The Chicago Botanic Garden, with colleagues from partner institutions, hosts a ten-week summer research experience. This program offers undergraduate participants an opportunity to explore a diverse array of scientific fields related to plant biology and conservation. Travel, room and board, and research costs are covered by the program. Participants also receive a $5,000 stipend.
Student work will be based out of our new, well-equipped laboratories in the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center. Students will be trained in all stages of research, from hypothesis formulation through experimental design, data collection, analysis, and ultimately presentation of results through a public research symposium. Additionally, there may be opportunities to present at national scientific meetings or publish findings in peer-reviewed journals. REU interns will interact closely with doctoral and master’s degree students from the joint Chicago Botanic Garden–Northwestern University Graduate Program in Plant Biology and Conservation and other graduate programs. Participants will also be encouraged to serve as research mentors for teens attending Chicago Public Schools and participating in the Garden’s College First program. Interns will also participate in field trips, workshops, and professional development activities.
Check out abstracts from prior REU research symposia here:
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An NSF-funded program was awarded to the Chicago Botanic Garden to provide research training for ten students over ten-week periods for the summers 2015-2017. The theme of this REU site is plant biology and conservation, spanning genetic to ecosystem levels of inquiry.
Faculty mentors include more than 20 scientists drawn from the Garden, partner organization Northwestern University, and other area institutions. Mentors' diverse areas of expertise provide opportunities for student research in plant evolution and systematics, pollination biology, rare plant conservation, invasion biology, soil and microbial ecology, restoration ecology, biogeochemistry, climate science, and related disciplines. Projects typically involve both field and laboratory work. REU participants will have access to excellent laboratories equipped for research in ecology, soil science, genetics, reproductive biology, GIS, microscopy, population biology, geochemistry, isotopic analysis, and other areas of investigation.
Students also participate in professional-development activities including a group collaborative research experience, workshops on scientific ethics and graduate school, field trips to the Field Museum and Morton Arboretum, training in scientific communication, and presentation of results at a public symposium. The REU program is integrated within a training continuum that includes precollegiate students, other undergraduate researchers, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers, providing opportunities for REU students to serve as co-mentors to younger students and learn firsthand about graduate school.
The Chicago Botanic Garden, with its world-renowned plant collections and displays, is one of the country's most visited public gardens and a preeminent center for learning and scientific research. The 385-acre Garden features 26 display gardens and four natural areas, uniquely situated on nine islands surrounded by lakes.
This program is a collaboration between Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden. PBC fosters an academic and research environment that allows students to gain experience, skills, and knowledge to become scholars, leaders, and practitioners in plant biology and conservation. The curriculum provides a foundation in plant ecology, evolution, and biology as well as applied plant conservation theory and methods.
REU Site: Plant Biology & Conservation Research Experiences for Undergraduates - From Genes to Ecosystems. (Supported by NSF awards DBI-0353752, DBI-0648972, DBI-1062675 and DBI-1461007)