National Field Trips

2016 SEEDS National Field Trip – Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri


May 19-22, 2016 in Rolla, Missouri

Managed by the USDA Forest Service, Mark Twain National Forest encompasses a large and varied landscape throughout most of the Ozarks of Missouri, and even a small part of the prairie region in the center of the State. Although the Mark Twain National Forest is known for its extensive stands of shortleaf pine, oaks and hickories, this landscape is also home to a wide variety of other ecosystems that host over 650 native wildlife species.

SEEDS Participants will get to go out in the field and explore with our hosts, the USDS Forest Service, the amazing opportunities to study the beauty of the unique environments of the Ozarks. Students will work with restoration projects, herpetology surveys, group research projects and even go on a night hike to Onyx Cave to learn about bats!

To be eligible, students must enrolled in an institution within the United States. Preference will be given to Freshmen, Sophomores and other students that have not had prior opportunity to engage in ecology research or field experience. Students from underrepresented minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Each year, SEEDS invites students nationally to participate in a four to seven day field trip (travel included) to an ecologically significant site. These sites may include:

  • Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites
  • Federal or State research sites
  • University or other research stations (outside of the home institution). Here is an example.

Field Trip Agenda
National field trips include:

  • Ecology talks
  • Hands-on field experience – data collecting
  • Career panel discussion with professionals and graduate students
  • Graduate student presentations
  • Reflections on motivations and challenges students face in science
  • Time for group daily journal entries which are then compiled into a single report

Selection Criteria
Preference is given to applicants who demonstrate:

  • Academic promise based on GPA
  • A sincere interest in exploring a career in ecology but have not had prior opportunity to engage in ecology research
  • The potential to contribute to the ecology program at their home institution or in their community and
  • The capacity to support the mission of SEEDS.

The SEEDS Program is responsible for field trip expenses including travel, lodging, and meals for selected students. Students who are chosen to participate will work with SEEDS staff to arrange their travel itineraries and dietary needs.

Applications Materials

  • Applicants Information
  • In a short 400 word essay (1) describe the nature of research that you intend to pursue; (2) specify how this Field Trip experience would further your educational and career goals; (3) summarize your ecology experience thus far (SEEDS activities, coursework, research or work experience, etc.); (4) explain how you will contribute to the mission of the SEEDS program during and after the Field Trip.
  • Upload a Resume in PDF format
  • One (1) letter of recommendation sent directly to – with students name in the title.


Application will CLOSE on February 28, 2016

SEEDS also offers a Regional Field Trip Program.