The application period for 2017 is open November 1, 2016 to February 8, 2017. Apply here.
Orientation will take place during the week of June 19th and final presentations will take place August 17th. Please contact the EISI Program Manager if you have any questions.
Students will work as a member of a research team on one of the projects described below. In the Letter of Interest required for the EISI application, students should give preference for the projects and explain how you will contribute to and benefit from each project.
Project mentors: Julia Jones and Rebecca Hutchinson
Scientists have witnessed widespread declines in the European honeybee and accumulated evidence that native pollinators contribute to crop yield. Networks of pollinators and the plants they pollinate exhibit complex interactions that contribute to evolution and dispersal of both the plants and the pollinators. Few locations provide intact, undisturbed pollinator communities that allow us to study these networks of interactions.
Montane meadows of the western Cascade Range of Oregon represent largely undisturbed plant-pollinator networks. These meadows occupy only a small percent of area of the western Cascades, but they contain a very large proportion of the diversity of insects and plants in the landscape. Meadows contain diverse and dynamic networks of hundreds of pollinator species (insects, birds, and other organisms) who visit dozens of flowering plant species during the spectacular, but short-lived flowering period each summer. Ongoing measurements of these pollinator networks provide the opportunity to ask key questions linking ecology, mathematics, and computer science:
Students sample plants and pollinators in montane meadows of the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest.
Hummingbirds are frequent pollinators of columbine in montane meadows (Source).
Butterflies and moths also are important flower visitors.
Many species of bees and flies pollinate commonly occurring flowers.
Project mentors: Desirée Tullos (Biological and Ecological Engineering), Catalina Segura (Forest Engineering, Resources & Management), and Cara Walter (Biological and Ecological Engineering)
Sediment is moved across river networks via a set of geomorphic processes that establish the shape of river channels and the texture of their beds. Among those processes, disturbances (e.g., debris flows, dams) can produce deviations from the expected channel shape and texture. In this study, we will investigate how channel slope and bed texture change moving down a river network, comparing those observations to expected slope and texture from network models, and characterizing the spatial signature of disturbances. Such an investigation will provide insight into fundamental river science questions, such as: What is the broad rate of fining of bed sediments across river networks of varying geometry? What is the geomorphic signature of old vs. new debris flows, in terms of discontinuities in grain size distributions and channel gradient, and how does that signature decay over time? Similarly, what is the size of the geomorphic impact of large woody debris jams at different locations in the network?
The project will involve many days of field work in the creeks and rivers at HJ Andrews. Students will sample bed material and channel gradient at many locations, as well as analysis using remotely-sensed data, and compare those observations to expected values from theoretical network models. The outcome will be to identify locations and scenarios where observations are not explained by theoretical models to develop hypotheses about the impacts of disturbances at different locations within the river network.