University of Alaska Southeast


Company: University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center
Location: See description
Position: Field Biology Program Internship
Requirements: See description

Summer 2020 Field Biology Program for Native American Students

(Notre Dame Environmental Research Center in collaboration with Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and endorsed by Montana/Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council)

Tuition, housing, and travel paid ... 3 credits/summer ... Receive a summer stipend ($5000 East, $5500 West)!!

First Summer: UNDERC-East: Northwoods in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Second Summer: UNDERC-West: Flathead Reservation/National Bison Range in western Montana

This program promotes understanding of environmental field biology and how field research is conducted. Native American students are prepared for advanced studies in environmental biology, so they can better manage their lands. Also, it promotes understanding of Native American attitudes towards the environment for non-Native American students, so these can be incorporated into better management. At East, students visit with the George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center and the Great Lakes Indian Fish
and Wildlife Commission, and at West with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal cultural and natural resource departments, as well as through dialogue and collaboration among themselves.


  • Native American descent
  • Minimum of Sophomore standing and past academic performance
  • Statement of purpose and plans to obtain a degree in the environmental sciences

The program spans two summers (10 weeks/summer)

Year 1 at UNDERC-East (May 18– July 24): 8000 acres of lakes, streams, wetlands, and forests owned by Notre Dame and a core site in the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) that are home to abundant wildlife (including beaver, porcupine, black bear,
deer, loon). Course modules include vertebrate ecology, invertebrate ecology, aquatic ecology and forest ecology with each providing background information, field research exercises, and group research projects designed by the class. Five or more weeks are spent by
each student designing and conducting their own field research project under direction of faculty or graduate students. Projects have ranged from fish, insect and mammal behavior and ecology to forest, lake and stream ecosystem ecology to local Native American
ecosystem use.

Year 2 at UNDERC-West (June 6 – August 14): More than a million acres on the National Bison Range and Flathead Reservation that includes grasslands, montane forests, streams and lakes that are home to abundant wildlife (including bison, elk, bighorn, and pronghorn). The course includes modules like those at UNDERC-East in wildlife and grassland ecology, montane ecology, and environmental history/Native American ecology (in part during the cross-country drive to and from –West). Each student conducts an
independent research project in collaboration with a faculty or graduate student advisor that is more advanced given the skills learned at UNDERC-East. Recent projects have included invasive plant ecology, animal behavior and habitat relationships, grassland, forest,
wetland and stream dynamics, and Native American plant and wildlife use.

This program provides a fruitful step in the students’ career development by allowing them to conduct independent research and giving them an opportunity to work with established scientists in environmental biology in remarkable natural settings. Almost all of the Native American students who have participated in this program are pursuing graduate degrees or are working within tribal DNR offices. Furthermore, a number of our non-Native American students have gone to work on reservations after graduation as
teachers or as natural resource managers.

Applications are available on the UNDERC website ( Further information can be obtained from the website, or from Dr. Michael Cramer, UNDERC East Assistant Director (, or Dr. David Flagel, UNDERC West Assistant Director (

Application deadline is Friday, November 8, 2019. Notification of acceptance will be provided by Monday, December 9, 2019. Acceptance is based on past academic performance and a statement of purpose. Preference is given to students pursuing a career in environmental sciences. Applicants are required to be present for the duration of course

Contact: Dr. David Flagel
Contact at:
Closing Date: November 8, 2019