The College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, or CFWE, research faculty actively seek undergraduate students to assist with the college’s diverse research programs. Currently available positions are included in the below directory which is updated frequently, but may not be inclusive of all opportunities. For other opportunities not posted, please consult with a faculty member most aligned with your research interests.

Though not required for CFWE undergraduate research opportunities, fellowships can assist students with anticipated expenses related to achieving their research objectives.  To be considered for an undergraduate research fellowship, visit the Office of Undergraduate Research to learn more about eligibility and application requirements.

Population and Conservation Genetics Lab - Field and Lab Work

We are interested in hiring undergraduate researchers to help us understand how populations can evolve and respond to environmental changes. Our work focuses on a variety of species, including banner tailed kangaroo rats, mosquitos, caribou, loblolly pine, and various pathogenic species. We have positions available to support on-going graduate work in the field and in the lab, and all students will have the opportunity to work towards earning co-authorship on papers written by graduate students in the lab. To express interest, please complete the form linked below or get in touch with Dr. Willoughby with any questions.

Timberland Investment - Data Research and Analysis

Undergraduate students participating in this research project will focus on the two timberland investment vehicles (publicly traded timberland REITs and privately-held NECRIT timberland index) as well as forest industry stocks, in comparison with other investment vehicles (such as general stocks, bonds, and real estate). They will extract price and return data from a database, analyze them, and present their results. They will also have an opportunity to seek insights on timberland valuation based on the recent timberland transaction data. One or two undergraduate students with good quantitative analysis skills are needed. Students with a finance background are desirable.

Contact: Dr. Daowei Zhang at zhangd1@auburn.edu

Foreign Direct Investment in Forest Industry - Data Research and Analysis

Undergraduate students participate in this research project will focus on U.S. and Canadian inward and outward foreign direct investment in forest industry. They will extract data from a couple of databases, analyze them, and present their results. They will also have an opportunity to investigate the rising Canadian ownership of sawmills in the U.S. One or two undergraduate students with good qualitative and quantitative analysis skills are needed. Students with forestry or forest industry backgrounds is desirable.

Contact: Dr. Daowei Zhang at zhangd1@auburn.edu

Climate, Water, and Society Lab - Data Science and Modeling

Environmental Data Science – working with heterogenous data including land, Water, and atmosphere; data cleaning and formatting, multi-dimensional data, trend analysis, and hypothesis development, python programming.

Climate Modeling – Designing and running climate modeling experiments using the Community Earth System Model and it’s land component Community Land Model. Analysis of climate model data, including CMIP6, for hypothesis testing and climate change projections.

Contact: Dr. Sanjiv Kumar at szk0139@auburn.edu

Forest Health Dynamics Lab - Field Research and Data Analysis

  1. Effects of climate variables on fungal spore distribution and abundance: Brown spot needle blight is an emerging disease in loblolly pine caused by the fungus Lecanosticta acicola. We are interested in looking at spore production, distribution, and abundance across the State of Alabama. Student will be construct, deploy, and collect spore traps, identify and count spores, and analyze data. Travel to field sites is required. Must be able to drive a university vehicle. Contact Dr. Eckhardt for more information at eckhalg@auburn.edu
  2. Effects of brown spot needle blight on insect diversity: Brown spot needle blight is an emerging disease in loblolly pine caused by the fungus Lecanosticta acicola. We are interested in looking to see if there is an insect population shift (more pest insects) in stands that are infected with brown spot needle blight. The student will deploy and monitor insect traps, identify and catalog insects, and analyze data. Travel to field sites is required. Must be able to drive a university vehicle. Contact Dr. Eckhardt for more information at eckhalg@auburn.edu

Geospatial Analytics Lab - Field, UAV/Drone Data Collection, Processing and Analysis

Our work involves synergistic use of Earth Observation data to better understand, characterize, and monitor ecosystems at multiple spatial scales. We have undergraduate research opportunities for field data collection (travel to forested sites required) using Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)/drones and analysis of UAV-derived imagery high-density lidar for studying forest pathogens, and the acquisition, processing, and analysis of airborne and spaceborne datasets. Students will have the opportunity to contribute to applications using image-based and lidar-based technologies, apply innovative methodologies for forestry applications and contribute to the development of manuscripts for potential publication. If interested in undergraduate research opportunities with the Geospatial Analytics Lab, please contact Dr. Lana Narine at LLN0005@AUBURN.EDU.