We are currently accepting applications for a 10-week (March 31 – June 6, 2014), 15-credit, undergraduate research apprenticeship, at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs in the San Juan Islands, WA. This research apprenticeship focuses on the impacts of dams on the marine sedimentary system and the impacts of the release of reservoir-trapped sediment into the marine environment during dam deconstruction. Dam removal projects are becoming an attractive means of restoration for depleted fisheries, river ecosystems, and coastlines, but we do not yet understand the full range of effects our “restoration” will have.
With help from mentors, students will design and complete individual research projects using data they collect at the Elwha River delta; as part of a larger, NSF-funded research project. Research work will be complemented by lectures, guest presentations, and weekly field trips to a variety of nearby sedimentary environments. Through this classroom and experiential learning, students learn about the range of sedimentary processes that occur near river mouths, human impacts on coastlines, interactions between biology and sediment, and regional geology. The apprentices to be recruited for this course will have the potential to become informed scientists and managers in charge of decision-making in future restoration projects.