ESTUARINE and COASTAL BARRIER ECOLOGY AND PROCESSES
RESEARCH EXPERIENCE FOR UNDERGRADUATES
We seek 8 motivated and talented undergraduate students interested in marine science to participate in a Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates Program, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Defense. Over ten weeks (May 19 - July 27, 2013), the successful applicants will develop the skills necessary to conduct research and communicate scientific results. In accordance with NSF REU programmatic goals, students early in their career and without significant prior research experience are preferred.
Several research projects support this REU site program. A US Department of Defense sponsored research program entitled the Defense Coastal / Estuarine Research Program (DCERP) is a unique program, sited only at the US Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune (MCBCL) in North Carolina. As part of a decade-long DCERP initiative, collaborators from seven universities, three government agencies, and two private firms have established over 200 multi-year, monitoring stations and are overseeing 13 research projects in five different habitats (coastal barrier, aquatic/estuarine waters, coastal marshes, terrestrial, and atmosphere). The inherently interdisciplinary nature of the DCERP project enables students to select among projects that integrate biological, geological, physical, or chemical elements to varying degrees. In addition, NSF-sponsored studies to IMS faculty include those examining the role of sponges in coastal nitrogen cycling, patterns of pathogens and human infectious disease in estuaries, the influence of predators on ecosystem functioning, and the advection of turbulence by surface waves.
IMS provides an exceptional opportunity for introducing undergraduates to research because the work done here: 1) is multidisciplinary; 2) utilizes a broad range of methodologies both within and among scientific disciplines; 3) addresses management questions and environmental concerns important to coastal development and economic exploitation; and 4) allows the students to meet a broad scientific community due to our close proximity to both university and government research laboratories. The inherently interdisciplinary nature of the IMS research will enable students to select among projects that integrate biological, geological, physical, or chemical elements to varying degrees. The Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) is part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Our facility consists of three buildings sited on a 6.5 acre waterfront location. The main building (51,000 sq. ft.) houses offices, laboratories, a lecture hall, a library, a computer facility, and conference rooms. A separate building houses laboratory spaces with filtered running seawater as well as the shop facility for the campus. The third building is the dormitory. The grounds include earthen and cement ponds as well as several arrays of tanks that can all receive unfiltered seawater. Transportation to and from field sites is made possible through the availability of a fleet of trucks, vans, outboard boats, and a 48 ft. coastal vessel, RV Capricorn, that IMS maintains. Finally, UNC is a member of the Consortium that houses the UNOLS coastal research ship, RV Cape Hatteras.
The diversity of expertise among potential mentors at IMS ranges across all traditional disciplines of marine science (ocean and estuarine biology, geology, chemistry, physics, and meteorology). More importantly, the individual skills and interests of each IMS faculty encompass one or more of these core areas of marine science. Our broad backgrounds and close collaborations facilitate communication and cooperation within our laboratory, serving well the collaborative-science needs of REU participants.