Student Opportunities

Student Research & Internship Opportunities: Fall 2011

I have several research and internship opportunities for undergraduate students at CSU Stanislaus in Fall 2011. Students should have a minimum GPA of 3.0. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please email Dr. Cover ( with the following information:

cover letter (describe which positions you are interested and why)


schedule of availability

bulletresume or CV

Review of applications, interviews, and position placements will begin immediately. For full consideration, please submit applications no later than Wednesday, September 7.

1. *Food Waste Composting (6 positions available, 2-3 hours/week)

Since February, 2009, CSU Stanislaus students have been recycling food waste generated in campus kitchens and cafes. Students perform daily pick-ups of 50-gallon bins of food waste from campus food service facilities, transport the material to the Bio-Ag field site (behind Naraghi Hall), combine the food material with brown matter (leaves from campus landscaping), and place the material into several different food waste composting systems. Throughout the semester, students monitor the breakdown of food scraps and observe the production of nutrient-rich soil amendment. Nearly 10,000 gallons of food waste have been collected thus far. This semester, students will also plant seed and raise crops in the area where trench composting took place in Fall 2009. Students will work in teams of 2 for 2-3 hours, one day per week. One unit of internship credit is available for completing this project. For additional information, see this poster presented at the CSU Stanislaus Research Week in Fall 2009.

*Note: Composting internships for Fall 2011 have been filled. Please check back for more opportunities for Spring 2011!



2. Water Quality Monitoring in the Tuolumne River, Modesto area (3 positions available, 4-5 hours/week) 

In collaboration with the Tuolumne River Trust ( and students from Modesto Junior College, we are developing a community-based water quality monitoring program for the Tuolumne River. Students will work in a team of 3 to conduct monitoring of various water quality parameters (temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, nitrate) at several sites on the Tuolumne River and Dry Creek in the Modesto area. Students will collect water quality data at sampling sites at 2 week intervals, calibrate water quality probes, and enter data into an excel database. Students will work with community members and students from Modesto J.C.

Required Qualifications: interest in environmental monitoring; ability to travel to study sites (driver's license and car). **Details regarding number of positions available and scheduling TBA soon.


3. Laboratory Research Assistants in Stream Ecology (3 positions available, 8-10 hours per week, $100/month stipend)

We are looking for 3-4 students to work on several research experiments in stream ecology.

Project 1: The influence of the parasitic plant mistletoe on decomposition rates of leaf material in streams. Assistance is needed in the laboratory with weighing leaf material, washing, drying, andweighing leaf samples, and sorting colonizing invertebrates. There is also the opportunity to help with deploying and collecting leaf packs at his field site on the Stanislaus River at the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge west of Modesto.

Project 2: Food availability for salmon in Lagunitas Creek in coastal Marin County, California. Assistance is needed in the laboratory with processing samples: sorting, weighing, measuring, and identifying aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates collected in drift nets and pan traps. There is also the possibility to take part in field work. Student assistants will work on both projects 1 and 2.

Minimum time commitment: 8 hours/week over the course of the Fall semester.

Stipend: $100/month

Required qualifications: background in biology and ecology; minimum 3.0 GPA

Desired qualifications: experience identifying insects and other invertebrates (e.g., successful completion of ENTO3000, ZOOL4420, ZOOL4430, and/or BIOL4650). 

**Details regarding number of positions available and scheduling TBA soon.