Monday, December 30, 2013

Summer research internships at Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Our fantastic local Cleveland Museum of Natural History hosts an annual summer research internship program with opportunities in areas such as invertebrate zoology and paleontology, botany, ornithology, vertebrate zoology and wildlife resources.  This 8-week program typically involves both field and laboratory work, pays $7.85 per hour plus $200 for expenses and is open to rising sophomores, juniors, seniors and those who have graduated within the year.  Applications are due in early March and positions are announced in April.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Alum joins University of Rochester Faculty

Josh Allen (’07 Toxicology & Psychology) recently completed his PhD in Toxicology at the University of Rochester. His dissertation research focused on the effects of concentrated ambient ultrafine air pollution on the developing brain in rodents. His work unveiled persistent and sex-dependent neurotoxicity and behavioral toxicity as a result of developmental exposure to human-relevant levels of concentrated ambient ultrafine particles. During his graduate training, Josh became interested in translating his animal model research into human studies utilizing an epidemiological approach. He has recently accepted a position as a K12 scholar and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and will simultaneously pursue graduate-level training in epidemiology. His upcoming research will continue to examine air-pollutant induced neurotoxicity using both basic neurotoxiclogical and epidemiological approaches.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Summer research in field biology and atmospheric science

This summer research opportunity comes by way of Dr. Patty Saunders, who maintains an active email list serve for students interested in environmental science.  Feel free to contact Dr. Saunders to be added to her email list for future notices.

In the meantime, check out this NSF-funded research opportunity at the University of Michigan's Biological Station, founded in 1909 and encompassing 10,000 acres.  According to the program website:
The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) is a competitive program funded by the National Science Foundation. Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions in a Changing Global Environment provides a truly interdisciplinary and hands-on experience in field biology and atmospheric science. Students engage with all phases of research, from hypothesis formulation and data gathering to analysis, interpretation, and communication of scientific findings. During this nine-week program, students will: 
  • Work closely with a selected mentor/professor as part of an on-going research project 
  • Design, conduct, analyze, and report on a research project of their own 
  • Participate in special workshops and group discussions designed to provide the philosophical bases and technical tools needed to carry out scientific research.
This 9-week program comes with a $5,000 stipend, room, board and a travel allowance.  You must be at least a rising junior.  Applications are due February 1st.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Summer research and classes on Lake Erie

There is a fantastic summer research opportunity right in our backyard at Ohio State's Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island in Put-In-Bay, Lake Erie.  Ashland students have taken advantage of both research opportunities and field courses at the oldest freshwater biological field station in the United States.  Applications for summer research internships are due February 21st.  Application for field courses are not until March, but courses can fill up so apply early.  The application deadline for tuition scholarships is March 7th.  Courses this summer include Ecology, Evolution, Field Zoology, Ichthyology, Aquatic Ecosystems, and Current Topics in Environment and Engineering.  Many of these courses will transfer back as credit towards your Ashland major in Biology.

Two biology majors took the Stone Laboratory Field Zoology course this past summer.  Caitlin Duncan (pictured above to the left) wrote:
I had a fantastic experience at Stone Lab! I took a 5 week field zoology class. Every student had to keep a field journal and put together a collection of 100 specimens, which were gathered during various field trips to Green Island, North Bass Island, Middle Bass Island, South Bass Island, and Kelley's Island. Collecting, displaying, and identifying the organisms was the most fun part of the course for me! I even won the 2013 "Mad Collector" award for collecting 150 unique specimens! My class also learned how to electroshock, which was a great experience.
 Life Science Education/Biology major Emily Lundquist (pictured above to the right) wrote that:
Overall, it was one of the most amazing experiences I've had in my life because it was great to be out in nature every day and I met so many new people and enjoyed spending time on an island. I learned so much that I feel will help me later in life with teaching.
The images show a class group shot on the docks at Stone Laboratory and one of the field collections developed in the class.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Plant genomics at Michigan State Unviversity

One place to start your search for a summer research internship is to look through posts on this blog about what AU students have done in past summers.  Josh Allman spent last summer in a 10-week internship in plant genomics at Michigan State University, and the program recently reached out to us asking us to spread the word to current students.

This program's internship goes from May 19th to July 25th, pays a $5000 stipend, and involves molecular botanical research related to agriculture and biofuels.  The program is open to rising juniors and seniors and applications are due February 12th.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Summer research internships in Nebraska and New York

We plan to post information about a summer internship opportunity each day of the holiday break.  Consider it the twelve days of summer research internships.  Today we are getting a head start by posting two opportunities:

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln hosts a diversity of internship opportunities in biology, chemistry and earth sciences.  Applications are due February 1st, but are already being accepted.  The internship pays a stipend and covers room, board and travel expenses.  You can see last summers participants below.

Cornell University and the BTI for Plant Research is hosting a more focused summer internship program in plant genome research, bioinformatics and plant energy education.  Applications are being accepted now through the first Friday in February.  This internship also provides a stipend along with free housing.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Time to find a summer research internship

The National Science Foundation funds paid summer research
internships all over the country
Classes are done, holiday shopping will be coming to an end, and soon family get togethers will be over.  So what else can you do over the holiday break?  This is the perfect time to find summer research internships!  These opportunities are a great way to learn more science, get experience in the lab, get paid, and improve your chances of getting into graduate school, health professional programs, or that first job in the sciences after graduation.

We are fortunate that most summer research internships in the sciences are paid positions, with those at universities also typically offering free room and board.  We have a number of students being accepted into these competitive summer programs each year across the country.  You can read about our students from past summers and their internship experiences using the Summer Research Internship tag on this blog.

Because they are competitive you will want to apply to a number of positions to increase your chance of getting one.  Applications are often due in January and February, so the holiday break is a great time to identify places you would like to go and start the application process.  You will also usually need two faculty references, so contact faculty over the break to ask for those support letters.

In addition to searching through this blog for opportunities posted in the past, you can use this page from the National Science Foundation to find internships funded by the federal government.  Most internship programs at large universities are supported by the NSF.  You can also use Google searches to find internships that match your interests.

We will post summer research internship opportunities in a variety of disciplines here on this blog throughout the break.  Here is one to get you started:

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Medicine offers their summer SURE-REU program in molecular biosciences from May 18th to July 25th.  We had AU students take part in this program in 2009 and 2010.  One of those students is now earning his PhD at UNC Chapel Hill.  The other is earning her doctorate at The Ohio State University.  The program pays a $5000 stipend for the 10 weeks and includes room and board.  Review of applications begins February 3rd.  As with all summer programs, get your applications in early and ask a faculty member or advisor to review your personal statement.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Alumni Update and Chemistry Job Opportunity

Three years after graduating from Ashland, Tyson Rowland (’09 Chemistry) obtained a Master’s degree in Bioanalytical and Physical Chemistry from University of the Pacific in California.  He notes, “Ashland’s chemistry program was a key stepping stone for propelling me into my career.  One of my fondest memories while attending Ashland was finally moving to the newly renovated Kettering Hall from Miller Hall.  Being the first group of students to use the brand new labs and explore new equipment enhanced my learning curve and broadened my chemistry experience.  I’d like to give a special thanks to the entire Chemistry Department for all of the extra hours spent passionately helping students develop and grow as young professionals!”

Tyson currently works as the Applications and Demo Lab Manager for Elementar in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey.  This is a German-based company that sells elemental analyzers worldwide.  These analyzers most commonly measure carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and hydrogen down to the ppb level.  Applications include the agriculture, petrochemicals, environmental, and geochemical fields.  His primary role with Elementar is to run the applications lab and perform a number of tasks to help support the sales team.  Examples include running customer demo samples, performing instrument demonstrations, and method development.  In his previous role as a Service Engineer at Elementar Tyson had the opportunity to travel to Germany, Equatorial Guinea (Africa), England, and 31 states in the US (still waiting for Hawaii!).

In response to increased business, Elementar is currently looking to fill a field service position.  Recent graduates in chemistry are encouraged to apply for this immediate opening.  Potential candidates are encouraged to contact Tyson directly by email. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Honors Project Focuses on Polymer Chemistry

Congratulations to senior biochemistry major Anna Falls, who conducted her Honors Capstone Research with Dr. Perry Corbin, Associate Professor of Chemistry.  Anna recently completed a successful defense of her honors thesis, “Synthesis, Characterization, and Degradation of Calixarene-Core Polylactide Star Polymers.”  In addition to completing the requirements of the Honors Program, Anna has been active in the American Chemical Society as well as Ashland’s peer-tutoring program.  She is a College of Arts and Sciences Scholar and a Choose Ohio First Scholar.  Following graduation in December, Anna hopes to attend medical school and to pursue a career as a physician. 
Dr. Perry Corbin and Anna Falls

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lecture to Emphasize the impact of U.S. Foreign Investment on Environmental Pollution and Health

November 4th, 7pm

Trustee’s Room - Upper Convocation Center
Perry Gottesfeld

The Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences' Symposium AgainstIndifference: Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean will host a lecture by Perry Gottesfeld, Executive Director of Occupational Knowledge International (OK International).

Co-sponsored by the Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Mr. Gottesfeld will speak on Monday, November 4th at 7 p.m. in the Trustee’s Room located in the Upper Convocation Center. 

U.S. corporate investment in industrial facilities is often welcomed by countries looking to expand markets, modernize antiquated facilities, create jobs, and improve productivity.  However, such investments are often followed by disappointment as companies continue to operate polluting plants that draw the attention of local regulators. These companies also come under criticism at home for not meeting U.S. standards for emissions and occupational health and safety protections.  This talk will explore two case studies outlining U.S. investments in Peru and Mexico that are resulting in significant environmental and public health impacts.

Perry Gottesfeld has been actively involved in the environmental health field since 1984. He obtained his Masters of Public Health in Biomedical and Environmental Health Sciences from UC Berkeley, and in 1988 started Occupational Knowledge, Inc., to offer training and consulting services in the environmental field. In this capacity, Mr. Gottesfeld has conducted environmental audits, training and consulting services to businesses, non-profit organizations, government and universities on hazardous materials and solid waste management issues. In 1999, Gottesfeld founded OK International to address environmental health in developing countries. OK International is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving public health through innovative strategies to reduce exposures to industrial pollutants. The organization seeks to address inequities in environmental standards between developed and developing countries by working in partnership with industry, government and non-governmental organizations. The organization's web site may be found at

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ashland biology major interns at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Mallory with a burmese python
Junior biology major Mallory Balmert spent her summer teaching the public about exotic animals at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.  Mallory's paid internship with the education department at the zoo gave her valuable experience in public science outreach and an inside track towards her goal to work in zoo science.  In addition to handling animals and presenting daily to zoo visitors Mallory had the opportunity to see animal care behind the scenes and work with zoo staff.  Mallory told us that:
"Working at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo this summer as a Seasonal Education Assistant was such a rewarding experience, not only because I got to learn so much about animal care, but also because I got to teach and encourage others to get involved with wildlife."
Showing off a kookaburra
Fall is a great time to begin investigating internship opportunities for next summer.  Many internships in the sciences are paid.  Keep checking back to this blog and our Facebook page for updates on internship opportunities.  You can get some general tips on finding summer internships here.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Environmental Lecture on Nov.7 to link Environment, Peace, and Security

The second event in this year’s Environmental Lecture Series will be a presentation by Geoffrey Dabelko from Ohio University titled "Environment, Peace, and Security: Lessons from Latin America."  That will be Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 pm in the Ronk Lecture Hall, COE.  This event is being co-hosted by the Ashland Center for Nonviolence.

Dr. Geoffrey D. Dabelko, Ohio University
Dr. Geoffrey D. Dabelko is Professor and Director of Environmental Studies at the George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University in Athens, OH. From 1997-2012, he served as director of the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP), a nonpartisan policy forum on environment, population, and security issues at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.   Dabelko continues to work as a senior advisor to the Wilson Center where he helps facilitate dialogue among policymakers, practitioners, and scholars grappling with the complex connections that link environment, health, population, conflict, and security.   Dabelko is also a member of the United Nations Environment Programme's Expert Advisory Group on Environment, Conflict, and Peacebuilding. 

Dabelko is co-editor of the 2002 book Environmental Peacemaking, that describes how environmental degradation can catalyze conflict and violence.  On the other hand, cooperation between adversaries with shared environmental concerns can open up pathways to peace and security, by “enhancing trust, establishing habits of cooperation, lengthening the time horizons of decision makers, forging cooperative trans-societal linkages, and creating shared regional norms and identities.”  Dabelko’s most recent research focuses on climate change and security linkages as well as environmental pathways to confidence building and peacemaking, with a special emphasis on management of fresh water resources.   He is a lead author for the 5th assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group II Chapter 12 on Human Security.  He also teaches courses on global environmental politics, environmental leadership, climate change, and environmental peacebuilding. 
This year’s Environmental Lecture Series explores “Environmental and Human Health in Latin America,” with perspectives from experts in human ecology, policy, and scientific study related to specific environmental issues.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

SCI Scholars: Chemistry Internships for Summer 2014

The SCI Scholars Program is a joint effort of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI), the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).  One goal of the program is to introduce chemistry students to careers in the chemical industry.  SCI Scholars receive $6,000-$10,000 for a ten-week internship in addition to funds for travel to a scientific meeting.  Exceptional sophomore and junior chemistry majors with a GPA of at least 3.5 are encouraged to apply.  Applications are due December 14, 2013.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Announcement of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics

A note from Dr. Rodney Michael, Associate Professor of Physics:
The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded to Francois Englert and Peter Higgs for the theory of how particles get their mass.  The current understanding of the universe is based on the Standard Model of Particle Physics.  This model states that everything in the universe from flowers and galaxies to you is built from a handful of fundamental matter particles and force particles.  This standard model, which explained the world very well, predicted that the particles should have no mass, contrary to observation.  In 1964 Englert and Higgs independently proposed a new quantum field and associated particle.  This ‘Higgs Particle’ provided a mechanism for the fundamental particles to gain mass thus saving the standard model.  On 04 July 2012 scientists at CERN announced the observation of the Higgs particle confirming the standard model and the Higgs Field. For more information see:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ashland University Fall Career Fair is tomorrow

Whether you are actively looking for an internship or job or plan to in the future (hint: this includes all current AU students) you will benefit from attending tomorrow's (Tuesday, October 8th) Fall Career Fair from 1-4 pm in Upper Convo.  You can read the list of companies in attendance at the Fair here, and check out this great blog post from AU Career Services on why you should be there.

Toxicology major Alison Biro went to last year's career fair just to check things out and wound up with a fantastic summer research internship.  Check out the interview with Alison below.  You should be taking advantage of this opportunity to talk with recruiters from companies and graduate schools all throughout our region.

Career services asks that you dress professionally when attending the Fair and bring copies of your resume.  Don't have a resume?  You can work with Career Services to develop a resume for the next fair.  If you are a major in the Department of Biology/Toxicology you will be developing or improving your current resume in our Bio 301 Professional Development course.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

New Major in Geoscience Technology & Management

A gap currently exists in the geoscience industry:  geologists who know little about the business aspects of their profession and people in the business arena who have limited understanding of geology.  An interdisciplinary major in Geoscience Technology and Management will produce matriculates who can enter the geoscience industry as geologists and/or managers. Moreover, majors will be sufficiently prepared for entry into advanced educational programs.  Housed in the Department of Chemistry/Geology/Physics, this major was developed in close consultation with the College of Business and Economics as well as several professionals in the geosciences industry (environmental consulting, oil, and natural gas).  The major includes courses in geology, chemistry, math, business, economics, and environmental ethics as well as an internship or work experience.  Several geology courses were newly developed or revised:  Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Economic Geology, Petroleum Geology, and Environmental Geochemistry.