Internship Opportunity: NSF REU in Watershed Biogeochemistry

800 602 Stroud Water Research Center

A National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates internship in watershed biogeochemistry is available for summer 2020 at Stroud Water Research Center under the direction of Diana Oviedo-Vargas, Ph.D. NSF REU programs aim to actively involve undergraduate students in meaningful, ongoing research projects.

This internship is part of a long-term research project focusing on how biogeochemical and ecological processes change over time after riparian reforestation in the context of a 40-year restoration on White Clay Creek performed by Stroud Water Research Center. The REU will work closely with the principal investigator and her team to assess the potential for field spectrophotometers to measure bioavailable dissolved organic carbon (bDOC).

Program Overview

The REU participant will gain research experience in watershed biogeochemistry, while being part of a broader multidisciplinary team at the Stroud Center. Work will combine the optimization of bioreactors to measure bDOC, laboratory analysis of DOC concentrations and dissolved organic matter quality, and the use of field spectrophotometers (S::CAN) that collect stream water absorption spectra at high-frequencies. Project findings will advance our understanding of bDOC dynamics at high-resolution temporal scales.

Location: Stroud Water Research Center, 970 Spencer Road, Avondale, Pennsylvania. Please note that this is a rural location and not near a public transportation system.

  • Program duration: this is a 10-week internship. The internship must begin before June 1, 2020.
  • Stipend: the successful candidate will receive $6,000 and free on-campus housing at the Stroud Center.
  • Qualifications: undergraduate students with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Participants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the United States.
  • Deadlines: application period ends April 6, 2020. Selection will be made by April 10. Please note: We are reviewing applications as they are received but our progress has been delayed by COVID-19. The situation is changing daily and many of the changes affect our ability to bring interns into the laboratory. We will be in communication with all applicants, and proceed as best we can. 


The REU will participate in fieldwork, laboratory experiments, sample processing, data analysis, and regular lab group meetings. At the end of the internship, the REU will be expected to create an oral presentation for the summer REU meeting at the Stroud Center and for a professional scientific meeting in case this opportunity presents itself.

Application Process

Interested candidates should provide:

  • a maximum one-page cover letter,
  • a maximum two-page resume detailing any previous research experience,
  • an unofficial undergraduate transcript, and
  • the names and contact information for three references familiar with your scholarly interests and research abilities.

The materials must be submitted through the form below as a SINGLE ATTACHMENT. The name of the attached file should start with the applicant’s last name in the file name (e.g., LASTNAME_RESUME.PDF).

Stroud Water Research Center is an independent, non-advocacy 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Please contact if you have problems submitting this form.

About Stroud Water Research Center
Stroud™ Water Research Center seeks to advance knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems through global researcheducation, and watershed restoration. The Stroud Center is internationally recognized for its pioneering research on streams and rivers. Research teams with expertise in chemistry, microbial ecology, invertebrate biology, watershed ecology, and ecosystem modeling study the physical, chemical, and biological processes of streams and rivers, the ecology of individual organisms, and the relationship between streams and their watersheds.