Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

Summer Field Ecology program at the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center (UNDERC) 

Applications are now being accepted for the UNDERC Summer 2024 Field Biology program. UNDERC provides opportunities to promote understanding of field biology and how field research is conducted through 10 weeks in the Northwoods. This opportunity is designed for students wanting to gain initial experience in field biology where they can gain an introduction to the concepts and methodology while conducting a collaborative research project with other students in the program. Each student receives housing, travel between the Notre Dame campus and UNDERC, and a stipend ($5000). 
 
The UNDERC facility is owned by Notre Dame and contains 8000 acres of pristine lakes, streams, wetlands, and forests with abundant wildlife. The natural setting and modern facilities provide an unparalleled opportunity for gaining experience in field biology. UNDERC is also the core site in the Great Lakes Region for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). UNDERC provides tuition, housing, and transportation between the Notre Dame campus and the site. Acceptance is based on a statement of purpose as well as past academic performance. Preference is given to students pursuing a career in ecology or environmental science. Applicants are required to be present for the duration of course (29 May through 3 August). 
 
Further information can be obtained at the UNDERC website (underc.nd.edu), or from UNDERC Assistant Director Dr. Michael Cramer (mcramer@nd.edu). 
 
Applications are available online (underc.nd.edu/education/undergraduate-field-courses/). Application deadline is 17 November 2023. Notification of acceptance will be provided by 11 December 2023. Special consideration will be given to Native American and Puerto Rican applicants. 
 
UNDERC-Track 1: This opportunity is offered to individuals at any stage of their undergraduate education that have an interest in gaining training and research experience in field biology. Students receive a structured introduction to field biology through a mixture of classroom and field training at the UNDERC facility. Classroom training includes visits to the George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum and Cultural Center and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.  Classwork will also promote understanding of Native American attitudes towards the environment for non-Native American students. The summer is broken up into four learning modules including – vertebrate ecology, insect ecology, aquatic ecology and forest ecology. Important research skills, including keeping a field notebook, basic statistical analysis and experimental design, and science communication will also be taught.  This training will be leveraged by the class to conduct a summer-long collaborative research project.