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RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY: The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is Looking for Interns (Deadline: Feb. 15)


Tropical Forest Ecology Internships in Panama


The Muller-Landau lab at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) seeks 3 interns to participate in research on tropical forest ecology in Panama for 9-12 months each.  One internship will focus on tropical forest carbon budgets, another on landscape-level variation in forest structure and dynamics, and a third on the role of lianas (woody vines).  The carbon intern will focus on synthesizing field data collected at multiple sites in Panama and across the ForestGEO / CTFS network of large-scale, long-term forest dynamics plots, and will participate in local field data collection.  The landscape intern will focus on collecting and analyzing geospatial data on forest structure and dynamics collected using drones to quantify variation in relation to topography, soils and climate, building on 3 years of data collection.  The liana intern will collect field data, analyze pre-existing datasets, and/or conduct modeling to investigate the determinants of liana abundance and the importance of liana strategy diversity.  Additional information on these opportunities can be found at 


All interns will have the opportunity to gain experience in tropical forest field work, quality assurance/quality control of the relevant datasets, programming and running analyses in R (and/or ArcGIS), and writing up results for scholarly publication.  The successful candidates will work closely with staff scientist Dr. Helene Muller-Landau and collaborators.  The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is located in Panama, and is home to a vibrant scientific community of 30 staff scientists, over 100 graduate and postdoctoral fellows, and 1500 scientific visitors per year.  


The ideal candidates have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, strong quantitative skills including programming experience, and strong English and/or Spanish oral and written communication skills.  The positions are particularly well suited for candidates seeking more research experience prior to graduate school.  Each internship will be compensated with a modest stipend sufficient to cover living expenses in Panama ($1000/month), as well as roundtrip travel to Panama if relevant. The start dates are flexible and can be as early as March or as late as September 2018. Please find additional details attached.


To apply, please email a CV, a cover letter describing your qualifications and interest in one or more of the positions, and contact information for 3 references to Helene Muller-Landau at  Review of applications will commence on February 15, 2018, and continue until the positions are filled.