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Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

Calder Summer Undergraduate Research (CSUR) Program

A Program Overview

Our CSUR program is designed to provide undergraduates an opportunity to conduct an independent research project under the guidance of a Fordham University faculty mentor.  Select undergraduates receive a $5,000 stipend and free on-site housing to do summer research in a variety of biological fields as part of our Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.  This program typically runs for 10 weeks, mid-June through mid-August.

Not Your Typical Summer Internship

Work closely with staff ecologists at the Calder Center, Fordham’s biological field station near the village of Armonk, NY, in a hilly, wooded region of northern Westchester County. The 113-acre site includes forest, streams, and a 10- acre lake. Learn more about the Louis Calder Center here

In addition, you will have access to study sites at nearby ecosystems, such as:

  • Adirondack State Park
  • Bear Mountain State Park
  • Black Rock Forest
  • Catskills Mountains
  • Finger Lakes National Forest
  • Fire Island National Seashore
  • Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve (HERR)
  • Harriman State Park
  • Mianus River Gorge
  • Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
  • Sterling Forest
  • The Appalachian Trail

And several major scientific institutions are nearby, including

  • Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • New York Botanical Garden
  • Bronx Zoo

Design and Conduct Your Own Independent Research

In the 10-week intensive program, you will complete a research project of your 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. Learn more about the curriculum and schedule.

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 forests respond to multiple stressors?
  • How UV exposure affect microbial pathogens in a reservoir
  • Impact of an invasive species on local mosquito species

See more undergraduate student projects.

The research areas of our faculty mentors include:

  • Behavioral ecology of birds – J. Alan Clark, Associate Professor
  • Vector ecology, Lyme disease – Thomas J. Daniels, Associate Research Scientist
  • Medical entomology, West Nile Virus ecology – Richard C. Falco, Associate Research Scientist
  • Evolutionary ecology of plants and invasive species – Steven Franks, Associate Professor
  • Ecological genetics, biogeographic and anthropogenic effects – Evon Hekkala, Assistant Professor
  • Plant ecology, ecology of forest canopies – James D. Lewis, Professor
  • Animal behavior, population genetics, urban ecology – Jason Munshi-South, Associate Professor
  • Freshwater ecology, phycology – John D. Wehr, Professor & Director