REU Site: Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange (ERIE)
Rabideau, Alan Principal Investigator
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This three-year REU Site program at SUNY at Buffalo will focus on the topic of Ecosystem Restoration from an interdisciplinary perspective. The structure of the program will be closely linked with the ongoing NSF IGERT Traineeship program with the same theme (ERIE-IGERT). Undergraduate students will benefit from ongoing workshops and training opportunities associated with the ERIE-IGERT, and will work within an expanded mentoring community that includes IGERT doctoral trainees. Both the ERIE-IGERT and the proposed ERIE-REU programs are interdisciplinary, with faculty participants from seven academic departments. Both programs are place-based, with the objective of advancing the science and engineering underpinnings of ecosystem restoration through studies focused on the ecological recovery of the lower Great Lakes and Western New York regions. Thus, this ERIE-REU site program will benefit not only the undergraduate REU participants, but other ERIE faculty, professional, and doctoral participants. Formal training in research methods will be followed by individual research organized in three interdisciplinary themes: 1) lake and river restoration, 2) groundwater restoration, and 3) novel treatment applications. This REU Site program also includes an ethics component that will focus on the ethics and values of ecological restoration. Students will attend mid-week group meetings with their research theme co-participants, as well as weekly colloquia with the entire REU cohort, which includes both theme-based research presentations and a weekly field trip and/or social event. Finally, during the last week of the REU program, students will participate in a culminating experience that will bring REU and IGERT students together to present their projects to a diverse academic and professional audience. The Principal Investigator will recruit broadly from academic programs in engineering and science. The PI will leverage established relationships with minority institutions, the ERIE-IGERT focus on Native American issues, and the leadership of female scholars with established track records of successful undergraduate mentoring.