Student Research Opportunities – Gamon Lab, beginning April/May 2010
1) Estimating Pasture Productivity using Remote Sensing & Field
Sampling. (2-3 summer student positions) – This project explores the
effects of grazing and drought on rangeland productivity (yield). Tasks
will include field optical measurements, biomass harvesting, processing
of plant materials to help calibrate remote sensing estimates of carbon
gain and biomass production. This project combines extensive fieldwork
in southern Albertan prairie sites with sample and data processing in
Edmonton (May-August). Primary skills include abilities to work well in a
team or independently, tolerance of occasional long hours of fieldwork
or labwork, often under difficult conditions (e.g. cold or hot weather). A
good work ethic (personal integrity, hard work, and self-motivation) is
critical. Basic computing and instrumentation skills are also a plus.
2) Remote Sensing of Ecosystem Gas Exchange (2-3 summer student
positions) – Students will participate in field experiments combining
field optical sampling, gas exchange, and biomass measurements for a
variety of ecosystems. The goal is to improve remote sensing methods
for tracking dynamic ecosystem gas exchange processes
(photosynthesis, respiration, evapotranspiration), and to test optical
metrics of ecosystem “health.” Methods include manual and automated
sampling methods, including field spectrometry, harvest and phenology
measurements, robotic sampling techniques, and eddy covariance. The
project entails fieldwork at various sites in Canada, but also involves
indoor work (processing samples and data). Most sites are
representative ecosystems in Alberta (boreal forest, prairie, agricultural
sites), but some limited visits to Arctic tundra sites (e.g. Churchill,
Manitoba, or Daring Lake, NWT) may also be necessary. Primary skills
include abilities to work well in a team or independently, tolerance of
occasional long hours of fieldwork or labwork, often under difficult
conditions (e.g. cold or hot weather). A good work ethic (personal
integrity, hard work, and self-motivation) is critical. Basic computing
and instrumentation skills are also a plus.
3) Data Entry and Database Programming (1 student) – This student will
assist in data processing and analysis and data entry into databases, and
will work with data from projects 1 & 2 (above). Basic computing or
programming skills (Excel, Matlab, SQL) will be required.
4) Robotic sampling of Ecosystem optical properties (1 student) –
Combines skills in mechanical engineering, electronics, programming,
and optics to monitor ecosystem surface properties using automated
instruments mounted on robotic carts, automated tilting platforms, and
fixed tripods or towers (see project #2). A background in mechanical,
electrical, and/or computer engineering will be helpful.
5) Remote Sensing of Ecosystem productivity (1 student) – This project
involves the use of satellite and aircraft data to analyze productivity of
terrestrial ecosystems. Skills involve image processing, GIS, and
modeling. The project will compare modeled estimates (derived from
remote sensing) to field estimates (see projects 1 & 2).
Applicants should provide a cover letter summarizing interests and qualifications, a CV, 2
references and unofficial transcripts.
For more information, contact Dr. John Gamon, ph. 780-492-0345, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.