Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research

Title: Urban Ecology REU

Website: https://caplter.asu.edu 

Description: The Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) program is a long-term research site in the Phoenix metropolitan area. REU opportunities focus on understanding the ecology of this urban environment situated in the Sonoran desert and may include investigations of biota, wetlands, or residential landscapes in field and/or laboratory/office settings. REU students will also take part in weekly seminars with other undergraduate researchers that introduce students to multidisciplinary approaches to understanding urban systems.

Research activities: The Future of Urban Ecosystem Services

Several LTER sites conduct scenario planning and visioning activities as part of their synthesis work, including the Central Arizona Phoenix (CAP). Positive scenarios can support urban planning processes and decision-making that build resilience to climate events, such as floods, extreme heat, and droughts. The CAP LTER has conducted two series of scenarios workshops at the regional and village scales. In the scenario visions that were created through this process, ecosystem services figure prominently as an integral part of the future of the city. That is, urban ecosystems services appear in the form of urban gardens, green flood infrastructure, transportation corridors, heat mitigation infrastructure, greenspace for recreation and community-building, and more. We are looking to hire an REU student interested in analyzing the scenario visions co-produced in Phoenix to understand how residents envision the future of urban ecosystem services, the types of ecosystem services that are prioritized, and the ecosystem benefits that participants value. The student will work with workshop recordings and/or transcripts to identify the ways in which participants are talking about urban ecosystem services and the benefits that they derive from them. Beyond comparing ecosystem services at the regional and village scales in Phoenix, there is an opportunity to compare future ecosystem services across LTER sites (with the Baltimore Ecosystem Study LTER), and across Sonoran cities (with Hermosillo, Mexico), which have produced similar future scenarios.

The student will be co-supervised by Dr. Marta Berbes-Blazquez (Scenarios, Governance, Urban Design), Dr. Nancy Grimm (Scenarios, Water and Fluxes, Urban Design, Parks and Rivers), and PhD candidate Stephen Elser (SOLS)

Location: Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona

Start and End dates: 6/3/2020 – 8/2/2020

Fellowship positions available: 1

Are the dates flexible? Yes

Eligibility and Requirements: GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Summer Stipend: $400.00/week for 10 weeks; $4,000.00 total

Other services provided: Housing is provided, Airfare/ mileage is provided, Research materials or equipment are provided, There are other weekly educational opportunities on-site for students e.g. seminars, We have career development / awareness activities in place.