The Institute of Arctic Biology (IAB) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) seeks enthusiastic undergraduates and recent college graduates who are interested in summer field research in Alaska. The overall objective of the research program is to understand the ecosystem and global consequences of potential future changes in arctic vegetation. The Research Assistant will be based at Toolik Field
Station, north of the Brooks Range in arctic Alaska. One position is available, which pays a stipend of $436 per week (before taxes). It will begin in early June and end in late August of 2009.

The successful applicant will assist with fieldwork at the tussock tundra site and laboratory work consisting of tasks such as plant sorting and data entry. In addition, research assistants will attend
weekly seminars on the research at the station, will develop his or her own individual research projects on a topic related to the program and his or her own interests, and will present his or her work at an
informal symposium at Toolik Field Station.

The focus of research this summer is to understand how plant species traits affect ecosystem processing of C and N, and how changes in the species abundance may alter C and N cycling under a warming climate. Researchers have been collecting data on plant traits from a suite of species growing in different tundra ecosystem types, and will finish that collection this summer. Data are being compared with similar plant traits collected in ecosystems at a range of latitudes across the
Americas, to assess the contribution of functional diversity to ecosystem processing of C and N under land use and climatic change.

The successful applicant will also assist with other projects, including one focused on the mechanisms by which winter processes affect the summer growth of vegetation, and the consequences of shrub expansion under a warming climate for biogeochemical cycling of C and N. Researchers have set up snow fences in tussock tundra, low shrub tundra, and taller shrub tundra, in order to assess how increased winter snow affects mineralization of N overwinter and growth and recovery from
snow-loading of shrubs and other vegetation in the following summer. Vegetation growth will continue to be followed in this study, and will continue measurements of shrub response to, and recovery from,
mechanical loading by snow. This project should improve understanding of land surface changes currently occurring in the Arctic, and their potential impacts on climate.

Finally, the successful applicant will help with a project focused on understanding the contribution of vegetation and disturbance to landscape-level fluxes of carbon, water, and energy in tundra

Class background in plant ecology, botany, ecosystem ecology, statistics, and computer science would be an advantage. Experience in field or laboratory, experience with data analysis, and experience
working in a remote field site is preferred. Applicants should have skills with plant identification, data collecting and recording, data manipulation in Excel, and data analysis. Applicants must be willing to
work in the field, occasionally under adverse weather conditions. Competent, careful, emotionally mature, and enthusiastic people are desired. The work is designed to be both fun and challenging. A valid U.S. Driver's license is required, and successful applicants must provide a copy of their social security cards at the time of employment. Applications from women and minorities are encouraged.

To apply, please complete the online application by searching for posting number 0057445. You must