Summer Research

Summer research on attitudes to CO2-induced acidification, Willapa Bay WA

Thanks to our Mellon-funded SGE initiative, Lewis & Clark faculty-student teams had the opportunity to pursue ten-week summer situated research projects, giving our students the opportunity to work alongside faculty members in pursuing interdisciplinary environmental research. Proposals were accepted once annually, around the fifth week of spring semester. Thanks to all students and faculty members who took part in our research initiative! An archive of our past projects can be found here.

Historically, here were the requirements:

  • Teams will generally consist of two ENVS majors (or minors) and one Lewis & Clark faculty member, or one ENVS major (or minor) and two faculty members; teams of one student and one faculty member will also be considered. Students must be current (i.e., seniors are not eligible); if not a declared ENVS major or minor, completion of ENVS 160 (Introduction to Environmental Studies) is a minimal requirement. All tenure-line or lecturer status CAS faculty are eligible, though preference will be given to faculty who have not yet received Mellon stipend support from ENVS, and who desire to build stronger connections with the ENVS Program.
  • For new projects, team support is similar to Lewis & Clark’s Rogers summer science program. Student researchers will devote at least 40 hours/week for 10 summer weeks to the project, with start and end dates to be negotiated with the faculty mentor(s), and for which a stipend of $4000 and a $600 housing allowance will be provided. Faculty members are similarly expected to devote 10 summer weeks toward supervising their student researcher(s): if the team consists of one faculty member, a stipend of $5300 and an allotment of up to $500 for research supplies/expenses is provided, and if the team consists of two faculty members, a stipend of $4700 and an allotment of up to $500 for research supplies/expenses is provided to each.
  • For continuation projects, team support is based on the above, with the following changes: (a) teams consist of one faculty member and one student; (b) expected duration is 7 vs. 10 weeks;  and (c) stipends are reduced accordingly to $2900 for the student, with a $400 housing allowance, and $3700 for the faculty member, with $500 for research supplies/expenses.
  • The project must fully involve all team members in situated environmental research, in one of the ENVS Program’s research sites or any other site of interest to the team. The ideal situated project would (a) address an issue of major environmental significance in a focused geographical context, (b) draw together a diversity of disciplinary concepts and analytical tools, ideally spanning the natural sciences and the social sciences/humanities, in order to analyze relevant processes and perspectives, and (c) generate fresh insights on the environmental issue in this situated context, with potential application to other cases as well. The project idea may be initially generated by a student or faculty member, who then recruits a team to prepare the proposal.
If interested, please do the following by the above deadline:

  1. You are welcome to schedule an appointment with Prof. Jim Proctor, Mellon Initiative director, for informal consultation and feedback prior to completing your proposal.
  2. Submit your research proposal by adding (or modifying) a research project record on the SGE site. You will follow all instructions on the project record form and SGE site use overview. In addition to completing all standard fields on the form, please add this extra information in the Other field:
    • A brief background on all researchers, including for students their current class level, status as an ENVS major or minor, and all current/completed ENVS core courses and courses related to the proposed research
    • A proposed division of labor between researchers, stating clearly who will be responsible for which portions of your methodology (if not already clarified in that section)
    • How participating students intend to benefit as ENVS majors (e.g., by completing a thesis on the topic) or minors as a result of this opportunity
    • If a continuation grant, specify what you accomplished previously and how this project relates to work done to date.
  3. When all the above is complete, notify Prof. Proctor via a brief email.

Proposals will be rated by the ENVS faculty and steering committee based on three equally weighted criteria:  (a) appropriateness of the topic as an exemplar of situated environmental research, (b) level of interdisciplinarity, innovativeness, and feasibility of the project research design, and (c) potential of the research to result in significant scholarly benefits to all team members. Decisions will be finalized prior to spring break. If a project is not supported, it may be resubmitted for consideration in future.

Funded teams will agree to participate in a variety of social learning communications and events, both during and following the project, designed so that other LC faculty and students may benefit from the project. Additionally, all funded researchers will follow Lewis & Clark’s policy of completing an online training course on responsible conduct of research.