Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates
Calder Summer Undergraduate Research (CSUR-reu) Program for 2013 

*************CSUR-REU Program will return to the Calder Center in 2015***************

The Program

We are pleased to announce that Fordham University's Louis Calder Center - Biological Field Station, through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, is offering paid research opportunities for undergraduate students to gain research experience in a variety of biological field studies.

Students work closely with staff ecologists at the Calder Center and have access to study sites at the station and nearby ecosystems, such as the Hudson River, Black Rock Forest, Long Island Pine Barrens, Mianus River Gorge, Catskill Mountains, and at several sites along the New York Urban-Rural Gradient. Students complete a research project of their own design, attend short courses on conducting ecological field studies and data analysis, and make a presentation of their findings to researchers in the area and members of the station.
  • Free housing at the station
  • Stipend of $5000, plus travel funds
  • Study organisms and communities outdoors
  • Design and conduct your own independent research
  • Work closely with faculty mentors
  • Discussions, mini-classes and seminars offered
  • Work in state-of-the-art labs, learn new laboratory techniques
The Calder Center has supported undergraduate and graduate student research since 1967. Our mission has been to offer students hands-on experience and training in a wide variety of studies, including forest ecology, limnology, wildlife ecology, microbial ecology, Lyme disease, insect-plant interactions, evolutionary ecology, conservation and the effects of urbanization on ecosystem processes. Our station is located near the village of Armonk, NY, in a hilly, wooded region of northern Westchester County, about 25 miles north of the Fordham University campus (Bronx, NY). We are within a 10-minute drive from Westchester County Airport, which is serviced by several major airlines, including American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, and United.

Many important ecosystems and outdoor opportunities are found within less than a day's drive from the station, including the Adirondack State Park, Bear Mountain State Park, Black RockForest, Catskills Mountains, Finger Lakes National Forest, Fire Island National Seashore, Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve (HERR), Harriman State Park, Long Island Sound, Mianus River Gorge, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, and Sterling Forest. The Appalachian Trail can be accessed within 10 miles of the field station. Several major scientific institutions are nearby, including The Institute for Ecosystem Studies, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, New York Botanical Garden, and the Bronx Zoo. The Calder Center is also a member of The Organization of Biological Field Stations.

Students will have use of the ecology library at the station, which currently contains more than 70 active journal titles and about 1,200 non-periodical books. We also provide on-line access to several hundred elctronic journals through the Fordham Library System. Other facilities and equipment include 2 research greenhouses, computers, microscopes, field sampling gear, a small herbarium, GIS lab, and a state-of-the-art analytical chemistry laboratory for ecological analyses. In the recent past, students have been supported by many agencies, including several programs in the National Science Foundation, Department of Agriculture, New York Sea Grant, Hudson River Foundation, New York Department of Heath, and the Routh Endowment fund.

Selection Process

Successful CSUR candidates will be matched with staff scientists with similar research interests, based on the topics listed in our application. This year we anticipate that we will offer up to ten (10) awards to qualified undergraduates interested in conducting independent research for 10 weeks during the summer in one of the areas of focus. We anticipate that students will be contacted during the month of April.

Student Research

All CSUR students accepted into the program will participate in a 10-week, intensive research program in which they will learn the fundamentals of experimental design, use of the scientific literature, data collection and analysis, and oral presentation. Examples of recent undergraduate student projects include:

  • Biological control of insects that transmit disease.
  • Connecting algal biodiversity with stream ecosystem health.
  • Ecology of symbiotic fungi in hemlock and oak forests.
  • Ecosystem responses to disturbance.
  • Evolutionary genetics and genomics of bacteria.
  • How do forests respond to multiple stressors?
  • How does UV exposure affect microbial pathogens in a reservoir?
  • Impact of an invasive species on local mosquito species.
  • Local food production in urban ecosystems.
  • Plants in urban systems.
  • Stoichiometric differences among aquatic and terrestrial plants.
  • Ecological and genetic characterization of sunfish in Calder Lake.
  • Selection and adaptation on Brassica rapa (garlic mustard) plant at Calder.
  • Feeding ecology of darter fish

Research Areas of Mentors
J. Alan Clark, Assistant Professor – Behavioral ecology of birds
Thomas J. Daniels, Associate Research Scientist – Vector ecology, Lyme disease
Richard C. Falco, Associate Research Scientist – Medical entomology, West Nile Virus ecology
Steven Franks, Assistant Professor - Evolutionary ecology of plants and invasive species
Evon Hekkala, Assistant Professor - Ecological genetics, biogeographic and anthropogenic effects
James D. Lewis, Professor - Plant ecology, ecology of forest canopies
Michael Rubbo, Director of Environmental Stewardship, Teatown Lake Reservation - Ecology of vernal pools
John D. Wehr, Professor & Director - Freshwater ecology, phycology

Students selected to join the CSUR field research program will receive readings and a schedule describing activities for the summer. Faculty will also offer mini-lectures on selected topics to aid students in conducting independent research and have weekly evening seminar presentations where students learn about research being conducted in the region. Each CSUR student will develop a research program tailored to their specific project with one of the staff scientists, but all will follow a general program over the summer, including:
  • Introduction to the Calder Center and ecosystems of the region
  • A guide to conducting ecological research
  • Selection of research projects, literature review, training period
  • Hypotheses, independent research, data collection
  • Data analysis, report writing, preparing slides, PowerPoint presentations
  • Student symposium
Full details will be provided to all successful CSUR students with their acceptance packets. Any other questions about the Calder Center or any of our research, education, and visiting scientist programs can be sent to the CSUR Program Office at, or to the Assistant Director, Ms. Alissa Perrone at


Complete an electronic application (WORD file) and email it to It is strongly preferred that applications be sent electronically. If unable to do so, please mail the application to the address provided on the PDF file. Applications from under-represented minorities and women are especially encouraged to apply. Further information about the station is available on the web site:

***************CSUR-REU Program will return to the Calder Center in 2015***************
***********************Not Accepting applications at this time**********************

We can also be reached by:

Phone: 914-273-3078, ext. 10 (business office)
Fax: 914-273-2167

You can also write us at:

CSUR-REU Program
Louis Calder Center - Biological Field Station, Fordham University
P.O. Box 887
Armonk, NY 10504

The CSUR program is supported in part by Fordham University and the National Science Foundation.
The Louis Calder Center - Biological Station is a member of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.

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