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REU: Disturbance Ecology in Central Appalachia

Description  ♦  Program Dates  ♦  Expectations  ♦  Benefits  ♦  Eligibility

             This program is funded by the National Science Foundation.

EKU is not hosting an REU program in summer 2024, check back next year.


What do sustainable and resilient ecosystems look like after a long period of dramatic disturbance and deconstruction, and what are the best approaches to restoration for ensuring a highly functioning alternative state? During the summer program, students conduct research with faculty and professional mentors focussed on anthropogenic disturbance, while immersed in the landscape of Appalachia. Students live on campus at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY, and spend large parts of the summer at the Lilley Cornett Woods old-growth forest ecosystem, and at other field sites in the region.


Students participate in group activities and conduct research for 40 hours per week, but the actual hours will vary between weeks depending on the project needs. Students attend a weekly workshop and travel throughout Kentucky, sometimes staying in primitive conditions or camping.

The stipend is $5,400 for a 9-week session, a partial food stipend ($50/wk), housing on EKU campus, travel to the program (one round trip, up to $500), regional travel associated with research, and an allowance for research supplies.

The EKU Disturbance Ecology in Central Appalachia summer research program is open to current undergraduates from all institutions. Students must be currently enrolled in a 2-year or 4-year school. Students graduating before August 2023 will not be eligible. Participants must be US Citizens, US Nationals, or permanent residents. We strongly encourage applications from underrepresented groups in the sciences, first-generation college students, students that attend colleges with limited research opportunities (small liberal arts and community colleges), financially disadvantaged students, and students with physical disabilities, and US military veterans. Participants must be able to show proof of health insurance during the project period.

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