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GSR Fellowships for UC students working in UC Natural Reserves

The Executive Board of the Institute for the Study of Ecological and Evolutionary Climate Impacts is pleased to announce GSR fellowships for UC students working in and around UC Natural Reserves

The UC-wide Institute for the Study of Ecological Effects of Climate Impacts (ISEECI) offers two summer and one academic quarter GSRs per UC campus each year. Students apply and are nominated by their local campus whose top choices will be forwarded to the ISEECI Executive Board for approval.

ISEECI is a platform for synthesizing past, current and future environmental change research, and for understanding and potentially mitigating future climate impacts. ISEECI leverages the UC Natural Reserve System as a biologically and geographically diverse laboratory to study the effects of climate change on California ecosystems. Led by a consortium of UC scientists, ISEECI coordinates mechanistic studies and biotic surveys across broad geographic scales. Through this network, we seek to test the feasibility of approaches for discovering ecosystem-wide responses to climate change. We then assess how inferences collected across sites might be used to mitigate impacts to ecosystems, ecosystem services and cascading impacts on human systems. We are developing “next generation” sampling protocols to capture ecological, genetic and physiological responses. This information will provide an integrated understanding of climate impacts on California’s biota and their ecosystem services.

ISEECI is funded by a University of California Office of the President Presidential Research Catalyst Award for $1.9M that supports travel and research salaries of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows on NRS sites, plus yearly coordination meetings. ISEECI projects are developed around elevational, latitudinal and coastal to inland transects of climate gradients. These approaches are crucially needed to understand changes in ecological systems in space and time, and potentially to mitigate some effects. Specific funding is allocated to each of 9 Campuses for GSR funds to be allocated each year by a local committee that ranks applications for funding. A stipend for travel to UC NRS visits is also available (up to $350/quarter), and various data loggers can be requested for studies.

At least one ISEECI Aim should be addressed by successful applicants in at least one UC Reserve:

Aim 1: Assemble historical records in and around NRS sites to assess ecosystem-wide impacts of climate change, linking plant and animal studies among marine, aquatic and terrestrial realms.

Aim 2: Launch a new program of NRS sampling, monitoring, large-scale and long-term data management, and experiments to understand mechanisms by which climate drives ecological and evolutionary processes.

Aim 3: Link these data together with mechanistic models to predict changes to ecosystems and potential impacts to ecosystem services that threaten human adaptation to climate change.

Feedback among these three aims will catalyze new experiments to take critical measurements and test key mechanisms underlying our hypotheses and model predictions.

ISEECI will launch initial surveys at 24 NRS reserves (yellow circles) and 4 other key sites (red points: Lassen NP, Yosemite/Kings Canyon, Death Valley NP, Tejon Conservancy and Carrizo NM, Fig. 1) that form North/South and East/West gradients across northern, central, and southern CA. These gradients cross transition zones needed to predict and understand patterns of climate change. Gradients are critical for understanding variations in responses because they capture geographic differences in climatic change experienced across the state. Additionally, sites with different climates can be used as proxies for understanding and testing biotic impacts of climate change.

Application process. Students should submit applications to their campus members on the ISEECI Executive Committee email:mwschwartz@ucdavis.edu; mlbaskett@ucdavis.edu. Applications receiving the highest ranks will 1) propose relevant studies with hypotheses, goals and products that address one or more of ISEECI’s Aims, 2) have broad spatial coverage across NRS reserves (e.g., gradients of change). Two summer GSRs and one academic quarter/summer GSR are available. A complete application should include a single pdf with: 1) 1 page cover letter, 2) two-page research plan (including references), 3) 2 page CV, 4) a preliminary budget and 5) a support letter from an ISEECI affiliated faculty advisor. Successful GSR recipients will be expected to participate in one or more ISEECI workshops and present the results of their work; contribute to a common database being developed for public access, and contribute toward common project-wide goals within at least one of the project aims identified by the proposed research.

 

*Full list of ISEECI-affiliated faculty at UC Davis:

Marissa Baskett

Jeffrey Clary

Valerie Eviner

Nann Fangue

Rick Grosberg

Ted Grosholz

Susan Harrison

Ben Houlton

John Largier

Andrew Latimer

Steven Morgan

Peter Moyle

Jim Quinn

David Rizzo

Mark Schwartz

Sharon Strauss

Anne Todgham

Susan Williams

John Wingfield

Louie Yang

Truman Young

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