The goal of this NSF funded program is to provide undergraduate students with experience in hypothesis-driven collaborative research utilizing field based and/or laboratory methods every summer and fully engage them in projects associated with the ecology and evolution influencing Chihuahuan Desert biodiversity.

In their application, students will have the opportunity to select from more than 10 faculty driven projects/topics, each focusing on a biological discipline related to Chihuahuan Desert biodiversity. Students will receive meaningful exposure to research methodology as described in each of the project summaries:

The program will provide a cohort of summer participants with a high quality experience that combines education and novel research projects utilizing the 40,000 acre Indio Mountain Research Station and surrounding Chihuahuan Desert as well as the state-of-the-art facilities at UTEP.  Participants will also receive training in bioethics, one-on-one and group mentoring, and training in other relevant professional skills (e.g. writing and oral presentations).

Each participant will be guided directly by different members of the CDB faculty team, but they will participate in a number of activities that will keep them as a cooperative summer cohort that shares research interests in biodiversity studies and thus will benefit by understanding each other's work and contributing to each other’s growth as practicing scientists.
The major emphasis of this program is developing skills for performing independent and collaborative research.  Participants will be integrated into the research groups of individual faculty mentors. However, given that the program has a unifying theme, participants will be sharing common research interests as well as goals for academic and professional development. Consequently, participants will meet as a group for discussions, training, formal presentations, workshops and seminars. At the end of the program, students will present the results of their summer’s efforts at a symposium.
Deadline for application: March 13, 2020
Program Duration: 10 weeks
Start Date: May 27, 2020
End Date: August 2, 2020
Note: Students are expected to arrive in El Paso on Monday, May 26 and depart on Sunday, August 3.
Undergraduate Students admitted to the program will receive:
  • $6,000 for 10 weeks
  • Housing in shared apartments
  • Travel reimbursement to/from El Paso of up to $600