Tropical Ecology and Evolution at El Verde Field Station, Puerto Rico

Basic information

  • Organization: University of Puerto Rico, Department of Environmental Sciences
  • Department(s):
  • Field(s): Ecology
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Paid? yes
  • Deadline: February 28, 2015

Our summer program provides research experiences for undergraduate students in areas of ecology (streams, plant communities, soils) and evolution (plant-pollinator interactions). We study the tropical rainforest of Puerto Rico at various levels of organization, ranging from genes to ecosystems. Field research is conducted at El Verde Field Station, in El Yunque National Forest.

Program description:

Our goal is to promote a scientific foundation for students, by:

  • Immersing students in an active research environment.
  • Providing students with the opportunity to study and conduct research in an ecosystem and culture not easily accessible at their home institution.
  • Providing educational activities designed to equip students with the necessary tools to conduct scientific research.
  • Providing guidance from established scientists while they develop an independent research project.

This is a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus.

Students work on a research project under the advice of a faculty mentor. Students also participate in seminars, workshops, data analysis and presentation, and scientific techniques (e.g., stream studies, population measurements). An ethical component is focused on issues likely to be encountered by students in their careers and discussions on the role of scientists in society. Overall, our goal is to positively impact student careers by providing them with the tools needed to conduct scientific research in any area of science, with emphasis on Tropical Ecology and Evolution, and by stressing the impact that scientists could have in our society if they take active roles.


There is no cost for participating students. The student will receive a stipend of $5,000 for the ten weeks duration of the program. Round-trip plane ticket from your home institution to Puerto Rico will be reimbursed, up to a maximum of $600. The program will cover housing at El Verde Field Station. Students prepare their own meals and a food allowance is provided to cover the cost of groceries.


This year's application deadline has passed.

Applications are due by Saturday February 28, 2015.

STEP 1 — To make sure that you are eligible, you must:

  • Have US citizenship or permanent residency
  • Be an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor degree at a college or university during the summer
  • Have an interest in pursuing graduate studies in ecology or evolution with emphasis on research
  • Work full-time in our program, participating in all activities, for 10 weeks during summer (including weekends)
  • Live at El Verde Field Station during the entire program (including weekends)
  • Be a sophomore or higher with a GPA over 3.0
  • Submit all information required by February 28th

STEP 2 — Complete and submit the application form (link at the bottom of page).

Before filling the application form, please have the following information with you:

  • Name, telephone, and email of two people writing letters of recommendation.
  • Three research areas of your preference from the list provided on the web page.
  • An essay describing how your professional career would benefit from participating of our summer program. Include information about your professional goals and past experiences. Make it no longer than 1000 words

Submit your transcripts and two letters of recommendation

  • Submit a copy of your transcripts via email (as a PDF or JPEG). We do not require official transcripts. Unofficial transcripts downloaded from your university website or a copy of a recent original will do. We will contact you if we have questions.
  • Have your two letters of recommendation emailed to us by the person writing them. Use this address:

Important - Incomplete applications will not be processed.

Click here to fill the application form


Questions / contact



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