There are a number of opportunities for high school students, undergraduate students, and graduate students to work within the Luquillo Experimental Forest. If you are interested in working with a specific researcher please contact them directly for more information on how to get involved. Below you can find a list of research opportunities at El Verde Field Station and Internationally
LTER Schoolyard - Vision: Promote students in pursuing sciences careers and provide sciences teacher’s experiences for curriculum development. Mission: Engaging high school students in Long Term Ecological Research and offering sciences teachers’ professional development opportunities.
Undergraduate and Graduate opportunities:
Natural Resource Career Tracks – This program is funded in Puerto Rico by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture via a subaward from New Mexico State University. With annual funding of roughly $350,000, the program, directed by Dr. Zimmerman, has involved more than fifty students from Puerto Rico in summer internships, and other career enhancement activities, at USDA National Forests and other USDA agencies as well as other potential employers.
Research for Undergraduate Students – Two undergraduate students are selected each year from UPR or collaborating institutions for a summer research experience. Students and projects are suggested by LUQ researchers or selected as part of site REU at El Verde Field Station. All REUs are integrated in the undergraduate research training program and share their results at a poster presentation held at the UPR campus in Rio Piedras.
Volunteer Research Interns – Due to its tropical locale, LUQ has been very successful at recruiting volunteer research assistants to perform field research in the LFDP and CTE. Students are oriented to research goals and trained in field protocols, data entry and management, and identification of tropical biota. Field trips and seminars by local and visiting scientists enhance their field experiences. Working for four-month stints, students receive per diem, lodging and free travel to the site in exchange for their research assistance. Approximately 200 students have worked at the Luquillo LTER since 1995, about a third of them from underrepresented minorities.
Graduate Students – There are 41 graduate students involved in LUQ research at 14 institutions. Twenty-two percent are underrepresented minorities, mostly of Puerto Rican origin. Students select a representative of their peers who organizes student activities at the annual meetings and sits on the Science and Education Advisory Council.
For additional opportunites at other LTER sites, visit the LTER Network Office Education page.