Curriculum review and development for outdoor/adventure programs; gain knowledge of facilitation skills, natural/cultural history of Northern Minnesota, and program development.
    Time Commitment: 50 hours, with possibility of extension up to 100 hours; dates flexible to be agreed upon between supervisor and student.
Title: Adventure Programs Assistant (1 position)
Supervisor: Kyle Rauch
  • Description: Research, analyze, and create educational material for the CSB/SJU Adventure Programs. Work will include challenge course manual review and revision, bike-share program review, equipment research, and other tasks to support the Adventure Programs curriculum.
    Qualifications: Familiarity with CSB/SJU Adventure Programs (member/employee) preferred; strong ability and willingness to review and revise current educational materials, experience and skills using computer software to produce infographics, timelines, and other figures/charts/tables. Ability to meet via conference call weekly, but otherwise work independently with guidance from supervisor
    Skills Developed: Curriculum review and development for outdoor/adventure programs; gain knowledge of outdoor and adventure education and leadership, and program development.
    Time Commitment: 50 hours, with possibility of extension up to 100 hours; dates flexible to be agreed upon between supervisor and student.
Title: Native-led Renewables Research Assistant (1 position)
Supervisor: Corrie Grosse
  • Description: Tasks include creating a spreadsheet of Native-led renewable energy projects in the US and Canada and writing a literature review of Native and people of color-led renewable energy projects in the US and Canada.
    Qualifications: Advanced undergraduate level skill in writing and database research. Ability to conduct research independently, utilize library search engines, meet (virtually) with librarians for assistance on finding literature, use Endnote and Google Drive, write a 10-20 page literature review.
    Skills developed: Research and writing skill development. Significant reading/research in the topic of Native-led renewable energy.
    Time Commitment: 60-105 hours, depending on quantity of literature available. Flexible hours. Receive instructions in late May and work independently in consecutive weeks of your choice, working 3 hrs/day M-F.
Title: Frog and Toad Audio Analyst (2 positions)
Supervisor: Troy Knight
  • Description: Research analysts will collect data on the timing and intensity of frog and toad calls in the Abbey Arboretum.  This will require listening to and creating spectrographs from audio recordings made in the Arboretum over the last 3 springs.  The data collection is part of a long-term monitoring project to better understand frog and toad calling activity as it relates to climate.
    Qualifications: Completion of ENVR 275 preferred.
    Skills developed: Working with specialized software for audio recording analysis. Database construction for large multi-year research projects. Familiarization with calls of various frog and toad species in the Abbey Arboretum.
    Time Commitment: 80 hours total (per position). Approximately 10-15 hours per week for 6 to 8 weeks.  Beginning late May/early June.
Title: ENVR 275 Research Assistant (1 position)
Supervisor: Troy Knight
  • Description: In ongoing work to keep ENVR 275 case studies up to date, reviews of recent primary literature are necessary. The assistant will examine the recent literature on noise and light pollution and the invasive plant, buckthorn. This will include meta-analysis of the entire body of research on these topics as well as reading and summarizing selected papers.
    Qualifications: Completion of ENVR 275 and experience with database research required. Completion of ENVR 320 preferred.
    Skills developed: Further development of database research skills. Summarizing technical papers. Extensive reading in the topic areas listed.
    Time Commitment: 100 hours total. Approximately 15-20 hours per week for 5 to 7 weeks.  Beginning late May/early June.
Title: GIS Assistant, Stearns County focus (1 position)
Supervisor: Derek Larson
  • Description: Will collect geospatial and descriptive data on and build a GIS database/maps of all cemeteries in Stearns County.
    Qualifications: Proficiency in ArcGIS required, experience with MS Access or other database software desirable (or ability to self-teach using online resources). If you do not have access to a Windows 10 PC or laptop  capable of running ArcGIS software at home, please indicate that in your application. The department may be able to provide one.
    Skills developed: Substantial experience with project-based GIS, data collection, and database development; knowledge of Stearns County geography and historic burial practices.
    Time commitment: 125 hours estimated; flexible scheduling to be arranged between supervisor and student.
Title: GIS Assistant, historical mapping of US data (1 position)
Supervisor: Derek Larson
  • Description: Will collect geospatial and quantitative data on US historical events and develop maps for instructional use.
    Qualifications: Proficiency in ArcGIS required, experience with US Census and other public databases preferred (or willingness to learn). If you do not have access to a Windows 10 PC or laptop  capable of running ArcGIS software at home, please indicate that in your application. The department may be able to provide one.
    Skills gained: Substantial experience with project-based GIS, data collection, and map design of historical topics.
    Time commitment: 125 hours estimated; flexible scheduling to be arranged between supervisor and student.
Title: History Research Assistant (1 position)
Supervisor: Derek Larson
  • Description: Will collect primary and secondary sources related to 1918 influenza pandemic in Minnesota and US, develop a literature review, and create an annotated PDF document collection.
    Qualifications: Familiarity with Endnote and Chicago-style citation format (or willingness to learn); familiarity with online library catalog and databases, preference to students with some college-level background in US history.
    Skills gained: Experience identifying and evaluating primary and secondary source material in US history, managing a large bibliography in Endnote, and creating lit review/summaries; developing knowledge about the 1918 pandemic in the US and its impacts on Minnesota.
    Time commitment: 125 hours estimated; flexible scheduling to be arranged between supervisor and student
Title: Sustainable Agriculture Research Assistant (1 position)
Supervisor: Joe Storlien
  • Description: Primary duties include assisting with research and literature review of two sustainable agriculture topics. One topic is on the impact of nitrification inhibitors on emissions of greenhouse gases from agriculture soils. The second topic is related to oilseed cropping systems & the ability to sustainably utilize the oilseed meal as an organic soil amendment. Other duties may include organization & analysis of existing data and drafting a poster presentation.
    Qualifications: Completion of ENVR 250, 275 and experience with database research preferred.
    Skills developed: Development of database research skills, review & summarization of primary literature. Significant research in the sustainable agriculture topics outlined above and ability to collaborate with USDA researchers. Potential development of a professional poster presentation for a scientific conference.
    Time commitment: Runs from June 1 to Aug 7, 10 hours per week/100 hours total; flexibility with hours and can be modified upon agreement between supervisor and research assistant.
Title: Science Lab Video Producer & Editor (1 position)
Supervisor: Joe Storlien
  • Description: Collaborate on designing, shooting, and editing science lab tutorial videos for ENVR 175, 275, & 300T. Review and prioritize existing lab activities for production of complementary videos. If time allows, find additional lab activities which may be utilized for future tutorials and demonstrations.
    Qualifications: Completion of ENVR 275 & 300T preferred. Familiarity with shooting and editing videos and using basic video editing software.
    Skills developed: Gain understanding of curriculum development and delivery. Develop experience creating instruction videos for diverse audiences. Review of, or introduction to several fundamental ENVR science lab activities.
    Time commitment: Runs from June 29 to Aug 7, 10 hours per week/60 hours total; flexibility with hours and can be modified upon agreement between supervisor and research assistant.